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Monday, 7 June 2010

Israel’s Crude Forgery of Tape Backfires

‘Go Back to Auschwitz’ added to tape

Have a listen to what is very evidently a doctored tape. It is a mark of Netanyahu's desperation. Leaving aside that Israel had already issued a previous tape of such exchanges without the Auschwitz remark, they now add a ‘go back to Auschwitz’ in a European voice.

There is no background noise similarity or indeed anything to connect this disconnected voice with the Mavi Marmara. Zionism's hapless propagandists also broadcast the voice of a Palestinian woman, Huwaida Arraf, saying that they had permission to enter Gaza port. Which has been confirmed except she was not on the Mavi Marmara but the Challenger 1.

As Israel, unsurprisingly, rejects the idea of an independent inquiry it is forced to go to further lengths to defend the indefensible murder of Turkish citizens and an American. And as evidence mounts that the murder of activists on the Mavi Marmara was premeditated, with Israel deliberately attacking the ship in such a way as to produce panic and therefore resistance, Israel is forced to issue the kind of crude tapes that even Goebbels would have thought twice about.

Indeed so bad is the situation of Israeli PR at the moment that their own naval reserve officers (see below) are calling for an independent inquiry. But of course Netanyahu cannot possibly accept, after Goldstone, another inquiry that might get too near the truth.

Meanwhile we need to ask a few questions such as what has happened to the confiscated phones and cameras of those on board the ships. Were they merely stolen or are they still being held in order to prevent the truth coming out?

This comes after the Israel military was forced to admit it has nothing to substantiate its wild allegations that those on board the MM were Al Quada terrorists.

And even more importantly. Why is the BBC continuing to use Israeli propaganda video without demanding the whole of the tapes from which they have been selected? Why do they willingly allow themselves to be used as a propaganda outfit, without even warning people as to the bona fides of the tape?

Tony Greenstein

Israel accused of fabricating flotilla video
Published Saturday 05/06/2010 (updated) 06/06/2010 21:35

By Mya Guarnieri

Correction appended

Tel Aviv - Ma'an - The Israeli army released video footage Monday of the navy radioing the Turkish vessel Mavi Marmara prior to the raid that took place in international waters and left at least nine activists dead.

But on Friday, it released a new version of the same footage — one that it says proves its claims that many aboard were religious extremists — but that some say has been very obviously tampered with.

In the first video released in the immediate aftermath of the violent raid, a soldier says, "Mavi Marmara, you are approaching an area of hostility which is under a naval blockade." There is no recorded response.

The soldier continues, “The Gaza area, coastal region, and Gaza harbor are closed to all maritime traffic.” Again, no response.

The soldier radios once more, saying, “The Israeli government supports delivery of humanitarian supplies to the civilian population in the Gaza Strip and invites you to enter the Ashdod port …”

But an updated version, released five days later, includes three alleged responses from passengers who, according to the video, were supposedly on board the Mavi Marmara. This new clip shows only a still of the soldier who appears in the first footage.

The soldier, who is not named, does not address the Mavi Marmara as he did in the video released Monday. Instead, he says, “This is the Israeli navy; you are approaching an area which is under a naval blockade.”

A man with an odd, indistinct accent responds, “Shut up. Go back to Aushwitz.

Then the voice of a woman follows. She states, “We have permission from the Gaza Port Authority to enter.”

The third response, which seems entirely disconnected from the events, comes from a man with a heavy Southern accent. “We're helping Arabs go against the US. Don't forget 9/11 guys.”

Ali Abuminah, founder of the website Electronic Intifada, reported on his blog that the woman's voice is that of Huwaida Arraf.

Arraf, a Palestinian-American who chairs the Free Gaza Movement, confirmed that it was her voice. But she emphasized that she was on the Challenger 1 boat, not the Mavi Marmara.

I was by the radio the whole time there was any communication," Arraf told Ma'an. "Mine was the only boat in which I answered and not the captain and they all answered in a very professional manner.”

