Israel admits it altered flotilla audio

Jared Malsin

June 5, 2010

New York – 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

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


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