ToC: Washington Report on Middle East Affairs (May 2016): Israel’s Influence: Good or Bad for America?

Washington Report on Middle East Affairs
May 2016
Israel’s Influence: Good or Bad for America?

wrmea052016

ON THE COVER: Haaretz columnist and keynote speaker Gideon Levy addresses the conference, “Israel’s Influence: Good or Bad for America?”

5 Introduction

6 Welcoming Remarks Dale Sprusansky

7 PANEL 1: Israel’s Influence on Congress and Government Agencies — Moderator Grant F. Smith

7 Ten Ways the Israel Lobby “Moves” America — Grant F. Smith

11 Did Israel Steal U.S. Weapons-Grade Uranium and Did It Have Help From U.S. Citizens? — Dr. Roger Mattson

15 How Congress Shapes Middle East Policy, and How the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) Shapes Congress — Prof. Kirk J. Beattie

20 Questions & Answers

22 KEYNOTE ADDRESS: What I Would Tell a Visiting Congressional Delegation — Gideon Levy

27 Questions & Answers

30 PANEL 2: Israel’s Influence on U.S. Foreign Policy — Moderator Dale Sprusansky

30 A Diplomatic and Military Perspective — Col. Lawrence Wilkerson

35 American Neoconservatives: A History and Overview — Jim Lobe

39 Israel and Foreign Policy Issues in the Presidential Campaign — Justin Raimondo

42 Questions & Answers

44 PANEL 3: Responding to Israel’s Influence on Campus and in Court — Moderator Janet McMahon

44 The Birth of Palestine Solidarity Activism at George Mason University — Tareq Radi

49 Concerted Attempts to Silence Criticism of Israel in the U.S. — Maria LaHood

53 Why We’re Suing the U.S. Treasury Department — Susan Abulhawa

57 Holding Israel Accountable for the Gaza Flotilla Raid — Huwaida Arraf

62 KEYNOTE ADDRESS: Voices Prohibited by Mainstream Media and Its Role Spreading Islamophobia — Rula Jebreal

66 PANEL 4: Israel’s Influence on Mainstream Media — Moderator Delinda Hanley

66 Mainstream Media Coverage of Israel and Palestine — Philip Weiss

70 “Valentino’s Ghost: Why We Hate Arabs” — Catherine Jordan

72 Questions & Answers

74 CLOSING REMARKS

75 CONCLUSION

78 ELECTION WATCH: Party Loyalty, Party Schmoyalty — Israel Comes First — Janet McMahon

79 Pro-Israel PAC Contributions to 2016 Congressional Candidates — Compiled by Hugh Galford

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New Article: Elbaz & Bar-Tal, Dissemination of Culture of Conflict in the Israeli Mass Media

Elbaz, Sagi, and Daniel Bar-Tal. “Dissemination of Culture of Conflict in the Israeli Mass Media: The Wars in Lebanon as a Case Study.” Communication Review 19.1 (2016): 1-34.
 
URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10714421.2016.1128185
 
Abstract

Societies involved in intractable conflicts develop cultures of conflict because of experiences that have lasting effects on every aspect of collective life. One product of these cultures is conflict-supporting narratives that provide illumination, justification, and explanation of the conflict reality. These narratives are selective, biased, and distortive, but play an important role in satisfying the basic sociopsychological needs of the society members involved. In these societies, journalists often serve as agents in the formulation and dissemination of these conflict-supporting narratives. The present study analyzes the presentations of narratives of the culture of conflict among Jewish Israeli journalists during Israeli wars in Lebanon. It elucidates the dominant themes of the narratives by content analysis of the news published in newspapers and broadcast on television. In addition, in order to reveal the practices used by journalists in obtaining, selecting, and publishing the news, in-depth interviews with journalists and politicians have been conducted.

 

 

 

New Article: Shoham, Victim Rhetoric among Sex Offenders: A Case Study of the Former Israeli President

Shoham, Efrat. “Victim Rhetoric among Sex Offenders: A Case Study of the Former Israeli President.” Journal of Politics and Law 8.1 (2015): 26-34.

