The audience in the Gaza Strip clapped and cheered as the actor delivered the movie’s most memorable line – “To kill Israeli soldiers is to worship God”. Imad Aqel, which premiered at the weekend, is the first feature film produced by the Islamist Hamas movement and the title is the name of a Palestinian militant whom Israel held accountable for the deaths of 13 soldiers and settlers. In accordance with strict Muslim tradition, men and women sat in separate sections of the theatre to view what Hamas officials termed the “Cinema of Resistance”, referring to what it describes as a fight against Israeli occupation. The movie is Hamas’s latest foray into the mass media – it owns a satellite TV channel, a radio station and several newspapers.
Dude. They’ve got a “Cinema of Resistance.” Why don’t we have a Cinema of Resistance? How are people ever going to take us seriously if we don’t have a Cinema of Resistance?
Do you think the theater ever airs this footage of Hamas marrying off 450 prepubescent girls? Maybe in the trailers or something, like they used to do with the news during WWII?
Isn’t it nice to know that Hamas has the money for public weddings and cinematic agitprop? I wonder how they managed to free it up. And even have enough time left over to coerce all the women in Gaza to wear headscarves.
In the interest of modesty, you see.
UPDATE (8:45am) – MR reader DD writes in:
I think the “marrying off 400 pre-pubescent girls” thing has been debunked as a misunderstanding… it’s important not to accuse Hamas of things they didn’t do, especially as they often do worse things than that, and their raison d’etre is to do far worse still.
A few minutes of searching after the post that I should have done before the post, and yup:
I was there at the Wedding ceremony. We filmed the event. These young girls are NOT the brides. The brides are among the 5,000 or so audience. Where is your proof they are child brides. It is a cultural thing among the conservative Gazans to do things this way. It is grossly unfair to portray ordinary Gazan men in this way. Hamas does enough terrible things to write about without having to resort to making things up. The girls are having fun drssing up. Its been like that for years. Tim Marshall. Sky News. Gaza.
Which is not to say that there aren’t institutionalized child marriages in the Shiite and Sunni world. It’s just that in this case Gazan men were marrying women who were presumably too womany to stand on stage with them and so had to substitute creepy little girls in makeup and bridal outfits instead.
None of which justifies me not checking more closely into a too-bad-to-be-true unsubtitled video. Apologies.
* Director of Hamas feature film hopes it will air at Cannes Film Festival [JPost]
* Hamas goes to the movies [Independent]
* Hamas sponsors mass wedding for little girls [Israel Matzav]
* Savages: Hamas Broadcasts Cartoon Mocking Shalit (UPDATED And BUMPED: Obama Wants Another $400m Next Year, Full Text Of Waxman Email Added) [MR]
* Hamas to compel Gaza women to wear head scarves [Ha'aretz]
* New Data Confirms Old Data: Blaming Israel For Gaza’s Medical Collapse Is A Vicious Lie
* Hamas: If Israel Doesn’t Surrender We’ll Blah Blah Blah
* Hamas Bombs Another Israeli School (Plus: What’s Their Next “Surprise”?)