IDF Hasbara does Keystone Cops

Yesterday, or was it Thursday, the IDF’s disinformation (hasbara) units released a Youtube clip with audio, allegedly recorded in the leadup to Monday’s murderous assault on the Mavi Marmara, in which someone from the Turkish ship was supposedly telling the Israeli assailants to “Go back to Auschwitz!” etc.
Turns out it was doctored.
Jared Malsin has the story here.
Today, in response to persistent questioning from the fearless Max Blumenthal, the IDF spokespeople issued a revised version of the audio. You can find both versions at Jared’s blog post there.
Jared is still not satisfied that the “new” version of the audio that the IDF issued today has not been doctored.
Why should anyone believe anything the IDF has to say about this matter??
In particular, it’s imperative that no-one in the so-called “international community” let the Israelis get away with doing their own “investigation” of the whole piracy incident.
Some aspects of this botched attempt at hasbara intrigue me, however. It used to be the case that people in the west had a lot of admiration for the deftness of the “information operations” (IO) with which Israel always accompanied its warfighting. But now it seems the people who run the IDF’s hasbara (IO) units don’t really give a damn about the “quality” or believability of their work. Have they become arrogant and lazy? Perhaps.
Of course, it is also important to see that nowadays these units are being actively challenged on the accuracy and credibility of their statements and other IO products by dedicated young journos like Blumenthal. But where have all the “great and good” of the MSM’s correspondents been all this time? Why were they not expending the energy and shoe-leather required to check up on these things?
Maybe they became arrogant and lazy, too. Or maybe they’ve been so busy guarding their sacred “access” to Israeli decisionmakers that they didn’t want to rock the boat by questioning the IO people. Or maybe they just have such deep gut sympathy for Israel that they wouldn’t even dream of rocking the boat.
Israel, of course, has been doing a whole lot more to boats in international waters than just rocking them.
Update 5:50 pm I just listened to the whole of the allegedly “unedited” tape released today by the IDF. It does not contain the Auschwitz remark anywhere. How did that get in??
There are also huge new questions about the authenticity of even this tape. Jared now has an update in which Huwaida Arraf, the American-accented woman whose voice is heard clearly on the tape communicating on behalf of the Freedom Flotilla, says she was by the radio the whole time on Monday and she never heard most of these exchanges, and never on this occasion made the remark recorded there about “Gaza Port”– though she says she may have said that on the radio during a previous Freedom Flotilla action…
Bottom line: No, absolutely no-one should trust the Israelis to “investigate” themselves over the flotilla murders.

11 thoughts on “IDF Hasbara does Keystone Cops

  1. epppie

    Or maybe it’s something to do with the corporatized media? Or is that too tin foil hat for you, however obvious it may be?

  2. Salah

    reported on BBC world news that Israelite had jammed all the the communications from the ship includes TV broadcasts, Mobile phones include the ship’s VHF and another communications for monitoring the ship position in international waters.
    Of course images showing some of peace activist holding pieces of wood defending themselves from Israelite aggression militarily hijackers.
    As usual practices we having one side images and now YouTube created images to tell they have very sorry and they behaved in good manner and politely but the peace activists they were aggression and Israelites defending themselves from them using fire.
    Just to remind you here about this sort of behaviors state piracy by Israelite.
    This mirroring US in 14h January 1991 when a ship moved fro Algiers toward Iraq loaded with aid when was the ship close to Basra US marines attacked the ship and arrested all on board includes Dr. E. Faye Williams, Author of, “The Peace Terrorists” her book documenting her Middle East were her daily live boarding that ship and how ended with US military attacked the ship.

    her book documenting her Middle East peace mission with 200 women before the Gulf War, describes how UN soldiers seized their boat, and held the women at gunpoint for 20 days. “Sadly, most of the soldiers were Americans. One soldier tearfully explained he was only following orders when asked why he was pushing us around. He claimed he didn’t want to do it” recalls Dr. Williams. “We feared for our lives so can you imagine the fear the Iraqis are feeling? These people didn’t do anything to us. When I was there in 1992, before the Gulf War, many of the women were highly educated and ran institutions in Iraq. They were just as moderate and sophisticated as Americans. Yet, you won’t hear about that on TV. Just because a culture is different doesn’t mean it’s bad. I grieve for the U.S., soldiers, too. They are losing their lives, jobs, and homes. Even their families aren’t receiving the monies they are supposed to get. What are we fighting for? Let America first rid itself of poverty, poor health care systems, and all the things wrong with America, before we tell another country to democratize. Those who are sending our kids to war are getting richer daily.”


    Finally let not forgot US blocking the world of her war crimes in Iraq and how they filtering the news from Iraq and the break of Abu Graib abuses.
    Note: Helena release my comment as your spam trap keep blocking my comments. Thank you

  3. archer

    Unfortunately, the “go back to Auschwitz” libel against those aboard the Mavi Marmara has found legs in the “serious, respectable” US media. It has been repeated in not just one, but two, separate “news” (as opposed to opinion) articles currently found on the Washington Post’s website.
    One is titled “Israel gives its account of raid on aid ship headed for Gaza”, authored by Glenn Kessler, and was posted yesterday (Friday) evening. The libelous “go back to Auschwitz” charge is in the 4th paragraph.
    The second is titled “Israel navy seizes Gaza-bound aid ship, meets no resistence”, co-authored by Kessler and Janine Zacharia, and was posted this morning (Saturday). Inclusion of the libel (toward the end of the article) is clearly also the work of Kessler, as it is attributed to “senior Israeli officials in Washington”. (Kessler reports from Washington, Zacharia from Jerusalem.)
    Think Kessler will make any attempt to correct the record now that the IDF has changed its story? I know I’m not holding my breath.