Arraf told Ma'an that while she is certain that she had spoken about permission from the Gaza Port Authority on a previous attempt to break the blockade, she could not be sure that she said it again on Monday morning.

When they radioed us, we were still 100 miles away,” she said. “There's no doubt that this whole thing they put out is fabricated.”

Asked about claims that army video had been faked, an Israeli army spokesperson remarked, “There is no basis for the allegations.”

But to many, the recordings are just the latest move in the Israeli army's aggressive campaign to sway public opinion.

Israel seized all recording devices from journalists and activists who were on the flotilla. The army has released its own footage for use in its still-raging war of information being fought on blogs, Facebook, Twitter, and media outlets.

Among several heavily edited clips, the army has released a short video that shows soldiers dropping down onto the Mavi Marmara from helicopters after which a few of them are violently assaulted.

Eyewitnesses, Arraf included, say the army shot at the Marmara and fired stun grenades before boarding. But the clip released by the army includes no footage of the moments prior to the soldiers' boarding.

Nevertheless, as hundreds of deportees begin to reach their home countries, some in possession of footage smuggled off the boats are filling in the gaps.

A journalist with Al-Jazeera managed to broadcast footage indicating that the Israeli army began shooting at the passengers of the Mavi Marmara before the soldiers boarded, suggesting that passengers who were armed with sticks and chairs were acting in self-defense.

Many journalists are concerned that other footage is being held by Israeli authorities. The Foreign Press Association alleges that the army has used some of this footage as its own.

The association is demanding that the military identify the sources of videos it has released and to stop selectively editing content to back up the army's version of events.

*** In a previous version of this article Arraf was quoted as saying she was “certain” that she did not say she had permission to dock in Gaza from the Port Authority there, but later clarified that “Listening to the new version released by the Israelis, I have no reason to doubt that I did say it on this voyage also.” The article has been modified to reflect that clarification.


Published 20:04 06.06.10

Israel Navy reserves officers: Allow external Gaza flotilla probe

Officers denounce operation as 'military and diplomatic failure', slam government for placing blame on the activists.

By Anshel Pfeffer

A group of top Israel Navy reserves officers on Sunday publicly called on Israel to allow an external probe into its commando raid of a Gaza-bound humanitarian aid flotilla last week, which left nine people dead and several more wounded.

In a letter to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi, the Navy officers denounced the commando raid as having “ended in tragedy both at the military and diplomatic levels.”

“We disagree with the widespread claims that this was the result of an intelligence rift,” said the officers. “In addition, we do not accept claims that this was a ‘public relations failure’ and we think that the plan was doomed to failure from the beginning.”

First and foremost, we protest the fact that responsibility for the tragic results was immediately thrust onto the organizers of the flotilla,” wrote the officers. “This demonstrates contempt for the responsibility that belongs principally to the hierarchy of commanders and those who approved the mission. This shows contempt for the values of professionalism, the purity of weapons and for human lives.”

The Navy officers' letter came as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was convening his top ministers to deliberate a United Nations proposal to create a joint international committee alongside Turkey and the United States to investigate the circumstances of the deadly raid.

The cabinet was also to discuss the creation of an internal committee to look into the incident. Netanyahu earlier Sunday rejected the idea of an international panel, and reiterated that Israel had the right to conduct its own investigation.

Netanyahu discussed the proposal for a multinational panel with United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon in a telephone call on Saturday but told cabinet ministers fon Sunday that Israel was exploring other options, political sources said.

“I told [Ban] that the investigation of the facts must be carried out responsibly and objectively,” Netanyahu told ministers. “We need to consider the issue carefully and level-headedly, while maintaining Israel's national interests as well as those of the Israel Defense Forces.”

And you will note the weasel words - 'we need to consider the issue carefully and level-headedly, while maintaining Israel's national interests as well as those of the Israel Defense Forces."

It doesn't take an Einstein to translate this!

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