 

URL: http://www.ccsenet.org/journal/index.php/jpl/article/view/45340/

 

Abstract

In 2009, the Israeli eight former president Katzav was accused of two counts of rape against an employee working under his authority during his time as Minister of Tourism. The story of the conviction of the eighth Israeli president of sex offences turned into a high-priority media story, which stayed at the top of the Israeli media agenda for a relatively long period. This qualitative paper, is aiming to identify and analyze the various rhetorical techniques utilized by Katsav, to replace the new criminal identity attributed to him with a victimized self-identity. The victimized rhetoric which is based on justifications and accounts such as: “Reverse character assassination”, “Attack the attackers” or “Contradiction technique”, had served the former president as a means to reduce his responsibility, to deny it and to build an alternative narrative that presents the alleged perpetrator as a persecuted victim. Never the less, the conviction and jailing of a president for sex crimes has greatly increased the awareness of sex offences in the workplace committed by people of power and authority.

New Article: Lewis et al, Medical Cannabis. A Framing Analysis of Israeli Newspaper Coverage

Lewis, Nehama, Doron Broitman, and Sharon R. Sznitman. “Medical Cannabis. A Framing Analysis of Israeli Newspaper Coverage.” Science Communication (early view; online first).

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1075547015608507

 

Abstract

Medical cannabis is a topic of increasing debate. To investigate this issue, we conducted a content analysis of Israeli news coverage of medical cannabis from 2007 to 2013. A deductive framing analysis examined three elite issue frames—medical, policy, and law enforcement. Additionally, inductive analysis revealed a a fourth, nonelite patients’ frame. Each frame was associated with a distinct pattern of textual elements, including portrayal of patients, references to cannabis, opinion about medical cannabis, and salience of scientific research. The most common and most stable frame was the policy frame. Implications for framing theory are discussed.

 

 

New Article: Malinsky, Casualty Count Framing in the 2014 Israel–Gaza Conflict

Malinsky, Ayelet. “Death Is in the Eye of the Beholder: A Study of Casualty Count Framing in the 2014 Israel–Gaza Conflict.” Critical Studies on Terrorism 8.3 (2015): 491-502.

 

URL: https://dx.doi.org/10.1080/17539153.2015.1096653

 

Abstract

The 2014 Israel–Gaza war was the third of a string of conflicts to erupt between the State of Israel and Hamas in neighbouring Gaza and quickly became the deadliest for both sides. Even with the extensive media attention this crisis received, calls for more objective reporting were widespread, as locating sources that were not clearly influenced or reflective of political biases seemed near impossible. This paper seeks to explore the role “cultural proximity” plays in informing casualty count reporting in times of conflict. Qualitative content analysis is conducted on news coverage of the 2014 Israel–Gaza conflict in the American daily newspaper, The New York Times, and the Israeli daily newspaper, Haaretz, to assess whether significant differences exist in the way casualty figures are addressed across varying degrees of political and cultural involvement. This research reveals that variations in casualty count reporting do indeed exist across cultural and national contexts, and deems this subject worthy of further research.

 

 

 

Thesis: Hemelberg, CNN and Al-Jazeera Coverage of the Israeli-Arabic Conflict

Hemelberg, Stephany. Between the Headlines of the Israeli-Arabic Conflict: The Coverage of CNN and Al Jazeera, BA Thesis. Bogotá: Del Rosario University, 2015.

 

URL: http://repository.urosario.edu.co/handle/10336/11629

 

Abstract

The purpose of this article is to analyze the coverage made by CNN and Al Jazeera (in Arabic) to operation Caste Lead and the Goldstone Report during 2008 and 2009. This investigation is based in the theory of Qualitative Analysis of Content, by Wildemuth and Zhang. The methodology follows up with the one proposed by the authors in the main theory, complementing it with the Gamson and Modigliani´s Framing theory. The methodology mention above display the different in the coverage development, determined by the geopolitical influences; being CNN more influenced by a Western pro-USA and pro Israeli speech, while Al Jazeera is more prone to support the Palestinian cause, this is the thesis of this article. During the development of the investigation, the thesis was demonstrated to be only partially accurate as CNN was not completely supportive to the Israeli arguments during the coverage, but Al Jazeera did have preferential speech for the Palestinian cause.

 

 

 

New Article: Tenenboim-Weinblatt et al, Conflict Narratives in the Israeli News Media

Tenenboim-Weinblatt, Keren, Thomas Hanitzsch, and Rotem Nagar. “Beyond Peace Journalism. Reclassifying Conflict Narratives in the Israeli News Media.” Journal of Peace Research (early view; online first).

