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ISRAEL: Fight over Gaza flotilla narrative continues on YouTube

Whether the Gaza Strip-bound flotilla hoped to deliver humanitarian aid, break the naval blockade, provoke Israel or a combination of the above, the incident has continued to roil diplomatic waters. Both sides have presented their versions of the event, accusing each other of manipulation.

But for those who despair of regular diplomacy or are fed up with the verbiage, there's the multimedia diplomacy scene. So as high-level diplomatic struggles continue among Israel, the U.N. and Turkey, people are slugging it out on YouTube too.

And there's humor in it, too, depending on the beholder.

Shortly after the deadly flotilla raid, an Israeli satirical website released a music clip that rocked the boat and the Internet. Latma's political humor and satire come from an Israeli right-wing perspective, an alternative to the mainstream variety perceived to be dominated by the left. They have a steady local following but made their international debut with "We Con the World" — a parody of the 1985 hit "We Are the World" — lambasting the declared humanitarian mission of the Gaza flotilla as totally bogus.

So far, it has more than 2 million views on YouTube and is the No. 1 most-discussed upload in Israel. Who knows if it would have caught on like this if Israel's government press office hadn't accidentally — or not — circulated the link to the foreign press only to recall it later, stating that it didn't reflect government opinion.

Now there's a new clip out there, presenting the opposite side and poking fun at Israel's public-relations efforts.  "Gaza Flotilla Mashup Video -- Internet Killed Israeli PR" was created by an impromptu group called Minor Demographic Threat (self-described as a "marauding band of anarcho-Yiddishist minstrels") and features some of the faces Israel sends to the media front-lines to explain its positions, such as Mark Regev and Avital Leibowitz, representatives of the prime minister's office and the Israeli military. Based on the 1979 hit "Video Killed the Radio Star," the clip mocks Israel's PR attempts in the Internet era as spin. "Bloggers came and broke your heart," they sing to Aliza Landes, the army's new-media maven who oversees uploading, blogging and tweeting Israel's message to the world.


The "mashup" was just beginning to make the cyber rounds when it got blocked in several countries. "This video is not available in your country due to terms of use violation" is the YouTube message you get in Israel.  They may have their tongue in their cheek instead of guns in their hands, but it's still a war of sorts. À la guerre comme à guerre, there's a new version replacing the one that got blocked.

Latma's "We Con the World" also was removed from YouTube at a certain stage. Copyright violation. The new counter-clip, assume the makers, is blocked due to a short (but hey, still pretty gratuitous) "guest appearance" by Hitler. The creators explain they use Hitler to protest Israel's accusation that the flotilla passengers supported Nazism and that it would be difficult to misread this as glorification. "All of us in Minor Demographic Threat are in 100% agreement that Hitler was a putz," they wrote on their YouTube channel.

— Batsheva Sobelman in Jerusalem

Videos, from top: "We Con the World." Credit: YouTube.  "Internet Killed Israeli PR." Credit: YouTube

[For the record, 9:46 a.m. Aug. 14: An earlier version of this post referred to Latma's video "We Con the World" as "We Are the World."]

Comments () | Archives (18)

@Jillian.

In both the case of Turkey (2010) and Thailand (2006), the governments of both countries required Internet Service Providers in their own country to block You Tube IP addresses. They did not ask YouTube.

Secondly, the piece was not just unavailable in Israel. It was unavailable in multiple countries that have no geo-political connection.

Once again: the reason this piece was blocked was because the video sampled the audio from "Video Killed The Radio Star" and YouTube's automated Content ID software flagged it. No conspiracy.

