This is a cross-post by Ben Cohen of Z-Word
The IDF has now released an official clarification regarding the audio released yesterday of a radio communication in which a flotillista tells the Israeli Navy to “Go Back to Auschwitz.” Bottom line: the exchange is genuine. Those who questioned its authenticity – like Max Blumenthal and Ali Abunimah – have yet again revealed to the world that their grasp of such trifling matters as truth and falsehood is shaky at best.
The accusation that the audio was fake rested on the following “A-ha!” moment: labeled on YouTube as originating from the Mavi Marmara, the audio contained the voice of a passenger (Huwaida Arraf of the ghastly International Solidarity Movement) who was traveling on another ship in the flotilla. The IDF subsequently explained that the audio was incorrectly labeled, because what was recorded came from an open channel which all the ships in the flotilla could access. In any other context, the mislabeling would be seen as an honest, and rather insignificant, mistake, but in the fevered imagination of Max Blumenthal, it becomes a conspiracy.
Now that the principal argument for the faking accusation has been decisively hobbled, what other evidence exists to support Blumenthal? He accepts that the exchange occurred, if only because his pal Huwaida makes an appearance. So is he saying that the IDF doctored the tape and inserted the voices? Read his blog and you’ll see that he is, because he doesn’t find the foreign accents he hears convincing (I’ll bet Blumenthal hasn’t met that many foreigners, so he doesn’t get that one person can speak with American, Arabic, Francophone and many other inflections in their voice.) Not quite the smoking gun, in any case.
Back in the real world, the Rachel Corrie docked in Ashdod without incident and Hamas is back to doing what it does best: making the lives of ordinary Gazans a hellish misery. Since Blumenthal is unlikely to write about any of these things, perhaps he might find a moment to pen a quick retraction/humble apology for making accusations that are, to use his favorite word, “idiotic.”