Sunday, February 19, 2006

Memo to Photographers: Only Happy Snaps 

Memo to Photographers,

Thank you for such a warm welcome to our new Hamas government. We'd like to take this opportunity to kick off our press relationship on the right boot. Toward that end, please accept some photograpy guidelines which we consider strictly voluntary on your part -- and please do not consider our knowledge of who you are and where your family lives as any sort of threat to coerce compliance with these wonderfully sensible suggestions.

Therefore, henceforth, there will be no more pictures of masked freedom fighters in menacing poses, unless it is for internal pamphlets or post-operational publicity. Instead, shots of older Brothers in suits and ties comfortable to the Western donor's eyes will be the norm -- we suggest, that is.

Further, you will make an effort to paint only the caring face of our party. For instance, we want the world to know that just as we swear eternal warfare and destruction for Zionists, we also kiss our happy future freedom fighters, just like that criminal Bush does.

Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh holds a baby [...] REUTERS/Mohammed Salem
You will stress our interfaith outreach with photos of brotherly love -- perhaps something like this photo, that could even be used for a "Gee, your beard smells terrific" shampoo advertisement:

The spokesman of the Greek Orthodox Church in Jerusalem Atallah Hanna, left, meets the Islamic group Hamas' new parliament member Mohammed Abu Teir [...] [they] issued a statement condemning the publication of Prophet Muhammad caricatures in European media.(AP Photo/Oded Balilty)
You may have noticed that the Western media has done a subtle but effective job of painting incoming lawmaker Mariam Farhat as a less than compassionate mother for the exemplary job she has done dispatching three of her sons to the jihad pile. Nothing could be further from the truth. A few select photos emphasizing she still has more sons left in her quiver, photos delicately perched on that thin line between worship of motherhood and murder, could really help her achieve that coveted Ashrawi level of PR sexiness.

Mariam Farhat , 56, and her son Mouman [...] Farhat said her late son , Mohammed, 18, had cut the fence in a 2002 attack on the Jewish settlement of Atzmona in Gaza in which he killed five Israeli teenagers before being shot to death. Farhat will be among 74 Hamas lawmakers [...] (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)
In short, your photos from here on should help create the picture of an idyllic Palestinian society led by the solid Islamic principles we embody. There is no dissent here. Everyone is happy and eager to begin pursuit of our unwavering national goals.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, also known as Abu Mazen, reacts during the swearing-in session of the incoming Palestinian Parliament [...] (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)
Ok, we're going to have to have a talk with Mr. Abbas. A long talk. Off camera.

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