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0022343315609091

 

Abstract

This article presents a general framework for deconstructing and classifying conflict news narratives. This framework, based on a nuanced and contextual approach to analyzing media representations of conflict actors and events, addresses some of the weaknesses of existing classification schemes, focusing in particular on the dualistic approach of the peace journalism model. Using quantitative content analysis, the proposed framework is then applied to the journalistic coverage in the Israeli media of three Middle-Eastern conflicts: the Israeli–Palestinian conflict, the conflict surrounding Iran’s nuclear program, and the Syrian civil war. The coverage is examined in three leading news outlets – Haaretz, Israel Hayom, and Ynet – over a six-month period. Based on hierarchical cluster analysis, the article identifies four characteristic types of narratives in the examined coverage. These include two journalistic narratives of violence: one inward-looking, ethnocentric narrative, and one outward-looking narrative focusing on outgroup actors and victims; and two political-diplomatic narratives: one interactional, and one outward-looking. In addition to highlighting different constellations of points of view and conflict measures in news stories, the identified clusters also challenge several assumptions underlying existing models, such as the postulated alignment between elite/official actors and violence frames.

 

 

 

New Article: Yarchi, Imagefare’ as a State’s Strategy in Asymmetric Conflicts

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).

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1750635215620826

 

Extract

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.

 

 

 

New Book: Lebel & Lewin, eds. The 1973 Yom Kippur War and the Reshaping of Israeli Civil–Military Relations

Lebel, Udi, and Eyal Lewin, eds. The 1973 Yom Kippur War and the Reshaping of Israeli Civil–Military Relations. Lanham, Md.: Lexington Books, 2015.

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The 1973 Yom Kippur War did not only have external implications on Israel, but also some dramatic internal implications, particularly with regards to the civil-military relations as well as the fields of psychology and political sociology. To this day, the consequences of this war are still prevalent in Israel, in terms of drafting security policies and the military doctrine.
After the war, new identities were formed in the Israeli civil society, which began to function as active agents in shaping security policy. These players are not a unique Israeli case, yet their actions in Israel serve as a case study that illuminates their significant impact in other countries as well. This is due to the fact that the “Israeli Laboratory” is a liberal democratic society living with an ongoing conflict; it has a mandatory army that is sensitive to fluctuations in public opinion, culture and the media; and issues of national security and military conduct are always a top public concern.
Consequently, this book examines the rise of five identities and agents that were formed after the 1973 War and highlights the effects they had on the formation of Israeli defense policy from then on. The book also clarifies the importance of exposure to these agents’ activities, referring to the psycho-political social factors that may actually dictate a state’s international policies. It therefore forms a study that connects sociology, political psychology, international relations, the field of culture studies and studies of strategy planning. Thus, the book is of interest to both the domestic-Israeli field of research and to the global scholarly discourse, particularly to academic disciplines engaged in civil-military relations (political sociology, political science).

 

UDI LEBEL is associate professor and chair of the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Ariel University.

EYAL LEWIN is assistant professor at the Department of Middle Eastern Studies and Political Science at Ariel University.

 

Table of Contents

  • Introduction
    Udi Lebel and Eyal Lewin
  • The Combatants’ Protest after the Yom Kippur War and the Transformation of the Protest Culture in Israel
    Eithan Orkibi
  • The Significance of the Yom Kippur War as a Turning Point in the Religious-Zionist Society
    Nissim Leon
  • From Domination to Competition: The Yom Kippur War (1973) and the Formation of a New Grief Community
    Udi Lebel
  • Not Just Intermediaries: The Mediatization of Security Affairs in Israel since 1973
    Rafi Mann
  • The 1973 War and the Formation of Israeli POW Policy: A Watershed Line?
    Alexander Bligh
  • The 1973 War as a Stimulator in the Reshaping of Israeli National Ethos
    Eyal Lewin
  • Index
  • About the Authors

 

New Article: Berenson, Social Justice Protest’s Narrative in Israeli News

Berenson, Alonit. “‘Painting with Words’: ‘Social Justice’ Protest’s Narrative in the Israeli’s News”. Journalism and Mass Communication 5.8 (2015): 373-87.

