While many Israelis make light of Hamas’ propaganda, mocking the broken Hebrew used in their campaigns, the movement's public relations system is making international strides with its operators using not only traditional media, but also social networks, particularly in the US and Europe.
Those managing the spread of information are both people who work independently and activists who devote all their time to try to explain the Palestinian-Gazan narrative to the world.
Ali Abunimah is an American citizen with Palestinian roots who lives in Chicago and is one of the founders of the “Electronic Intifada” website.
The site, that normally tries to provide counter arguments to Israeli hasbara, had been making use of all of its possible measures in the past three weeks in order to explain the military campaign in the Gaza Strip in English from a Palestinian, pro-Hamas perspective.
This does not necessarily mean that the website serves as a mouthpiece for Hamas, but it is certainly a mouthpiece for the Palestinian resistance as such.
In contrast to Hamas websites, “Electronic Intifada” refrains from uploading horrific pictures of bodies, taking into consideration that the American public would not.tolerate such images, but it does feature various intellectuals who write articles condemning Israel.
On Tuesday, for example, the site published an opinion piece titled “To the family of the one thousandth victim of Israel’s genocidal slaughter in Gaza” by historian Ilan Pappe who renounced his Israeli citizenship. The website highlighted the fact that Pappe gave up his citizenship as evidence for the legitimacy of his claims.
Abunimah has given many interviews to media outlets throughout the world, making use of his fluent English to continue to incite against Israel. Among those who took a “beating” from Abunimah are Fatah leaders in the West Bank, including Mahmoud Abbas, who he claims does not serve the Palestinian people by presenting policies that are too mild.
Apart from the websites, Hamas-supporting individuals also distribute informational material to the world via Facebook and Twitter. The initiatives are fully independent in nature and a random roam through social networks proves that they are successful and distributed widely, often becoming viral.
Another method thought up by individuals to encourage resistance against Israel originated from the linking between the current fighting in Gaza and the Eid al-Fitr celebrations that began this year on July 28: Traditionally, Muslims celebrate this religious holiday by baking and eating special round-shaped cookies called Kahk al-Eid.
However, this time batches of rocket-shaped cookies were prepared, as well as cookies shaped to form the words “M-75” and “J-80” , after the names of Gaza-built rockets.
Apart from the Palestinian activists who operate alone, there are international activists in the Gaza Strip who report to media outlets throughout the world through phone calls and Twitter tweets.
The narrative, in almost all cases, serves Hamas’ interests, with very few reports of rocket fire from Gaza at central cities in Israel, and many reports of IDF attacks, as well as ongoing reporting of the number of Palestinian fatalities, all defined as civilians.
Had someone been interested in relying on these sources for the Gaza death toll, he would have thought that 1,000 out of the 1040 Palestinian killed (at the time of writing these lines) had been civilians. The reality, of course, is entirely different.