Yarchi, Moran. “Does Using ‘Imagefare’ as a State’s Strategy in Asymmetric Conflicts Improve Its Foreign Media Coverage? The Case of Israel.” Media, War & Conflict (early view, online first).
In their 2014 article in Terrorism and Political Violence, Ayalon, Popovich and Yarchi proposed a different strategy for states to better manage asymmetric conflict, presenting the notion of ‘imagefare’ – ‘the use, or misuse, of images as a guiding principle or a substitute for traditional military means to achieve political objectives’ (p. 12). The current study tests their theoretical framework, and examines whether the use of imagefare as part of a political actor’s conflict strategy improves its foreign image as presented by its ability to promote its preferred frames to the foreign press. The study compares the foreign media’s coverage of two recent rounds of the Israeli–Palestinian conflict, in one of which (operation ‘Pillar of Defence’) image considerations played a significant role in the Israeli policy-making process. Findings suggest that whenever a country uses imagefare as part of its strategy, it increases its ability to promote its preferred messages to the foreign press and to improve the country’s image.