During a December 23, 2018 interview on Baladna TV (Gaza), Palestinian author Mushir Al-Farra said that the Palestinians should be more cautious while representing their cause on media outlets to avoid speaking in a way that weakens it. He gave the several examples of statements made by Palestinian media figures or Hamas representatives that Israeli officials that played into the hand of Israel.

One example is a statement by Salah Bardawil from Hamas in May 2018. Bardawil said that almost all the people killed during the “Return March” clashes were Hamas members. Al-Farra said that “MEMRI monitors everything,” and that Al-Bardawil’s statement was “a big mistake,” which caused “great harm to our public relations.” (see MEMRI TV clip no. 6575 Hamas Political Bureau Member Salah Al-Bardawil: 50 Of The Martyrs Killed In Gaza Were From Hamas, 12 Regular People, May 16, 2018) Another example Al-Farra provided was statements by Hamas spokesman Abu Ubeida who referred to Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu as “son of a Jewish woman.” Al-Farra suggested using “son of Zionists” instead.

“He Said ‘Jew,’ Not ‘Zionist’… We Should Stay Away From The Word ‘Jew'”

Mushir Al-Farra: “We should not speak on media outlets in a way that weakens us. For example, I raised an issue concerning the March of Return… Salah Bardawail, who is a personal friend of mine and one of the leaders of Hamas…

“He is a dear friend who is like a brother to me, but he made a big mistake when he said, following the Friday of the Nakba anniversary on May 15-16, that 53 of the 68 martyrs were from Hamas. He was quoted by Benjamin Netanyahu, by the Israeli ambassador to the U.N., and by various ambassadors, who said: ‘Why do you call it a popular uprising? It is an uprising by Hamas.’ This is just one example.

“Inadvertently, he caused great harm to our public relations, because we had to shift from our attacks on Israel, its snipers, its war crimes, and its killing of children who run in open fields, who do not pose any danger to the Israeli army… We had to start defending ourselves by saying: ‘No, it’s a popular uprising, not one orchestrated by Hamas.’ They always make excuses for their crimes… This example comes from one of our leaders, but journalists also address the people without considering the bigger picture.

“Today, everything is monitored. I will give you a non-political example. A media activist called Momen Shwaikh has a candid camera show. He also didn’t mean it, but he had a show where he asked people: ‘What would you do if you saw a Jew walking down the street?’ He said ‘Jew,’ not ‘Zionist.’ This is a very important word. We should stay away from the word ‘Jew.’ We do not hate the Israelis for their race.”

Host: “Judaism is a religion…”

“It Was All Translated And Delivered To The International Media On The Same Day – MEMRI Is One Of The Websites That Monitors Everything”

Mushir Al-Farra: “If not for the Balfour Declaration and the Nakba… If there were no massacres, killings, or expulsion, why would we hate human beings because of their religious background? Obviously, there are religious differences, but we do not hate them for their religion. Out of their hatred for the Israeli army, the people started saying: ‘I will kill them, I will slaughter them’…

“It was all translated and delivered to the international media on the same day. MEMRI is one of the websites that monitors everything. They said: ‘Look at this anti-Semitism. They say they want to kill the Jews.’ In 2014, one of the heroic fighters, Hamas spokesman Abu Ubeida, addressed Netanyahu by saying: ‘You son of a Jewish woman’…

Host: “But our enmity is for the Jewish Zionists. They are of Jewish origin in general.”

Mushir Al-Farra: “Indeed, 95-96% of the Jews support Israel and the Zionists. They are Zionists. We oppose them for supporting the racist, political, and destructive enterprise. But we should not call someone out for being Jewish. So when Abu Ubeida said, ‘You son of a Jewish woman,’ it caused great damage to our public image. He could have said: ‘You son of a Zionist woman,’ or ‘You son of killers’… These are simple things, but we should keep them in mind in our media. We should do it out of conviction, not just because we want to promote something.”

Host: “But the Jews were hostile towards the Prophet Muhammad.”

Mushir Al-Farra: “Yes, but I’d like to respond by asking: When did this hostility take place? When there were acts of political betrayal during the Battle of the Trench. The Jews of Banu Quraiza betrayed the Muslims and broke the covenant, and the Jews of Banu Qaynuqa attacked the army of the Muslims. The reason for the hostility was political. Prior to that, they lived peacefully in Medina.”