"Don't talk about destroying Israel?" BRILLIANT!
January 20, 2006 6:19 AM   Subscribe

Hamas pays consultant for "image makeover." Hamas has paid an image consultant £100,000 to help "project the right image" of the organization. Actual tips the consultant gave Hamas included "talk about Palestinian suffering" and "don't talk about destroying Israel."
posted by XQUZYPHYR (38 comments total)
 
It would appear that Hamas is paying good money for blindingly obvious advice from consultants just like any other organization. I particularly liked the way the consultant told one leader to cut off his dyed red beard beacuse people laughed at it.
posted by TedW at 6:25 AM on January 20, 2006


Here is a free tip from a non-consultant: have Hamas turn in weapons to a central authority; amend their "mandate" to allow maps etc of Israel to really exist.

We live now in a world of images, for sure, but blowing up people who are not military is not good for one's image.

Hamas is showing political strength mainly because its opposition --Fatah--is so corrupt, inefficient, and helpless. But Israel will not work with Hamas for statehood until terror (yes: terror, not militants) no longer threaten Israel's existence.
posted by Postroad at 6:30 AM on January 20, 2006


Maybe they can borrow that Burger King guy. Everybody loves him...no?
posted by lobstah at 6:32 AM on January 20, 2006


Is Karen Hughes involved in this?

Maybe they should change their name to Hummus. Everyone loves hummus.
posted by Biblio at 6:34 AM on January 20, 2006


I would think the Burger King guy combined with a Hamas bomber would look somewhat like the guy from V for Vendetta.

On Preview: Postroad, you understand that you ruin a joke by explaining the humor, correct? Did you smile for even, you know, ten seconds? Anything? Please?
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 6:37 AM on January 20, 2006


Any organization goes through a maturation process in which it inexorably becomes bloated and inefficient. Hiring a consultant is just one step in the process. Soon Hamas will be creating a new committee (or subcommittee) to deal with each new issue. Expect to see a revised Hamas Mission Statement as soon as that committee can agree on the wording.
posted by spock at 6:49 AM on January 20, 2006


I recommend bikini waxes.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 6:55 AM on January 20, 2006


Bin Laden's consultant wrote that taped letter the other day.
posted by beagle at 7:01 AM on January 20, 2006


Maybe they can borrow that Burger King guy.

I'm not sure the Subservient Chicken is our best hope for peace in the middle east?
posted by bwerdmuller at 7:18 AM on January 20, 2006


I wonder if this is tied to the spate of articles about how Sharon is this great statesman and peace-lover, thus completely ignoring his militant past. Hamas knows they're losing the PR fight in every way possible (ignorning the validity of their arguments, which of course plays a critical role on one's PR).

Or maybe with recent concessions from Israel they see an opportunity to go mainstream, which will involve them radicaly changing their ways which may not be to the liking of the supporters or leaders. Dunno, but it is an interesting turn of events.
posted by skallas at 7:18 AM on January 20, 2006


Also, Hamas is almost neck to neck with Abbas's government in recent polls, so the need to be seen as a legitimate political organization could have led to an image makeover.
posted by skallas at 7:22 AM on January 20, 2006


We live now in a world of images, for sure, but blowing up people who are not military is not good for one's image.

And neither is shooting defenceless kids and erecting great fucking walls.

Both sides don't need a PR camapiagn, they need a bit of common sense and humanity knocked into them.

And Postroad, statements like the following are so one-sided:

But Israel will not work with Hamas for statehood until terror (yes: terror, not militants) no longer threaten Israel's existence.

Israel poses a very real threat to the average Palestinians existence, they are currently engaged in state terror (yes: terror, not defence)
posted by twistedonion at 7:32 AM on January 20, 2006


"Hamas has an image problem. The Israelis were able to create a very bad image of the Palestinians in general and particularly Muslims and Hamas. My contract is to project the right image,"

At what point does a group's image reflect the the actual actions of a group? Hamas doesn't have an image problem, their image simply reflects who they are, a group who sends out people to blow themselves up in an effort to kill other people.

The most ridiculous part of this is that it will, to some degree, work.
posted by 517 at 7:37 AM on January 20, 2006


NYtimes describing Al Aqsa TV mentioned in this article: Hey Kids, It's Uncle Hazim Time
posted by jrb223 at 7:38 AM on January 20, 2006


I think Hamas would be wise to go with a pink or skin-toned lipstick. It just suits their complexion.
posted by Astro Zombie at 7:49 AM on January 20, 2006


Funniest. Thing. Ever.

Did you guys see that article on the Palestinian stand up comics?

Democracy: It's all about 1) Money; 2) Image; 3) Not taking authority seriously.
posted by ewkpates at 8:02 AM on January 20, 2006


They should learn from the greats. Rule number one in war PR: always remember to call your victims either "mistakes" or "collateral damage".
posted by funambulist at 8:05 AM on January 20, 2006


Maybe they can borrow that Burger King guy.

Forget the Buger King guy, how about the 6 Flags Dancing Oldguy. Combine that with a Vengaboys song and you've got gold.
posted by phirleh at 8:06 AM on January 20, 2006


I retreat: Osama is not a terrorist...he is a freedom fighter and a militant
posted by Postroad at 8:12 AM on January 20, 2006


but blowing up people who are not military is not good for one's image.

just ask Rummy!
posted by PenguinBukkake at 8:16 AM on January 20, 2006


Hamas needs to take lessons from the IRA, or better, the ANC: armed struggle is counter-productive when trying to do anything beyond resistance. To really affect change and take power, violence has to be renounced.

