Raymond M. Berger
Real Bullet Points

Hamas Meets Madison Avenue

We’ll do a TV tie-in, press interviews, some product placement and a European tour.

Hey, you guys that run the Gaza Strip. I know you are into doing your own thing….but I gotta tell you, you people are a public relations nightmare.

Do you have a clue about what people around here think when they see you guys running around like crazy ants at the Gaza border fence? Or when they listen to the crappy things you say -you are going to cut out the Jews’ hearts. Really?

I wanna say a few things to your clueless leader, Yahyah Sinwar.

Yahyah….bubbalah, can we talk?

You obviously don’t know anything about public relations—-that’s where I come in. I’m here to tell you, you’re not getting anywhere with what you’ve been doing. You need me.

Let’s start with that silly name of yours. What kind of name is Yahyah? Sounds kinda yo-yo, like today you’re gonna eat my liver and tomorrow you’ll change your mind. You’re not being a leader.

How about a name that’s gonna make people like you? How about Yankel? Yankel, now there’s a friendly name.

As for Sinwar—-sin? war? What were your parents thinking?

It’s all in the branding. Instead of sin, how about saint? Instead of war, how about peace?

There you go—-Yankel Saint Peace. You can thank me later.

Start with the basics. Three rules: Presentation, Presentation, Presentation.

Take this thing about your fighters dressing up as women. OK, I get it. The Israelis won’t shoot a woman so you’ll get through the fence to carry out your “mission.” But Yankel, have you ever heard of the Geneva Convention? We are talking war crime here.

So be smart. Don’t be dressing terrorists as women. Instead recruit transgender combat soldiers. Are you committing a war crime? Hell no. You are promoting diversity in your armed forces. Combating gender stereotypes. Meeting inclusivity goals. Yankel, trust me, the Europeans are gonna eat this up.

Sure you wanna rip up those Jews and tear their hearts out. We get it. But the presentation is all wrong. It doesn’t play well in the media. Here’s a better idea: What are you gonna do with all those Jewish hearts? Think transplants. It’s all about increasing access to life-saving organs for an underserved population—Arabs. So you’re not taking lives, you’re saving them. Brilliant, huh?

Another thing: Don’t be mentioning the opening of the US Embassy in Jerusalem. Let’s face it, Ivanka looked hot in that cream-white dress at the dedication ceremony. Leave it alone. Nobody likes a party spoiler.

And speaking of fashion, can we talk about the black schmatas I saw on those women at the riots?

What are you thinking? Is that any way to compete with Ivanka?  Do you expect men—any men—to side with women dressed like that? That’s about as inviting as making love to a used sweat shirt. I can hook you up with a couple of hip fashion designers. Show a little flesh, add a dash of color, a scarf and accessories. Voila! Good TV viewing for the riots. Maybe we’ll even send a couple of the girls to London for a makeover. We’ll do a TV tie-in, press interviews, some product placement and a European tour. Think about it.

Now I have to say, Yankel, setting fire to the Kerem Shalom crossing was not cool. Everybody knows that’s where food and medicine get into Gaza, so you’re not looking good here. We’ll do damage control. Send the talking heads out to the Sunday morning talk shows. We’ll just say we relieved pressure on the gas supply lines. Everybody likes to relieve pressure, right? Well, we’ll work on that one. But please, no more damage to the humanitarian crossings—-you’ve done that three times already in one week. You look bad, I look bad. Enough.

And what’s all this talk about “popular resistance.” Resistance is a negative word. We don’t use negative words. We are all about positivity. Besides, this sounds like resistance to a disease.

Yankel, in your next press interview try this instead: “The advocates of Hamas want only to return to our homes up north. Why? Well, of course, to enhance the diversity of the Israeli population, to create a multicultural society. That’s what we’ve wanted all along.” Throw in a few references to inclusivity, fairness, social justice, whatever. If the legal brainiacs get involved, we’ll just talk about “reverse eminent domain.” Trust me, with the right presentation no one in the press core will ask questions. After all, they don’t know hummus from Shinola.

Well Yankel, think about it. We could be a great team. You take care of the violence and I’ll take care of the public relations angle.

Get back to me. OK?

A Comment from the Author

Satirical writing is fun, but it also has a serious purpose. In this essay I skewer Hamas. But my real target is the voices in the supposedly enlightened west: politicians, government officials, non-governmental organizations, international bodies, journalists and pundits.

My purpose is to berate these voices for enabling and empowering an intolerant movement whose values directly contradict those to which the enlightened groups claim allegiance. We have become so accustomed to this comedy of errors that we often fail to see how absurd it is.

Satire will have served its purpose if it sheds light on this absurdity.

About the Author
The author is a life-long Zionist and advocate for Israel. He believes that a strong Jewish state is invaluable, not only to Jews, but to the world-wide cause of democracy and human rights. Dr. Berger earned a PhD in Social Welfare from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and has twenty-seven years of teaching experience. He has authored and co-authored three books as well as over 45 professional journal articles and book chapters. His parents were Holocaust survivors.
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