Monday, August 27, 2012

The HuffPo Hearts Hamas

Okay, this post is not quite as shocking as the title implies but the title definitely fits. The Huffington Post blogger Monica Bauer, ostensibly writing about the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, has decided to provide some free advertising to a blatant Palestinian propaganda play called, "I Heart Hamas." This title doesn't appear to bother Ms. Bauer.
"One of the bravest titles in the Edinburgh Fringe Festival surely must be Jennifer Jajeh's one-woman show about discovering her deeper Palestinian identity, "I Heart Hamas.""
Although Ms. Bauer claims that the production is not "Palestinian propaganda," it sure comes off that way, even given the filter through which we learn about it. Like take this for example:
"Very few Americans are of Palestinian descent. Their point of view is largely missing in mainstream American culture. " 
What does that have to do with the Edinburgh theater festival? Oh wait, it turns out that Ms. Jajeh is not born Palestinian, but an American who self-identifies as one.
"She's an American, raised in American schools, a product of American theater and American music and American culture. When she goes back to Palestine to live with relatives and search out her roots, she gets caught during the Intifada, perhaps the grimmest period in modern Palestinian history." 
I can't help but wonder what the reaction of the Huffington Post would be to an American Jew who goes to Israel to discover her roots and making a play about it called "I Heart Ovadia Yosef." Though as Ms. Bauer admits, she isn't going to judge the views of others since "Where you stand depends on where you sit." How convenient. Anyway we get the usual biased views of the intifada years, whether from Bauer or Jajeh I couldn't say:
"We are all in this together, and "this" means checkpoints with arrogant soldiers, children shot, bombs dropped. And not all of this violence comes from Israelis; suicide bombers and Hamas fighters are also on the scene."
"On the scene" but not shooting children or dropping bombs. Hell no. And considering the title of the play, I very much doubt that the truth about Hamas or their supporters ever came out. Ms. Jajeh did not grow up in this situation, she is distanced from it. She could give her audience an objective account of what happened. But according to Ms. Bauer, that was never the goal:
"But when there is a living, breathing person not more than ten feet from our faces in a 40-seat Fringe theater, this mechanism may become more consciously known to us. We may set things aside, not forever, but for 90 minutes. Is this propaganda? Film can be made into propaganda with ease, we all know this. But theater is not so well-suited to propaganda."
Ha! Sure it's not. The anti-Zionists have been using propaganda in all its forms for years. Propaganda can be theater, just like anything else. All you need is someone willing to lie. Even stuff like IDF Soldiers Speak Out, which is pro-Israel, is a form of propaganda since I doubt the IDF are telling the whole truth. Unlike Ms. Bauer I'm not naive about what people involved with a nasty conflict like this one will do in order to get a perceived leg up on their enemies.
"Politics demonizes. Theater humanizes. Some prefer their demons. But that may be a harder preference to maintain, after understanding why Jennifer "hearts" Hamas."
Uh huh. Now if Ms. Bauer was going to defend Hamas like that it would have been nice to know the reason. She never says why Ms. Jajeh loves Hamas so much, presumably expecting us to go and see the play to find out. Instead this is just another Huffington Post pro-Palestinian propaganda piece. What else is new?

Let's conclude with a Huffington Poster who also "hearts Hamas:"

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