Israeli Army can’t provide evidence of flotilla’s violent plans, story unravels

on 27 Comments
Israelis woke up on June 27 to a front page Jerusalem Post story claiming flotilla passengers planned violence against soldiers. The story has completely unraveled.

Israelis woke up to a front page Jerusalem Post story claiming flotilla passengers planned violence against soldiers. The story has completely unraveled.

On June 27, the Israeli army released a highly suspect claim that passengers on the flotilla planned to kill and maim Israeli soldiers. The claim looks like yet another anti-flotilla hoax emanating from Israeli government channels.

Today, I reached an official from the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit after placing several calls and an email to the office requesting proof to support the army’s claim. The official was unable to supply me with one piece of evidence. Instead, she said, “Basically there’s a trust between the IDF and reporters. And like in any other army, you know, a senior IDF source says something, people are inclined to believe it because this is somebody high up, this is somebody that has a lifetime of experience and credibility and this is like any other army.”

When I asked why anyone would report such a claim without seeing any firm evidence, the army spokesperson said, “If there were something we probably would give it but because of sensitivities we can’t expand further.”

Listen to the whole interview here:

IDF Spokesperson 06-29-2011 by maxblumenthal

Despite an apparent lack of evidence, the army’s disinformation found its way into top Israeli newspapers through a select group of military correspondents including the Jerusalem Post’s Yaakov Katz. Katz reported that flotilla passengers planned to kill Israeli soldiers and that they were bringing “bags of sulfur” to attack the soldiers. “This is a chemical weapon, and if poured on a soldier it can paralyze him,” an unnamed army source told Katz. “If the sulfur is then lit on fire, the soldier will light up like a torch.” Yedioth Aharanot’s Hanan Greenberg also reported, “IDF fears flotilla activists will try to kill Israeli soldiers.” And Haaretz hyped the claim in Hebrew.

Today, the army’s story was exposed as disinformation. First, Yedioth Aharonot military correspondent Alex Fishman reported, “There is no information that there is going to be a group of radicals on board that will form a hard core of violent resistance against IDF soliders. Nor is there any clear information about live weapons that will be on board the ships.” Then, a group of Israeli government ministers accused the army of “media spin” and “public relations hysteria” for claiming the flotilla passengers planned to attack soldiers with chemical weapons.

And now, an Israeli army official (who curiously did not want to give me her name) has refused to supply me with any evidence to support the army’s wild claims. As I wrote during Israel’s disinformation spree in the wake of last year’s flotilla, nothing the Israeli army says can be trusted. Unfortunately, many reporters still accept the army’s claims on trust, while others do not even bother to investigate.

This post originally appeared on Max Blumenthal’s blog.

27 Responses

  1. justicewillprevail
    June 29, 2011, 3:18 pm

    Ha ha, the usual Israeli lies and slander exposed for once. About time they were pulled up on their fabrications. What they don’t seem to realise is how transparent and amateur their useless lying is, as we saw with last year’s flotilla. Anybody with an ounce of knowledge about the situation would just laugh at their cack-handed attempts and ludicrous fabrications. It only confirms how utterly out of touch they are. Now if only these corporate editors would wake up, but we know why they toe the line.

  2. NimaShirazi
    June 29, 2011, 3:36 pm

    Why does the IDF spokeswomen sound like she’s from the United States? Oh right…never mind.

  3. hophmi
    June 29, 2011, 3:49 pm

    Well, at least you actually were honest about who you were. I’d say whomever you spoke to was pretty nice.

    • Chaos4700
      June 29, 2011, 7:58 pm

      Well, at least you actually were honest about who you were.

      Pretty much unlike every single Zionist I have ever met. Especially the ones pretending to be lawyers when they’re repeatedly shown to have no practical knowledge of actual law whatsoever. I’m amused by the fact that you find somebody not misrepresenting themselves such a novel concept, hophmi.

    • Elliot
      June 29, 2011, 8:03 pm

      @ hophmi:
      Nice. That’s a good summary of the call. So, Israeli reporters broadcast a story that defames the character of the flotilla activists as part of the effort to justify brutalizing them when they arrive off the coast of Gaza.
      Max Blumenthal asks the Israeli military for confirmation that it gave Israeli military reporters any evidence at all for this dangerous story – and all he got in return was empty niceness.
      May I add to your kudos. She didn’t lie. Very nice.

  4. ToivoS
    June 29, 2011, 3:58 pm

    Israeli propaganda is getting more and more absurd. Yesterday the fake pinkwashing video and today this. Sulfur as a chemical weapon? It is classified as non-toxic. But I do see where the Israelis may live in fear of it. In the bible it is called brimstone and isn’t there some biblical reference to fire and brimstone raining down from the heavens as God’s punishment for some transgression or another.

    • eGuard
      June 29, 2011, 6:26 pm

      Maybe they messed it up with phosphor. Mentally.

    • lysias
      June 29, 2011, 7:13 pm

      When I smoked, I used to carry sulphur around in my pocket, as one of the ingredients of match heads is sulphur.

    • RoHa
      June 30, 2011, 2:22 am

      “Sulfur as a chemical weapon? It is classified as non-toxic.”

      When I was a very small boy, I had powdered sulphur blown into my throat to alleviate a sore throat.

      Sulphur was a common ingredient in the chemistry sets we played with as kids. Science lessons in the lab often included copious amounts of the stuff. And right now I have some skin cream that includes precipitated sulphur.

      Maybe I’m dead, and just haven’t noticed yet.

    • ToivoS
      June 30, 2011, 4:19 am

      I checked out the fire and brimstone story after posting this. It looks like it is the literal hell. Do Jews of any stripe believe in this? I am curious. Is it possible that some crazed fundamentalist Jew in the IDF came up with this brimstone (sulfur) story based on his paranoid fears of Gods revenge?

      I really do not know where these nuts are coming from. Hophmi, eee let me know?

  5. gingershot
    June 29, 2011, 3:59 pm


    We love you, Max

  6. seafoid
    June 29, 2011, 4:19 pm

    An Israeli uh airhead . Is it uh Bar Rafaeli ?

    This sort of exposure is never supposed to be made public.
    It is so damaging to the Zionist culture of lies.
    And it raises huge questions about basic Israeli competence in a world that no longer gives
    Israel the benefit of the doubt.

    Kudos to Max Blumenthal.

  7. annie
    June 29, 2011, 7:48 pm

    they lie with impunity whenever it suits them

  8. Chaos4700
    June 29, 2011, 8:03 pm

    Hold on! I found a video that actually demonstrates the threat of deploying sulfur in an armed conflict on YouTube! It’s right here! No wonder the IDF is so frightened!

  9. radii
    June 29, 2011, 9:27 pm

    I love the audio and the audio player in the post, Max … israel’s been doing that to all U.S. electronic communications for over 20 years through its “maintenance back doors” and front companies like Amdocs and Comverse

  10. Citizen
    June 29, 2011, 9:50 pm

    Meanwhile, hows that claim by the Israel Law Center doing, the one that claims the US flotilla boat is not seaworthy? And did you know the Irish flotilla boast has been sabotaged by the Israelis, and is no longer sea worthy?
    US crew better guard their boat day and night before it leaves the dock.

    • annie
      June 29, 2011, 9:54 pm

      yes i knew that about the irish boat. horrible. it was a violent attack. i prepared a draft of the statements, hope phil or adam get it up soon.

    • Chaos4700
      June 29, 2011, 9:56 pm

      Call me paranoid but I suspect Israel wants the US boat to get within range of its naval guns. We all know there are zero consequences for Israel as far as Obama and the Senate are concerned and Israeli mentality lends itself to murdering people “to make an example of them.”

  11. thetumta
    June 29, 2011, 10:10 pm

    Sulfuric acid. Good idea. Especially if you can meter it into the ship’s fire fighting system. Hose em down with slightly acidic water. Just bad enough to make the pirates very uncomfortable. Better than being gassed with CN teargas as the flotilla crew will undoubtedly face if their lucky. Otherwise they will get “Furkined”. Two in the back and one in the face, point blank. The State Department will be somber, but unapologetic, yet again. Americans murdered on the high seas and no response. Who will respond?

  12. MLE
    June 30, 2011, 3:54 am

    This is why I hate PEP people. If this were the US government, my family would be out on a donation spree to all opposition organizations and would be writing our senators and congresspeople demanding action. Because its Israel, she says, “Well it was bad that they did that, but the ends justify the means”. Then she gets mad I’m ignoring my heritage.

    I’m curious what the lurking Zionists feel about this… does this behavior upset you? If it does, what are YOU doing to try to make it better?

  13. Lightbringer
    June 30, 2011, 7:59 am

    “Israeli Army can’t provide evidence of flotilla’s violent plans,”
    Evidence of plans?

    Why won’t you ask for evidence of thoughts?

    • Chaos4700
      June 30, 2011, 9:21 am

      You know when someone is accused of “conspiracy to commit murder” charges, the evidence isn’t telepathic in nature.

      You should stand back from that straw man, by the way. I can tell you from experience it’s going to burn really, really hot.

  14. Lightbringer
    June 30, 2011, 11:06 am

    But how someone could be accused of a conspiracy?
    Generally there is three options:
    1 – Police accidentally checks, say, a car which belongs to accused, and finds a sniper rifle and an photographic image of alleged victim with reticle drawn on it’s forehead.

    Obviously, it’s not the case.

    2 – A member of the gang which is planning to, say, rob a bank, tips off his friend in police department and tells that some substantial evidence might be found in a garage.
    Although the plan is now known to police, they still have to operate without any evidence and it’s up to a judge or whoever it is to give a search warrant – still without any evidence.

    Now there is some similarities with this flotilla case, is there not?

    3 – Someone under police surveillance for previous crimes, suspicions or wrong acquaintances – you know, telephone is monitored, cellphone too, listening device in a car, another one in the house, small antenna to receive computer keyboard key presses, etc. – he farts, police knows at the very same second.
    So, all of the sudden this guy – or a girl – started to have long, enciphered conversations, and conducts all kinds of suspicious activities.\
    So now police knows that something is going on, but still they have to ask for a search warrant without any substantial evidence.

    This case might have some similarities to flotilla too since organizers are well known, and there is no way for someone not professional – and sometimes for professionals too – to actually detect professional surveillance.

  15. Lightbringer
    June 30, 2011, 11:20 am

    p.s. What straw is going to burn?
    Sorry but my English is apparently not good enough.

  16. stevieb
    June 30, 2011, 12:44 pm

    They lie, and lie in the most ridiculous, easily-disproven way possible – because there is no concequences for their lying.

    I’m sure they think it’s hilarious..

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