  4. Neil M

    It’s important to remember that Hasbara is invoked to annoy and frustrate the casual observer with its transparently juvenile foolishness.
    The downside of Hasbara is that it creates a no-win situation for Israel.
    At best it reinforces the belief that Israelis are clumsy liars. But in the worst-case scenario their vulnerability to self-deception will probably lead to them believing that they’re ‘winning’ and cloud their judgment, thus encouraging them to commit more pugnaciously defiant acts of criminal violence and cruelty.
    60+ years of escalating denial suggests that this is the most likely outcome.

  5. brian

    legal status of the attack on the FREEDOM FLOTILLA:
    José María Ruiz Soroa, a Spanish maritime law scholar and co-author of the legal commentary Manual de derecho de la navegación marítima,said that Israel is not entitled,according to international law, to constrain the freedom of navigation of any ship on the high seas, except in a number of situations that do not apply to the Gaza flotilla case.
    He said blockade is not a valid reason, as it is a concept only applicable to war situations. He also said that Israel’s action is a breach of the UN International Maritime Organization Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts Against the Safety of Maritime Navigation (SUA),which was signed by Israel in April 2009; According to the article 6.1 of the SUA, the jurisdiction over the offences that a ship might have committed lays in the State whose flag the ship is flying.
    Now we move on to citing specific rules of law found in International Law; Admiralty and Maritime.
    Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts Against the Safety of Maritime Navigation – Article III
    1. Any person commits an offence if that person unlawfully and intentionally:
    (a) seizes or exercises control over a ship by force or threat thereof or any other form of intimidation; or
    (b) performs an act of violence against a person on board a ship if that act is likely to endanger the safe navigation of that ship; or
    (c) destroys a ship or causes damage to a ship or to its cargo which is likely to endanger the safe navigation of that ship; or
    (d) places or causes to be placed on a ship, by any means whatsoever, a device or substance which is likely to destroy that ship, or cause damage to that ship or its cargo which endangers or is likely to endanger the safe navigation of that ship; or
    (e) destroys or seriously damages maritime navigational facilities or seriously interferes with their operation, if any such act is likely to endanger the safe navigation of a ship; or
    (f) communicates information which he knows to be false, thereby endangering the safe navigation of a ship; or
    (g) injures or kills any person, in connection with the commission or the attempted commission of any of the offences set forth in subparagraphs (a) to (f).
    Article IV
    1. This Convention applies if the ship is navigating or is scheduled to navigate into, through or from waters beyond the outer limit of the territorial sea of a single State, or the lateral limits of its territorial sea with adjacent States.
    Declaration concerning the Laws of Naval War, 208 Consol. T.S. 338
    Chapter I – Blockade In Time of War
    Article 1. A blockade must not extend beyond the ports and coasts belonging to or occupied by the enemy.
    Chapter VII – Convoy
    Art. 61. Neutral vessels under national convoy are exempt from search.
    http://www.politicaltheatrics.net/2010/06/so-you-want-to-defend-israel/

  6. brian

    as for journalists…what happened to them?
    this:
    a jewish journalist makes astartling admission:
    ‘About Sheila Raviv
    Live in Jerusalem and absolutely love the city. Married to Zvi, a Sabra, mother and proud grandmother. I’m a lifelong Zionist and proud Jew who was born in Wales and fulfilled a dream to make Aliya in 1990 – in the middle of the first Gulf War. I’ve been writing since childhood but made it a permanent feature of my life when I realized the media terrible bias against Israel. I absolutely believe in the power of one – the power within us all to change our world for the better. I was party to the efforts to remove many of CNN’s former news editors and successfully persuading Malcolm Balen of the BBC to produce a report on BBC bias in the Middle East – which the BBC ultimately refused to publish. I’m transparent and forthright in my belief that Israel is the greatest country in the world whose intelliectual, hi-tech, agricultural, medical and pharmaceutical research is world-saving with medical and emergency teams who are the first to offer aid in any disaster situations – even to those who refuse to recognise our existence.’
    http://www.jewcy.com/user/2802/sheila_raviv

  7. Salah

    Let not fogot the terrorest state done today 7 June is tha same day in 7th Jun 1981
    The Raid on the Osirak / The Al Tuwaitha Nuclear Centre, Sunday 7th Jun 1981
    “Operation Opera (sometimes referred to as Operation Babylon ”

  8. Salah

    “Israel acknowledged Sunday that it edited recordings of what it said were anti-Semitic and anti-American radio calls by pro-Palestinian activists who tried to run the Gaza blockade and that it could not identify the origin of the broadcasts”
    http://kreuzbergjakob.amplify.com/

  9. Patrick

    “Go back to Auschwitz!”
    Shameless example of trying to exploit the Holocaust for propaganda purposes. It just strips memory of the Shoah of all dignity and respect.

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