Director of Kate Winslet Narrated Movie a Passionate Hamas Supporter

Earlier today, I posted about actress Kate Winslet’s empty excuse for narrating an anti-Israel propaganda film.

It turns out that the film’s co-director is a passionate Hamas supporter.

An emotive documentary narrated by Kate Winslet about children killed in Gaza by Israeli air strikes which has been dubbed “propaganda” was made by a passionate Hamas supporter, the JC can reveal.

Eleven Days In May, which is out in British cinemas now, depicts the deaths of 60 Palestinian children in May last year with little context or acknowledgment of the complexities of the conflict.

Co-director Mohammed Sawwaf was presented with an award by Hamas leaders for his work “countering the Zionist narrative”.

On social media, he has celebrated the launching of rockets against civilian targets and effectively called for the destruction of the State of Israel, saying that the map of Palestine should extend “from the sea to the river”.

Distinguished British filmmaker Michael Winterbottom is co-director, but did not visit Gaza for the making of the documentary.

Filmmaker Mr Sawwaf attended the Islamic University in Gaza, an institution that Hamas controls. In 2013 he made a documentary which said the terror group was right when it mounted its coup in Gaza against its rival Fatah because of their alleged corruption.  

In 2014 the Hamas media department honoured Mr Sawwaf with a special award for “countering the Zionist narrative” and being able to “penetrate European public opinion” through his work.

He was presented with it by Hamas leaders Mushir Al-Masry, Salah Al-Bardawil and Fawzi Barhoum at a gala ceremony at the Haifa Hotel on the Gaza seafront.

Mr Sawwaf was a guest on al-Aqsa TV, the pro-Hamas TV channel, on Tuesday this week, when he talked about his film and the impact he hoped it would have.

In tweets highlighted by media watchdog CAMERA Arabic, he has applauded the launching of rockets by Palestinian forces against Israeli civilian targets.

In 2012, he posted: “Gaza bombs Tel Aviv – Gaza bombs Jerusalem – wow, what do you know – praise Allah – all in all feeling great.”

The same year he said: “Calling ‘Allahu Akbar’ during Eid – people feel the taste of victory – isn’t it enough for us that the alarm sirens were heard again in Tel Aviv, isn’t it enough for us that weak Gaza bombed the occupation in its heartland?”

In 2014 he tweeted: “In Jerusalem, Haifa, Tel Aviv and all of our 1948 lands, when rockets are launched towards them everybody runs to the shelters except their original residents who celebrate them.”

During the May conflict last year, he tweeted that the map of Palestine should be redrawn so it extends “from the sea to the river”.

He has repeatedly used the hashtag “Hamas”.

Sawwaf’s father is Mustafa Sawwaf, who was formerly a member of the Hamas politburo.

Mustafa set up the pro-Hamas news agency al-Jil, where Mohammed used to work, and is currently a member of Hamas’s shura, or religious council.

Oscar-winning writer and director Richard Trank, executive producer of Moriah Films, the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s film division in Los Angeles, told the JC: “I am deeply concerned about the fact that nowhere in the film is the point of view of Israelis who were subjected to thousands of Hamas missile strikes coming from Gaza.

“It also appears that Michael Winterbottom relied solely on materials provided to him by known Hamas sympathisers who have repeatedly tweeted support for attacks on Israeli citizens.

“As a documentary filmmaker myself, whose career has spanned some three decades and whose films have often focused on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, it is shocking to me that Mr Winterbottom never visited the places that his film is examining.

“I am disturbed that he did not attempt to speak to Israeli parents and Israeli children—both Jews and Arabs—who suffered from the daily bombardment of Hamas missiles. To tell only one side of an extremely complicated story is not documentary filmmaking but propaganda.”

The JC put a series of detailed questions to Mr Winterbottom’s company, Revolution Films, asking whether it was aware of Mr Sawwaf’s support for Hamas and its acts of terror. Its development director, Ben Pearce, refused to answer any of them, saying only:

 “Eleven Days in May was made with the families in Gaza who lost children during the bombing last year. In the film they talk about their children who were killed: their hopes, dreams and ambitions. They talk about their love for their children. The things that remind them of their children. The things they miss about their children. 

David Collier has more on this and concludes:

The errors and omissions in this movie are not mistakes. The careful crafting to present Hamas as the unfortunate victim of a demonic Israel is deliberate, not incidental. The fact Israeli casualties are not mentioned at all was not oversight. This is a movie put together by those who identify with a proscribed radical Islamic terrorist group.

Raw Hamas propaganda has no place being shown anywhere on our shores. It should be dealt with the same way that an Al Qaeda or Al Shabaab propaganda movie would be. Picturehouse should take this movie off our screens and all those involved should apologise for allowing Hamas propaganda to be shown here in the first place.

Indeed.

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David Lange

A law school graduate, David Lange transitioned from work in the oil and hi-tech industries into fulltime Israel advocacy. He is a respected commentator and Middle East analyst who has often been cited by the mainstream media