This YouTube spoof video hit the headlines yesterday after the Israeli government circulated it to foreign journalists. Within hours, the press office emailed them to apologise, saying that it was an error. It wasn’t a very enthusastic apology, though — the press office director Danny Seaman said that he thought the clip was “fantastic”, though it did not reflect state opinion.
Given the international outrage at the attack on the flotilla, which left nine people dead, it probably wasn’t the smartest move for the government (the government!) to send out the video. It shows a group of Israelis, dressed up as Palestinians and activists, waving weapons around as they sing: “We con the world,/We con the people,/We’ll make them all believe the IDF/Is Jack the Ripper”, occasionally (off-puttingly) in exaggerated Arab accents. As the icing on the cake, it’s intercut with clips from the raid on the Mavi Marmara.
A personal low point is when they sing: “Pretending day by day,/That in Gaza there’s crisis, hunger and pain,/’Cos their billion bucks in aid/Won’t buy their basic needs,/Like some cheese, and missiles for the kids . . .”
I’m inclined to agree with the Israeli blogger Didi Remez, who said: “It shows a complete lack of understanding of how the incident is being perceived abroad.”