The Free Gaza Flotilla
Israeli attack on the Mavi Marmara: Propaganda, dirty tricks and cover-up
1. The man with the dagger
The Israelis called him a "knife-brandishing 'peace activist' aboard the Mavi Marmara". The man with the large dagger 'attacking Israeli commandos'. Quite a scary picture until one looks closely. The man in question is Mohammad al-Hazmi, a Yemeni lawmaker, showing his ceremonial dagger (Jambiya), which is part of the traditional Yemeni dress and still carried by many men in Yemen, as you can see on the right.
Althought the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs still claims that this is a photo of a man attacking Israeli commandos, it is a little suspect as evidence:
- In the background, daylight is streaming through the windows, yet the Israeli attack took place at night.
- None of the people around him are wearing lifejackets, yet virtually all the passengers were wearing them after the attack started.
- The people around him appear relaxed, taking photos, smiling and clapping.
- The photo itself is not a fake but the attribution is. Mohammad al-Hazmi was not threatening the commandos during the attack but showing the dagger as part of a group activity earlier on the voyage.
- The dagger also appears amongst the various knife 'weapons' that the Israeli claim were used against them. It is clearly a very old ceremonial item unfit for aggressive use.
- The photograph was in a passenger's camera illegally confiscated (stolen) by the Israelis. (The photo date has also been altered to 'June 3rd', several days after the Israeli attack.)
- The Israelis continue to use this picture for dis-information and propaganda. In a later version of the photograph (on the right) used to front an Israeli anti-Flotilla video, this man, who was allegedly 'attacking Israeli commandos' at the time it was taken, is seen to be sitting down! Not a very good attacking stance!
- And again ... another use of the same picture, this time by the 'IDF Spokesperson', an official arm of the Israeli government. He is seen to be sitting down!
See also these links:
Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs Max Blumenthal
2. The fake "Go back to Auschwitz" video (Click on photo to link)
This is another blatant dirty tricks attempt by the Israelis to discredit the Free Gaza Flotilla and the Mavi Marmara in particular.
The original on the left was uploaded to the web by the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs on 30th May, and entitled "IDF - Navy Warns Flotilla", but oddly, dated 31 May 2010.
The version on the right, which uses part of the same video footage but overdubbed with faked replies from the flotilla, was issued on 4th June by the Israeli Defence Force (IDF) Spokesperson, a formal agency of the IDF. The title is "Video: Mavi Marmara to Israeli Navy: "We’re Helping Arabs Go Against the US, Don’t Forget 9/11 Guys". The Footage was originally held at "http://idfspokesperson.com/2010/06/04/video-mavi-marmara-to-israeli-navy-were-helping-arabs-go-against-the-us-dont-forget-911-guys-4-june-2010/" but has since been withdrawn although many copies of it still abound on the internet.
This the Israeli Defence Forces using the 'Holocaust card", the memory of Auschwitz, to falsify a video associating the people on board the Gaza relief ship with Nazism. As many other commentators have stressed, if an official Israeli government institution is prepared to use the Holocaust this way, then nothing whatever that the IDF say about this incident can be believed. The second part of the fraudulent message to associate the Free Gaza Flotilla with the terrorist organisation Al-Qaeda, is another attempt to blacken the Flotilla in the eyes of the world.