Yesterday, I blogged about the Israeli response to the reports that the original tape it released of communications between the Israelis and the aid ships just before the Israelis boarded the Mavi Marmara in an assault that killed nine activists had been doctored to give the impression that one of the activists had told the Israelis to “go back to Auschwitz.” In fact, no such statement was ever made by anyone on the ship, according to activists who were part of the aid flotilla, as reported by Max Blumenthal. Yesterday, the IDF finally acknowledged that the original video was fraudulent, but their explanation raised new questions, which Blumenthal addressed in a second post (emphasis is Blumenthal’s):
The IDF admitted today in a press release that it doctored audio footage from its exchanges with the Gaza flotilla in order to paint the flotilla passengers as anti-Semites. I am beginning to wonder if the Israeli military hired James O’Keefe to handle its press shop.
But the new clip it has released that supposedly shows “the entire segment…in which the exchange took place and the comments were made” is highly suspect as well. Why? Because it contains an exchange with Huwaida Arraf that Arraf claims took place on an entirely different attempt to break the siege — Arraf has led previous aid boats to Gaza that were intercepted and hijacked by the IDF. Arraf told Ma’an News:
“I was by the radio the whole time there was any communication. 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 might have spoken of having permission from the Gaza Port Authority on a previous attempt to break the blockade, she is certain that she did not say it on Monday morning. ”When they radioed us, we were still 100 miles away,” she explained.
Mya Guarnieri of Ma’an goes into more detail about the suspicious nature of the new clip the IDF has released, demonstrating how absurd their latest attempt to save face is. The lesson of the debacle is that nothing the IDF says can be trusted by anyone. Not ever. (Of course, that should apply to any nation’s military, and not just “the most moral army in the world”).
The IDF is now accusing (without presenting one shred of evidence) that several passengers aboard the ships in the flotilla are associated with “Al Qaeda, Hamas and other terrorist organizations.” The IDF website just lists them, with their name, age, and citizenship, states that they are linked to Al Qaeda and Hamas, et al., and that’s it. They could have picked these names out of a phone book for all anyone knows. Nevertheless, I have no doubt whatsoever that the usual suspects who accept anything Israel says as the Torah truth will believe it sans any need to verify it.
Meanwhile, Israel’s ambassador to the United States, Michael Oren, flatly rejected the possibility of an international investigation:
Israel’s powerful inner forum of seven ministers was meeting behind closed doors to seek ways to calm the international outcry over its deadly storming of a first Gaza-bound aid flotilla on May 31.
Global calls for an independent inquiry with foreign observers were to be weighed against Israel’s reluctance to submit itself to any form of international tribunal.
Israel’s ambassador to Washington said on US television that his country rejects any international investigation. “We are rejecting the idea of an international commission,” Michael Oren told “Fox News Sunday.”
“Israel is a democracy. Israel has the ability and the right to investigate itself, not to be investigated by any international board,” he added.
There is no provision in international law allowing self-defined “democracies” to investigate their own alleged violations of international law. That’s the same claim the United States makes — that we should not be bound by enforcement mechanisms in international law such as the International Criminal Court in The Hague. It’s just another way of saying “We are above the law.”