Friday, June 04, 2010

So Now We Know What's Happened to the Tapes

The IDF are deliberately re-editing and re-contextualizing the material, using it as propaganda.

Here is a good post regarding the IDF clips on the New York Times lede blog. Robert Mackey notes in it that the images the army released lack context. My only remark is that they were deliberately taken out of context.

The way Israel is withholding information is very troubling. If the army has nothing to hide, why not release the material? Naturally, Israel is also refusing to address the bigger questions, such as why the flotilla was attacked in international waters, and if so, whether the passengers actually had the right to resist the soldiers’ attempt to board their vessel.

The worse effect of this PR war is on the Israeli public, which now views the entire flotilla as a terrorist enterprise. One can see the effect of this nationalistic mood in the way the members of Knesset almost physically attacked MK Zoabi today (video here). In fact, the government’s campaign was so successful, many protested the release of the detained passengers, claiming “the terrorists” should be “brought to justice”.

All this leads to the conclusion that only an internationally led investigation might shed some light on the events on the Mavi Marmara. Even so, the chances the IDF will give full access to the materials and soldiers are slim at best.
We already know that they're willing to create misleading footage from the night-vision clip that's been seen everywhere. Now they've got a clip out of the activists repelling IDF attempts to storm the ship from the water showing, among other things, a stun grenade being thrown at the boat without showing where it came from. That's important, considering that the IDF were firing stun grenades at the people on the ship pretty much from the beginning. They were having their own stun grenades used against them. Not exactly unfair.

Thing is, even if the IDF has managed to bring the majority of Israelis onside, it's not going to work outside of the US-Israel axis. Everybody else is listening to the activists, and they aren't liking what they're hearing. It is transparently obvious that the IDF has something to hide.  By being so deceptive, they're only ensuring that they will have that much less real credibility.

This won't quell the anger. Nor should it.

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