At this time we don' know who blocked this video in some countries and why. There are some suspicions of Israel or pro-Israeli groups involvement. One early negative comment to youtube video was from a user "rlandes7" who some believe is Richard Landes - a virulently anti-Palestnian academic at Boston University. Richard's daughter Aliza Landes is head of the North America desk of the "IDF New Media Unit" and was featured three times in the video. Pro-Israel blogger Israel Matzav also reported that Landes himself sent the video to them:

http://aliabunimah.posterous.com/idf-link-to-blocking-of-internet-killed-israe


In the past, Israeli disinformation groups have openly talked about blocking free speech on Israel. Self proclaimed internet thought police, Jewish Internet Defense Force (JIDF), brags about hacking at least one Facebook group because of what it perceived as unacceptable speech.

Another pro-Israel propaganda group, Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA), tried to thwart and censor wikipedia posts on Israel-Palestine conflict. Once their plan was revealed, wikipedia indefinitely blocked wiki account of CAMERA's "senior research analyst" - Gilad Ini. Five other CAMERA recruits were sanctioned by wikipedia. CAMERA has attacked almost every major media organization for their "alleged" bias against Israel; including CNN, NBC, NPR, CBS, LA Times, Chicago Tribune, Boston Globe, Toronto Star, Time Magazine, and even Steven Spielberg (Munich), Norwegian doctors and UN Relief and Works Agency.

http://www.briancuban.com/inside-the-jewish-internet-defense-force/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Committee_for_Accuracy_in_Middle_East_Reporting_in_America


It's rather funny to hear those complaining about Turkey's treatment of the Kurds. Where was Israel & it's supporters concern for the Kurds when their relations with Turkey was good? so hypocritical.. mark my words, if the relationship improves, you won't hear about the Kurds again ;)

Nigel,

No one is suggesting that Israel controls YouTube, however, it would not be beyond the government to request YouTube block the video for Israeli IP addresses. Thailand has done it. Turkey has done it. There's a process in place for it to happen at YouTube. All it would take is the word.

The reason it doesn't appear in a couple of countries is because the content violates the distribution in them. YouTube has an automated copyright screening process. The spoof uses the identical musical backing track, ie. a Karaoke track, with new lyrics. So YouTube's "Content ID" software flagged it.

I have a few videos on YouTube that are only available in certain countries because I (stupidly) used copyrighted music in parts of them. Here's one example that used God is a DJ by Faithless, as a track.

Your video, On Miniature Pinschers and Ski Movies , may include content that is owned or administered by these entities:
* Entity: Sony Music Entertainment Content Type: Sound Recording

In this specific example, it is banned in Argentina, Austria, Belgium, Chile, Colombia, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Malaysia, Norway, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Venezuela

Why those countries? Existing copyright agreements Sony has for that specific track, in those jurisdictions.

Therefore, the spotty availability of the spoof "The Internet Killed Israeli PR" has NOTHING to do with Israel or the brief image of Hitler. There are thousands upon thousands of YouTube videos that include images of Hitler.

Israel does not control YouTube. However oppressive the Zionist regime is, it not at the stage where it has YouTube blocking spoof video tracks so it's own citizens can't see them. That's ridiculous.

It's as ridiculous as saying that Argentina, Austria, Belgium, Chile, Colombia, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Malaysia, Norway, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, and Venezuela really hate Miniature Pinschers.

"As Israel and its allies will try their best to block this video..."

You know you're paranoid when you think that "Israel and its allies" are out there to get you and shape world opinion. After all, "Israel and its allies" have only been in existence for 62 years, and yet, amazingly, we have the same abilities as Jews of Jesus' time, and the Dark Ages, and the Middle Ages, and the 18th Century, and the 19th Century, and the 20th Century, right up to this millenium-- and all times in between- to control the world through our money and influence and overall Jewyness.

Yawn. Wake me when the Jew hating morons can come up with another excuse as to why we still exist.

Turkey kills the Kurds and no one cares...

"Turks hit PKK with chemical weapons"

Report: German newspaper says photos of dead Kurds confirm use.

BERLIN – German politicians called on Thursday for an international investigation into the reported use of chemical weapons by the Turkish military. The weapons were used against members of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), according to the online edition of the German weekly magazine Der Spiegel.