On the flip side, Israel needs to learn from the British experience: sometimes you have to negotiate in good faith with terrorists to stop them being terrorists.
posted by bonehead at 8:16 AM on January 20, 2006


I retreat: Osama is not a terrorist...he is a freedom fighter and a militant

Nope, he's a nutbag and a Saudi Millionaire. Where's the connection?
posted by twistedonion at 8:19 AM on January 20, 2006


Well, Postroad, according to Washington, he and his ilk were, a while back, not too long ago, when the Russians were still the bad guys. I know, I know, it's nothing you didn't know before but next time try and keep in mind the origins and usage of that "freedom fighter" moniker...
posted by funambulist at 8:20 AM on January 20, 2006


Isn't this essentially what Arafat and the PLO did? I'm not sure they used an image consultant though.

I think they should hire Ted, Carson, Thom, Jai and Kyan to do a complete makeover - queer eye for the jihad guy.
posted by batou_ at 8:20 AM on January 20, 2006


Hamas needs to take lessons from the IRA, or better, the ANC: armed struggle is counter-productive when trying to do anything beyond resistance. To really affect change and take power, violence has to be renounced.

On the flip side, Israel needs to learn from the British experience: sometimes you have to negotiate in good faith with terrorists to stop them being terrorists.


Exactly. A bit of humanity and understanding on both sides please.

People do not blow themselves up or take up any sort of armed struggle just for kicks.
posted by twistedonion at 8:24 AM on January 20, 2006


Exactly. A bit of humanity and understanding on both sides please.

Eventually you have to actually MAKE A DECISION and get off your PC liberal pot and pick which side works better for you own society's future and back that one.
posted by HTuttle at 8:42 AM on January 20, 2006


Eventually you have to actually MAKE A DECISION and get off your PC liberal pot and pick which side works better for you own society's future and back that one.

Why the fuck should I pick sides? What happens in Israel has no bearing on my existence in Ireland.

If I had got of my 'PC liberal pot' at home I'd either be classified a bigot by one section of my community or a terrorist by the other.

Instead of picking sides is it not more reasonable to accept there is no black and white. I like to try and discern the issues on both sides. That way I'm informed and not a mindless tribalistic retard.
posted by twistedonion at 8:52 AM on January 20, 2006


Man, and I thought I had bitchy clients ... imagine working with THESE guys.

"No ... Yeah, but ... I understand Tariq but ... Yes, I agree with you, but that's really going to slip your deadline Tariq. What do you mean we've got to stay on shcedule? With changes like this? I'll do what I can but-HEY! Don't say that about my family!"
posted by Relay at 9:01 AM on January 20, 2006


Bravo, twistedonion.
posted by lackutrol at 9:05 AM on January 20, 2006


You've missed the point HTuttle: You don't get peace by imposition of force, at least not in the modern world. See: East Timor, Sri Lanka, the Sudan, every single Balkan state (save one). Exceptions include Cambodia and Burma.

Israel has been stuck for the past 30 odd years because the PLO had not figured this out. If Hamas can, a hope more than a reality right now, and Israelis can stuff socks in the Zionists' mouths for long enough, a lasting peace may be achievable. The alternatives are continuing violence on both sides, or genocide. Historically those are the options.
posted by bonehead at 9:21 AM on January 20, 2006


I think a big step would be taking the call for the destruction of Israel out of the Charter of Hamas if it hasn't been taken out already. The UN created and recognizes Israel, but did neither for Hamas. "International Law" recognizes Israel, so WTF, Hamas?

Take a look at the following pictures. Anyone recognize a Seig Heil style Nazi salute in there? Why would any Jew in their right mind negotiate with a group who adopted that? Or do we think that Hamas doesn't do that intentionally?

And the full covering of the face? Obviously it's for the protection of the identities of the members so they're not killed, but look at the pictures - all you see is guns, knives, bombs, a baby wearing a bomb belt, and folks who look like they'd be comfortable at a Klan rally.

It's going to take more than a PR campaign.
posted by swerdloff at 9:43 AM on January 20, 2006


Ok...let us try a different approach. The problem is NOT that Israel will or will not negotiate etc but that the ARABS in the entire region do not want Israel there. Now I am referring also to those few states (Jordan and Egypt) that have made a modest treaty with Israel. How to work around this?

Have the Arab League recognize Israel's right to exist, loud and clear. And then let them tell Palestinians to negotiate in good faith or they get no help from Arab nations. Tell next Israel that they have been recognized and now must negotiate in good faith too.

Will it happen? NO. Why?
posted by Postroad at 10:29 AM on January 20, 2006


... "don't talk about destroying Israel."

I would have lost that bet. I was sure this thread would contain a quote from Fawlty Towers.
posted by George_Spiggott at 11:29 AM on January 20, 2006


I am dying, dying to hear Thomas Friedman's take on this.
posted by selfmedicating at 12:17 PM on January 20, 2006


I guess they could start with a 'rebranding', change HAMAS to 'Happy Funny People With Balloons and incorporate *lots* of pink ! ! !
posted by mk1gti at 1:02 PM on January 20, 2006


Wonder if Naomi Wolf can lend a hand?
posted by MiltonRandKalman at 1:44 PM on January 20, 2006


Seems pretty sensible: Israels been kicking their ass as far as PR goes for years.
posted by Artw at 4:39 PM on January 20, 2006


The Israelis were able to create a very bad image of the Palestinians in general and particularly Muslims and Hamas.

No, actually you guys took care of that bad image thing all by yourself with all this blowing pizza parlors and their patrons to pieces shit.


I'm personally against killing.

But my Hamas friends are all for it, of course.

All civilians should not be killed.

Only teh jews.

Killing Israeli civilians is not accepted by the international community.

My Hamas friends are totally OK with it though.

They think it is a terrorist act.

Guess what, dude, they're right!
posted by sour cream at 8:57 AM on January 21, 2006


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