Reuters has run a video about Gaza’s ‘cinema bus,’ which has brought
sexy movies back to Gaza.
According to the video, it screens “positive films that promote peace and tolerance.”
Watching this, you might think these films “that promote peace and tolerance” promote coexistence with Jews, for example, and speak out against the violence prevalent in Gazan society. I suggest you think again.
For a start, logic dictates that Hamas would never allow such a bus to roam Gaza; it goes against everything for which they stand. As a 2016 BBC report about the first Gaza film screenings in 20 years mentioned:
But do not expect more controversial movies or sensitive scenes, as all films have to be previously approved by the Hamas authorities.
In fact, do you know why “there have no theaters for years in the area” (as Reuters mentions but does not elaborate on)? Per the same BBC report:
But things were not always like this. Cinemas could be found in Gaza before being destroyed during the first Palestinian uprising in 1987.
Residents say back then, Islamist groups became increasingly hostile to screenings and consequently many of the movie theatres were attacked.
Residents said they were later repaired, but violence took over the territory again years later, this time a result of internal fighting between forces of the Palestinian Authority and Hamas, and the theatres were again destroyed.
There is also another clue that the words “peace and tolerance” do not mean what Reuters think they mean. According to the Independent, the cinema bus “is the brainchild of Gaza’s Save the Youth Future Society“(SYFSPAL). A look at their website makes no mention of peace and coexistence being one of their goals. Rather it has
a goal of developing Palestinian youth capacities and enhancing their participation in society. SYFS has a leading role among youth organizations in the Gaza Strip as it strives to activate youth and strengthen their capacity and skills to lead community mobilization, awareness-raising and advocacy actions about issues related to their lives, contributing to building democratic Palestinian state.
But more damning is the kind of content SYFSPAL have shared on social media:
73 years since the Nakba… Palestinian alienation continues
73 years and the occupation is still practicing the most heinous crimes of murder, terrorism and purification… in the eyes of the world… 🇵🇸
Long live free and proud Palestine
It is no wonder the kid quoted in the video speaks about a movie “about love and caring about oneself”, and makes no mention of peace with their neighbors.
In other words, while Reuters seems to be trying to portray the cinema bus as reflecting “progress” in Gaza, it actually reflects the opposite.
Update: Al Jazeera makes the same claim about movies promoting “peace and tolerance” but throws in “non-violence” for good measure.
At least they mention why cinemas stopped in Gaza (albeit while avoiding mention of the culprits).