By Yvonne Ridley
The full extent of the atrocities carried out by Israeli commandos on board the Gaza Freedom Flotilla is beginning to emerge as the survivors return home with their powerful eyewitness accounts. Now would be the time, you might think, for some humility or even an apology from the Zionist state, but not content with the hole it is already in, Israel keeps on digging. And the latest piece of propaganda coming out of Tel Aviv is probably more revealing than anything else that has happened in the last week.
I am talking about an audio tape which, it is claimed, is a recording of a conversation between the Israeli naval vessels and the Turkish-owned ship Mavi Marmara. The conversation is alleged to have taken place prior to the brutal Israeli assault in which nine people were killed and scores more injured during the early hours of 31 May in international waters.
This is the transcription of tape, called by the Israelis, "Radio Transmission from Mavi Marmara to Israeli Navy":
ISRAELI SHIP: "This is the Israeli Navy, you are approaching an area which is under a naval blockade."
MAN'S VOICE 1: "Shut up, go back to Auschwitz."
WOMAN'S VOICE: "We have permission from the Gaza Port Authority to enter."
MAN'S VOICE 2: "We're helping Arabs go against the US, don't forget 9/11 guy".
If you want to listen for yourself, here is the link
When I heard the tape I recognized immediately the voice of the woman, Huwaida Arraf, a heroic Palestinian who co-founded the International Solidarity Movement and is chair of the Free Gaza Movement. We sailed together on the first FGM boat into Gaza in 2008 and her voice is very distinctive; so, yes, I can confirm that it is Huwaida's voice on the tape. However, I can also confirm that Huwaida was on board Challenger 1, a much smaller passenger ship in the six-boat flotilla; she was not on board the Mavi Marmara.
There you have it; a botched tape about a bungled operation which reveals Israel's desperation to redeem itself by any means possible.
Let's examine the transcript more closely. What it exposes is just how far Israel is prepared to go in its bid to deceive the world and justify its actions, even if it is at the cost of the memory of those blameless Jewish souls who perished in the Holocaust. By invoking the Holocaust – a favourite trick of Zionists the world over – we were all expected to recoil in horror and disgust and accept blindly the evidence put before us by these masters of mass deception. To ask questions risked leaving us open to accusations of being anti-Semitic. It is a trump card often played by Israel as it flips conveniently from villain to victim in the blink of an eye.
The fact that the Israelis have been exposed, hoisted by their own stinking petard, also reveals the extent to which the country is losing its reputation as a leader in the field of intelligence. This careless slip-up is the latest in a long line of blunders carried out by Israel's intelligence services over the past year. The Israelis used to be world leaders in the black arts of propaganda, psychological warfare and political deception, but now they have all the panache of a one-legged man in an ass-kicking competition. They have even tried to invoke the memories of 9/11, a tactic employed ruthlessly by former US President George W Bush whenever he needed to get the support of the American people. So, not content with insulting the memory of the Holocaust victims, Israel has shown it is prepared to exploit the deaths of those who perished on 9/11; clearly nothing and no one is sacred.
Today Israel stands exposed for what it is, a failed Zionist project and rogue state which sets itself above the law and which is now living on borrowed time. It is on a course towards self-destruction and at this rate it will wipe itself off the map.
*Journalist Yvonne Ridley is the European President of the International Muslim Women's Union, a member of the Free Gaza Movement, Viva Palestina and the Respect Party.
The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.