It is quite the grave notion when Hamas, a group who has been encouraging young men (women, too) to accesorize in the latest brand names of plastic explosives, decides to put on a fully featured childrens show, grown men in stuffed animals to boot. Although the New York Times editorial tells that the stuffed animals will consist of "a fox, a rabbit, a dog, a bear and a chicken," I can't be sure it's a fox, sly or not, whispering into Hazim's ear. I could be equally convinced it was a sheep. Sheep are known to be lemminglike so it's unusual to see one giving suggestions, but I daresay it seems so.
The room's appearance illustrates just how much we are supposed to be afraid of this man. He will soon be indoctrinating the young Arab masses, tens of thousands who already show up to his live Hamas performances, so the lighting is harsh and dramatic. The fact that harsh lighting will make an image look dramatic is one of the first things a photographer learns. If we pause from pondering the actions of the whitish stuffed animal, we see that the bear is giving what appears to be a neck massage to 'Uncle Hazim', although it looks incinsere. Could it be a bear grip which could snap the neck of the mouthpiece if things don't go in the right direction? Maybe not.. the eyes that look back do seem warm and friendly, even though the features may still evoke too much racism for many Americans to ignore; that the smile could be genuine is deemed impossible, the only alternative being the sinister plotting of someone who 'hates our freedom.'
I think the interaction between the three characters is very interesting though. The bear gives a dead stare, but the eyes of the fox/sheep seem to be alive. Hazim's eyes are in shadow, but we see that if we could see them, they would be drilling holes straight through our eyelids. From the looks of it, the photographer is making sure that we don't really understand much about the man. We can only declare 'evil' about what we don't understand, and so we don't want to identify with him too much. We must keep people shrouded in unfamiliarity in order to condemn them.
Now, what really makes us (US) nervous is that other countries might create their own television shows that emulate the programming that has been consistent with the United States since the youth became a market group. Captain America, patriotic war songs, police and soldier heroism, and many more social forces assume patriotism within the citizenry. We know how well indoctrination works to enlist young people to willingly kill on command when we need it. Every nation seeks to churn out nationalistic killers in order to carry itself on through force. Our main worry is that others might succeed as well as we have done.