By Raz Koller
In October 2004, Sargent R., the commander of “Shaked” regiment of “Golani” division was accused of shooting at a 13 years old Palestinian child with an automated weapon. Sargent R. claimed he and his soldiers did not identify the child and thought she was part of a terrorist team attacking them at the time. Two months later, a story was broadcast in the show “Uvda” (Fact), describing Sargent R. and his soldiers as bored trigger-happy men who knew very well they were shooting a thirteen years old girl. The Chief of General Staff at the time, Moshe “Boogie” Yahalon, attacked the show and called the story “Shocking and untruthful”.
Another debate about the story took place between Ilana Dayan, the host and co-reporter of the show, and the IDF’s former spokeswoman, Ruth Yaron. Dayan then said “The IDF can’t handle stories like the ones we give in â€œUvdaâ€. The true facts being told to the public is something you are not accustomed to, you are accustom to reporting only on your behalf.”
In response, former spokeswoman Yaron said, “You don’t mind doing anything to get your story, even as a ‘professional’ reporter, you ‘cook up’ tapes and recordings to create the story you want to create. For you, the visual is above all, even above the truth.â€ The audience granted Yaronâ€™s words with thunderous applouse.
Dayan said in response, “If you can point out one fictional fact from the story, I’ll talk to you about it.”
In November 2005, after a long military trial, Sargent R was acquitted. Now he decided to sue Ilana Dayan and the company “Telad” which broadcast the show at the time, for three million Shekels. In the suit Sargent R.â€™s lawyers say that the facts the story presented ware false, unreliable and manipulative. In some cases the sound track of the radio communication you hear, is heard over images that have nothing to do with it, sometimes images that have nothing to do with the entire incident. What’s more, the lawyers claim, that during the story, some radio communication scenes were edited, parts of sentences were cut and pasted on another sentences to make it seem like the soldiers had said something outrageous which they hadn’t. All of the phases that were tainted were the ones showing Sergent R. didn’t see the girl, and thought of the incident as a battle and nothing less, and that is why he reacted accordingly.
The lawyers also claim that the entire aim of the story was to create a sensation and boost the ratings and thus increase the profits of the show.
Therefore, accordingly with that aim, they ask the court to rule high compensation for the plaintiff, considering the high profits they earned by their acts. The lawyers also ask the court to force the show to present the facts they have accurately.
Ilana Dayan said today in response to the allegations that she will not respond to issues which are currently being debated in a court of law.
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