Where is the aid ship for the Kurds?

As Israel and its allies will try their best to block this video, please spread the Daily Motion, vimeo links of this video to friends. Satire is the best weapons for the oppressed! And no amount of Israeli weapons can block their global humiliation and tarnishing of image as occupation regime:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ME_NpnH7jDc

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xefi13_gaza-flotilla-video-mashup-internet_news

http://vimeo.com/14115290

Please update your link for "Internet Killed Israeli PR" as this is not working. The following are different links for the same movie on Youtube, Daily Motion and Vimeo, just in case Youtube or IDF tries to block this video. Please spread them around:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ME_NpnH7jDc

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xefi13_gaza-flotilla-video-mashup-internet_news

http://vimeo.com/14115290

Internet killed Israeli PR is brilliant, especially liked the World of Warcraft footage and that guy edited to look like he is playing air guitar.

The Israeli one just reeks of racism and bitterness kind of depressing to watch.

Self hating Jews are so pathetically hilarious. Almost as many chuckles as Uncle Adolf.

As for Latma's video, it is more of a pun on the media and spin on the so called "peace activists" . Right, peace activists with knives and clubs aren't really peace activists, but rather anti Israel, pro Hamas terrorist sympathizers. But that's just symantics right? Hasbara, right? Meanwhile Hamas is depriving the residents of Gaza of small, inconsequental freedoms that are hardly noticeable. Women can't go to the beach unless covered in burlap sacks, can't publically smoke a water pipe, etc etc.

People who enjoy MDT probably enjoy all types of hypocricy.

The second video link is broken. Use http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ME_NpnH7jDc

I liked the Internet Killed Israeli PR video.

The Israeli one, however, doesn't strike me as funny, knowing the feelings of hatred that gave rise to it and the fact that 9 humans lost their lives at the hands of IDF/Navy.

Not to mention the Gazan refugees who want to live a normal life without having to rely on aid at all, but cannot when Israel won't allow them to have the necessary tools or even a house over their heads.

It's a relief for me to know then that the Boycott of Israel is still picking up steam. Went to a meeting last night at the Olympia, Washington food co-op that was the first to join the boycott in the states. Heard some very good supporting testimony for why the co-op should maintain the policy, in the face of a Zionist uprising trying to rescind it.

And another music group has slammed the door in the face of the Israeli occupation. Frontman Maxi Jazz from Faithless issued the following statement:

All Races All Colours All Creeds Got The Same Needs.

Hi, this is Maxi Jazz and these are just some of the lyrics I perform every night with my friends known as Faithless. And this short note is for all fans and family of the band in Israel. It's fair to say that for 14 years we've been promoting goodwill, trust and harmony all around the world in our own small (but very loud!) way. Ok. We've been asked to do some shows this summer in your country and, with the heaviest of hearts, I have regretfully declined the invitation. While human beings are being wilfully denied not just their rights but their NEEDS for their children and grandparents and themselves, I feel deeply that I should not be sending even tacit signals that this is either 'normal' or 'ok'. It's neither and I cannot support it. It grieves me that it has come to this and I pray everyday for human beings to begin caring for each other, firm in the wisdom that we are all we have.
We Come 1
maxi"

Here's the original link for the Flotilla Mashup video (the one embedded in the article is a mirror copy)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ME_NpnH7jDc

The MDT video is waaaaay better. "Hey, wait a second! That's Barbara Streissand" LOL

Shouldn't you link to the original video on YouTube that was uploaded by the Minor Demographic Threat? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ME_NpnH7jDc The embedded video is not the original.

There is more evidence of nefarious Turkish actions during the attempt to break the blockade than Dubai had in accusing "36 Mossad agents" assassinating some gun running Hamanik, and this is how the LA Times decides to report on the story. No wonder there isn't peace in the Middle East. If there was, it'd be under reported, too.


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