 

URL: dx.doi.org/10.1177/0044118X15606157/ [PDF]

 
Abstract

This article analyzes the role of the media during the 2011 social protests in Israel, in order to examine why the “Social Justice” protest proved more effective than any other social protest organized previously in Israel. Scholars have shown that media framing has a powerful effect on citizen perception and policy debates. The social protests focused on the political-social-economic policy based on a neo-liberal ideology. They signified the beginnings of resistance to the system and became the focus of public and media identification via reports published by leading Israeli newspapers: Yedioth Ahronoth and Israel Hayom. Using content analysis, the author explore how the media plays an important role to shape the public perception of how to think and act about the protest. Due to the results, we evident the expand media capacity and influence, and that these effects are mediated in presenting positive and supportive coverage, including connotations and metaphors expressed by means of familiar slogans and events in the collective memory of Israeli society. Additionally, the expression “social justice” that became the protest’s slogan, offered a broad common basis with which each citizen could identify, including journalists.

 

 

 

New Article: Yemini and Gordon, Media Representations of National and International Standardized Testing

Yemini, Miri, and Noa Gordon. “Media Representations of National and International Standardized Testing in the Israeli Education System.” Discourse (early view; online first).

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01596306.2015.1105786

Abstract

This study applies discourse analysis to Israeli media coverage of national and international standardized examinations within Israel’s public education system. Through systematic analysis of the topic in the two main Israeli financial publications between the years 2000 and 2013, we explore the nature and narrative of the media and compare the coverage of national and international standardized testing. We find that most of the media attention was devoted to international examinations, while national examinations were covered in a more limited yet critical way, perceived as unnecessary and even dubious. International examinations, in contrast, were described as axiomatic components of the education system. Articles on both national and international standardized testing criticize the education system, blaming teachers, the Ministry of Education, budget constraints, and marginalized populations for Israeli students’ inadequate results. We frame our analysis by alignment of the articles along global–local and also neoliberal–humanistic axes. We structure our assessment within the global–local nexus and discuss the broader implications of the role of the testing in framing the local educational public discourse.

 

 

New Article: Lachover, Signs of Change in Media Representation of Women in Israeli Politics

Lachover, Einat. “Signs of Change in Media Representation of Women in Israeli Politics: Leading and Peripheral Women Contenders.” Journalism (early view; online first).

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1464884915610991

Abstract

The study seeks to examine gender portrayal of Israeli women politicians, and specifically that of candidates for Israel’s parliament on televised news and in print in the elections of 2013. The study is based on an interpretive analysis of all news items wherein the women candidates are mentioned during the month preceding the elections. This study joins recent studies that point to a change in how women politicians are portrayed in the media. Leading contenders succeed in influencing their coverage, and commensurately usually enjoy nonstereotypically gendered portrayal. Moreover, they occasionally seek to make use of hegemonic cultural norms to benefit what they perceive as structuring their positive gendered portrayal. In contrast, the coverage of peripheral contenders suffers from traditional patterns of sidelining. It emerges that peripheral contenders who gain relatively high exposure are portrayed as exceptional based either on their extraordinary other-ness or on the newsworthiness of their campaigns.

 

 

 

ToC: Journal of Palestine Studies 44.4 (2015)

 
University of California Press
Table of Contents Alert
University of California Press is happy to notify you that the new issue of Journal of Palestine Studies is now available. The online issues of this journal are hosted on JSTOR on behalf of University of California Press.
Journal Cover Journal of Palestine Studies
Vol. 44, No. 4, Summer 2015

Cover
Journal of Palestine Studies Summer 2015, Vol. 44, No. 4

Front Matter
Journal of Palestine Studies Summer 2015, Vol. 44, No. 4

Table of Contents
Journal of Palestine Studies Summer 2015, Vol. 44, No. 4

FROM THE EDITOR
Rashid I. Khalidi
Journal of Palestine Studies Summer 2015, Vol. 44, No. 4: 5-6.

ARTICLE

The Two-State Model and Israeli Constitutionalism: Impact on the Palestinian Citizens of Israel
Mazen Masri
Journal of Palestine Studies Summer 2015, Vol. 44, No. 4: 7-20.

INTERVIEW

Elia Suleiman: The Power of Ridicule
Nehad Khader
Journal of Palestine Studies Summer 2015, Vol. 44, No. 4: 21-31.

ESSAYS

Dream-Work of Dispossession: The Instance of Elia Suleiman
Stathis Gourgouris
Journal of Palestine Studies Summer 2015, Vol. 44, No. 4: 32-47.

