One of the first people to disseminate a mysterious YouTube video condemning the upcoming Gaza Freedom Flotilla has confirmed to The Electronic Intifada that he works at the office of the Israeli Prime Minister. Guy Seemann denied strongly however that he disseminated the video as part of his work for the Israeli government.
The video appeared on YouTube yesterday from a previously unknown “gay rights” activist named “Marc.” Benjamin Doherty pointed out some unbelievable elements of the video and described it as “pinkwashing.”
“Marc” claimed to be a gay rights activist who wanted to join the flotilla but was disillusioned to learn that the organizers would not welcome him because he’s gay, and then goes on to describe the flotilla as little more than an effort to support virulently anti-gay Islamist organizations.
Max Blumenthal investigated the earliest instances of the video being shared through social media and noted the connection to Seemann and to a Neil Lazarus, a communications consultant who has worked for the Israeli prime minister’s office and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
“Marc’s” Israeli accent, the professional production of the video, and other elements suggest that rather then being a genuine video blog from an activist, it is a piece of carefully designed Israeli propaganda designed to coincide with both the flotilla and the observance of gay and lesbian pride month around the world.
Seemann confirms he works for Israeli prime minister’s office
The Electronic Intifada reached Seemann by telephone. Seemann confirmed that he tweeted the video from the Twitter account @GuySeemann, which he had opened on 15 June 2011. Although it was the only item to appear in his timeline, Seemann denied that he opened the Twitter account expressly to disseminate the video.
Seemann explained that he received the video from a “friend” and decided to share it: “I was sent an email by this person [containing the video] and I sent it out as well.” Seemann said he did not know who “Marc” was. Seemann told The Electronic Intifada that he had watched the video and approved of its message.
Asked about online biographical information that he works in the office of the Israeli Prime Minister, Seemann at first refused to confirm or deny, but when pressed stated:
“Yes I work at the prime minister’s office, and no this video has no connection. It happens to be that I’m Jewish and I work in Israel. I’m sure that you get a million videos sent to you, just because you work for The Electronic Intifada.”
Seemann deletes his tweet
Shortly after The Electronic Intifada spoke to Seemann he deleted the tweet which he had ackowledged making:
The Government Press Office of Israel had also promoted the video and referenced Guy Seemann’s Twitter account. https://twitter.com/GPOIsrael/status/84340867611115520
The Government Press Office also promoted Seemann with a “follow Friday” tweet.
From the record, it seems like an extraordinary coincidence that Seemann would spontaneously decide to open a personal Twitter account, and that within a short time the Israeli Government Press Office would be aware of it and then reference him as a source for the video, without some offline communication.