Israel admits it altered flotilla audio
The Israeli military admitted on Saturday that it had released a misleading audio recording of a radio transmission with the “Freedom Flotilla” aid convoy in which activists are allegedly heard telling Israeli soldiers to “shut up, go back to Auschwitz.”
The military released a statement indicating that a recording it made public on June 4th had been edited to remove the context around the offending statements, which also included an unidentified man saying, “We’re helping the Arabs go against the US. Don’t forget 9/11.”
“So to clarify: the audio was edited down to cut out periods of silence over the radio as well as incomprehensible comments so as to make it easier for people to listen to the exchange,” the military spokesperson’s office said. “We have now uploaded the entire segment of 5 minutes and 58 seconds in which the exchange took place and the comments were made.”
This statement comes after American journalist Max Blumenthal reported that several aspects of the “Auschwitz” video were suspect. The military claimed that the radio exchange was with the Turkish ship Mavi Marmara, whereas in the recording the voice of flotilla organizer Huwaida Arraf is heard. Arraf was not on the Mavi Marmara, and was on a smaller passenger boat in the flotilla, the Challenger One. Huwaida confirmed to the Institute For Middle East Understanding (IMEU) that her voice appeared in the apparently doctored clip.
This is the “edited” (or doctored) audio clip:
This is what Israel claims is the unedited radio transmission:
However, the release of the new “unedited audio” raises further questions. In the “unedited tape,” the Israeli officer is heard radioing the “Defne Y” another of the Turkish-owned ships, not the Mavi Marmara.
In the new audio released on Saturday, a man’s voice comes over the radio at 1:56 saying “Yeah go ahead, navy.” Oddly, the same voice reappears at 2:24 saying the same thing. The intonation of his voice is the same in both places.
The Israeli military also did not explain the discrepancy between the video released on June 4th, and the one it released on May 31st, which depicts the same Israeli soldier apparently contacting the Mavi Marmara over the radio, in which the “Auschwitz” and 9/11 comments do not appear.
This is the original May 31st video:
Update: Mya Guarnieri, writing for Ma’an, reports that Huwaida Arraf was listening to the flotilla’s radio transmission as the ship approached Gaza, and said she did not hear any of the alleged remarks released by the Israeli military:
“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.