The Way Forward: Full Citizenship for Israel’s Palestinian Minority
Avraham Burg
Journal of Palestine Studies Summer 2015, Vol. 44, No. 4: 48-56.

REMEMBRANCE

Eric Rouleau: Journalist Extraordinaire, Champion of the Palestinian Cause
Linda Butler
Journal of Palestine Studies Summer 2015, Vol. 44, No. 4: 57-67.

SPECIAL DOCUMENT FILE

The Iran Nuclear Negotiations: Israel and the U.S. Congress
Journal of Palestine Studies Summer 2015, Vol. 44, No. 4: 68-92.

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Journal of Palestine Studies Summer 2015, Vol. 44, No. 4: 93-95.

Review: Colonial Jerusalem: The Spatial Construction of Identity and Difference in a City of Myth, 1948–2012
Colonial Jerusalem: The Spatial Construction of Identity and Difference in a City of Myth, 1948–2012 by Thomas Philip Abowd
Review by: Michael Dumper
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Review: Contested Land, Contested Memory: Israel’s Jews and Arabs and the Ghosts of Catastrophe
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Review by: Awad Halabi
Journal of Palestine Studies Summer 2015, Vol. 44, No. 4: 97-98.

Review: Conscientious Objectors in Israel: Citizenship, Sacrifice, Trials of Fealty
Conscientious Objectors in Israel: Citizenship, Sacrifice, Trials of Fealty by Erica Weiss
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Review: Intellectual Resistance and the Struggle for Palestine
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Journal of Palestine Studies Summer 2015, Vol. 44, No. 4: 105-106.

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Journal of Palestine Studies Summer 2015, Vol. 44, No. 4: 106-108.

SELECTIONS FROM THE PRESS
Journal of Palestine Studies Summer 2015, Vol. 44, No. 4: 109-136.

PHOTOS FROM THE QUARTER
Journal of Palestine Studies Summer 2015, Vol. 44, No. 4: 137-144.

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Journal of Palestine Studies Summer 2015, Vol. 44, No. 4: 145-152.

UPDATE ON CONFLICT AND DIPLOMACY
Paul Karolyi
Journal of Palestine Studies Summer 2015, Vol. 44, No. 4: 153-193.

CONGRESSIONAL MONITOR
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Journal of Palestine Studies Summer 2015, Vol. 44, No. 4: 194-243.

DOCUMENTS AND SOURCE MATERIAL
Journal of Palestine Studies Summer 2015, Vol. 44, No. 4: 244-268.

 

Thesis: Saariaho, Representation of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict in American Newspapers

Saariaho, Katri. Representation of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict in American Newspapers, BA Thesis, Dept of Languages, University of Jyvaskyla, Finland, 2015.

 
URL: https://jyx.jyu.fi/dspace/handle/123456789/46129 [PDF]

 

Excerpt
The aim of this thesis was to find out how two American newspapers, The Washington Post and The New York Times cover the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The focus was on the representation of groups, individuals and the depiction of the power relations between the two sides of the conflict.
The analysis showed that the representation of Israelis and Palestinians is not as equal and neutral as the ideals of the press give reason to assume. Washington Post often depicted Israeli violence as institutionalized and Palestinian as militancy, sometimes even terrorism, which gives Israeli violence a certain justification. Israeli violence was often represented in a rather opaque and distancing way, but certain lexical choices also implied its condemnation. References to Israeli victims were sometimes such that they evoke sympathy for them, but Palestinians’ situation was also discussed with emotionally affective lexical choices. New York Times similarly presented the Israeli military as institutionalized, although it did also acknowledge institutionalization in the Palestinian military. Israeli violence was again depicted more opaquely that Palestinian violence, but the representation was more equal than in the case of Washington Post. NYT’s references to religion were, however, more unequal since they only gave prominence to the religion of the Israelis, both as victims and in other positions. References to civilians focused on Israelis and ignored the position of the Palestinians. The results also showed analogy with previous studies: the asymmetry in the power between the two sides was largely ignored, and Israel’s actions were shown as more institutionalized and legitimized than those of Palestine.
19
Finally, it has to be acknowledged that the research space of the present study was rather limited, and the research could have been conducted further, regarding both the amount of data and the depth of analysis. The method of study was also limited to only a few aspects, so there is room for a more all-encompassing study that pays more attention to, for instance, multimodality and selection of quotes. The results showed, nevertheless, that the representation of Israelis and Palestinians was unequal. In case the conflict sees no end in the near future, it is important to continue scrutinizing the coverage so that the unequal representations do not continue to influence the public’s understanding of the nature of the conflict.

 

 

New Article: Magen, Media Strategies and Manipulations of Intelligence Services

Magen, Clila. “Media Strategies and Manipulations of Intelligence Services. The Case of Israel.” International Journal of Press/Politics 20.2 (2015): 247-65.

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1940161214556514

 

Abstract

Existing research on the relationship between Israeli intelligence services and the media is limited and fragmented. This work attempts to fill in the gaps by shedding light on four main strategies that have been commonly implemented by the Israeli intelligence community: ambiguity and concealment of media relations, the “if you would only know” strategy, exploiting patriotism and cooptation, and information manipulations and psychological warfare. These strategies were utilized frequently by Israel’s intelligence services, and thus have had an impact on the intelligence services’ accountability. However, significant changes in Israel’s society and media have created new challenges to the intelligence services in the public sphere. This study examines these changes and differentiates between the organizations within the intelligence community, domestic and foreign, which, facing differing challenges, tailor different methods for addressing the media as a result. This paper is based on several years of research and a large database of literature, media coverage, and in-depth interviews with key figures in Israel’s intelligence community (former Mossad and Israeli Security Authority directors), senior journalists, and politicians.

New Article: Samuel-Azran et al, In-Group Terrorists in Israeli and Norwegian Press

Samuel-Azran, Tal, Amit Lavie-Dinur, and Yuval Karniel. “Narratives Used to Portray In-Group Terrorists: A Comparative Analysis of the Israeli and Norwegian Press.” Media, War & Conflict 8.1 (2015): 3-19.

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1750635214531106

 

Abstract

Studies of US and UK media reveal that the press adheres to a dichotomous religion-based us/them worldview that portrays Muslims as terrorists but ‘repairs’ the image of Jews and Christians as criminals, creating concerns that the Western media promotes a clash-of-civilizations thinking pattern. To examine whether this pattern is representative of other Western democracies, the authors analyzed Israeli press coverage of Jewish settlers’ attacks against Palestinians (N = 134) and Norwegian press coverage of Anders Breivik’s 2011 attacks (N = 223). Content analysis reveals that the Israeli and Norwegian media labeled all the perpetrators ‘terrorists’, the attacks ‘terror’, and the motivation as ‘ideology’ rather than solely mental. The perpetrators – all subscribing to right-wing ideology – were not vindicated despite being Jewish or Christian. Beyond weakening the clash-of-civilizations notion that terrorism discourse in the West is necessarily religion-related, the findings highlight that the US press was ironically more eager than the Israeli media to ‘repair’ the image of Jewish perpetrators. The authors discuss the implications of our findings and suggest directions for future studies of biases in terrorism discourse.

New Article: Kampf & Stolero, Computerized Simulation of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

Kampf, Ronit, and  Nathan Stolero. “Computerized Simulation of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, Knowledge Gap, and News Media Use.” Information, Communication & Society 18.6 (2015): 644-58.

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/1369118X.2014.982142 

 

Abstract

Serious games like PeaceMaker are emerging as a new medium for peace education (PE). We focus on the assessment of this computerized simulation of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in order to identify the effects it might have in helping to narrow the knowledge gap between the players. In addition, we examine the role of news media use about the conflict in knowledge acquisition after playing the game. We conducted an experimental study with the participation of 185 Israeli undergraduate students of Jewish and Palestinian origin. In order to gauge the effect of the game with regard to knowledge acquisition about the conflict, we used a pre- and post-intervention experimental design and utilized questionnaires. We found that the knowledge gap between participants who held high levels of knowledge about the conflict and those who held low levels of knowledge about it before playing the game narrowed after playing it. Second, participants holding more knowledge about the conflict before playing the game were more likely to win it than those holding less knowledge. Finally, the game narrowed the knowledge gap between participants who consumed television (TV) as a major source of information about the conflict and those who did not consume it. Our results indicate that serious games like PeaceMaker are effective as a tool for PE, because they are useful in increasing knowledge about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and narrowing the knowledge gap between the players, particularly for young people who are direct parties to this conflict and native to the online world.

New Article: Sznitman and Lewis, Cannabis in Israeli Newspaper Coverage

Sznitman, Sharon R. and Nehama Lewis. “Is Cannabis an Illicit Drug or a Medicine? A Quantitative Framing Analysis of Israeli Newspaper Coverage.” International Journal of Drug Policy 26.5 (2015): 446-52.

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.drugpo.2015.01.010

 

Abstract

Background

Various countries and states, including Israel, have recently legalized cannabis for therapeutic purposes (CTP). These changes have received mass media coverage and prompted national and international dialogue about the status of cannabis and whether or not it can be defined as a (legitimate) medicine, illicit and harmful drug, or both. News media framing may influence, and be influenced by, public opinion regarding CTP and support for CTP license provisions for patients. This study examines the framing of CTP in Israeli media coverage and the association between media coverage and trends in the provision of CTP licenses in Israel over time.

Methods

All published news articles relevant to CTP and the framing of cannabis (N = 214) from the three highest circulation newspapers in Israel were content analyzed. Articles were published between January 2007 and June 2013, a period in which CTP licenses granted by the Ministry of Health increased substantially.

Results

In the majority of CTP news articles (69%), cannabis was framed as a medicine, although in almost one third of articles (31%) cannabis was framed as an illicit drug. The relative proportion of news items in which cannabis was framed as an illicit drug fluctuated during the study period, but was unrelated to linear or curvilinear trends in CTP licensing.

Conclusion

The relatively large proportion of news items framing cannabis as a medicine is consistent with growing support for the expansion of the Israel’s CTP program.

 

Highlights

  • We examine the framing of cannabis for therapeutic purposes (CTP) in newspapers.
  • We use quantitative content analysis.
  • News articles generally describe cannabis as a medicine and not an illicit drug.
  • Trends in media framing are unrelated to trends in CTP licenses.

 

 

New Article: Hagay and Meyers, National Narrative in Coverage of Israeli National Soccer Team Matches

Hagay, Haim and Oren Meyers. “Everybody’s Team? The National Narrative in the Hebrew Press Covering Israeli National Soccer Team Matches.” Media, Culture, and Society 37.4 (2015): 530-46.

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/

 

Abstract

Sports media offer a unique discourse site because the nationalistic nature of reporting is often radicalized and in most cases ‘the national flag is waved with eternal enthusiasm’. Therefore, this study examined changes in the coverage of the Israeli national soccer team between 1949 and 2006 through an exploration of the identity of the journalistic narratives’ storytellers and protagonists. Our findings illuminate a complex picture: whereas during the Israel’s formative era sports reporters pursued a patriotic narrative that praised the players for their fighting spirit and contribution to national prestige, in recent decades the sports sections echo a new variety of local, professional, and gender voices that challenge the supposedly natural hegemony of national identity. These changes can be explained by factors rooted in the fields of journalism, sports, and the politics of identity.

New Article: Lavie-Dinur et al, Media’s Coverage of Israeli Female Political Criminals

Lavie-Dinur, Amit, Yuval Karniel, and Tal Azran. “‘Bad Girls’: The Use of Gendered Media Frames in the Israeli Media’s Coverage of Israeli Female Political Criminals.” Journal of Gender Studies 24.3 (2015): 326-46.

 

URL: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/09589236.2013.841572

 

Abstract

The study examined news media coverage of Israeli female political criminals to determine how the media construct and portray women who commit ideological crimes against the state, ultimately to discern what these framing choices suggest about women involved in political crimes. Studies show that the media tend to rely on stereotypical gender frames to portray female criminals and their motivations to the public. These frames depict women perpetrators as motivated to commit political crime for personal reasons as opposed to political reasons, which are often cited for male criminal behavior. The study examined the Israeli news media’s use of stereotypical gender news frames when reporting on three Israeli women who committed ideological crimes against the state. The study compared the coverage of these cases among three Israeli newspapers representing different political affinities. As a country with a long history of political conflict, Israel offers a unique opportunity to examine gender bias in the media’s coverage of female actors in the public sphere. The study’s theoretical contribution lies in its analysis of Israeli female political criminals who, by definition of their crime, acted within the political sphere. The study confirms previous research on the subject – mainly that the media rely on gender frames and explanations of personal motive in its portrayals of female criminals.