Friday, July 24, 2009

Pantomiming to Peace

So Hamas apparently is shifting away from rockets to what it calls "cultural resistance". To some extent, it's posturing -- Hamas is hardly disavowing violence, and I'm confident much of it's "cultural" portrayal will continue to feature the anti-Semitism and violence-glorification that has characterized it in the past. But rocket fire genuinely is way down, and that's a good thing.
Because Israeli officials also believe that they must improve public relations and message management, the new focus on culture here sets up an intriguing battle for world opinion. Both sides argue that journalists show too much sympathy for the other.

And, perhaps, Israel will respond with some posturing of its own. Israel has been slowly relaxing its grip on Gaza for some time now. Maybe it will respond to Hamas' gambit with some well-timed PR moves of its own -- opening crossings or letting in more goods. And who knows? Maybe we'll bluff and perform and posture all the way towards peace.*

* Unlikely, but I can dream, can't I?

No comments: