While the state’s blueprints for the social media future are currently being imagined by officials in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, the political effects of this project are far from certain. What will digital statecraft mean for Israel’s relations with neighboring Arab states? How might it impact the everyday functioning of the Israeli military occupation and the everyday lives of Palestinians living under its thumb? For even as events in Egypt and Tunisia concretized state investment in social media as an information platform, and also as a tool for counter-insurgency, these revolutions raised other political specters as well. “We cannot but be impressed,” IDF spokesman Avi Benayahu noted recently in relation to current events in the Arab World, “at how Western technology harms regimes…one cell phone camera can harm a regime more than any intelligence operation can” (Fyler 2011). The fact that social media are concurrently employed by anti-occupation activists, Jewish and Palestinian, on both sides of the Green Line separating Israel proper from its occupied territories, is something that state officials interviewed for this article did not wish to address-and herein lie the risks. When viewed with the Arab Spring in mind, these countervailing digital trends raise the possibility of a very different digital future in Israel-far from that imagined in the IDF’s new media offices.
From 1968 on, the state of Israel deployed television as a tool in the service of its ongoing project of reproducing the nation and as a propaganda tool that targeted the population of the newly occupied territories and the Palestinian Arab citizens of Israel. With the collaboration of the scientific elite, the televising of original popular science programs, aired on the sole government-controlled channel at prime time, contributed immensely to these projects. Through these programs, the state disseminated a specific image of the nation’s scientific prowess for popular consumption in the euphoric aftermath of the Six Day War. This article examines the first 20 years of the state’s projects, during which the grip of Zionist collectivism was still strong, the monopoly of the government-controlled channel was not yet challenged, and the programs enjoyed astonishingly high ratings. My examination focuses on the ideology and motivations of the producers; the ways in which the communication elite and the scientific elite, enjoying a position of hegemony, collaborated by disseminating the nation’s accomplishments in both the Arabic and Hebrew programs; and the actual content of the programs at large and specifically that of four episodes of Tazpit, the popular science program of the 1980s.
Warshel, Yael. “It’s All about Tom And Jerry, Amr Khaled and Iqra, Not Hamas’s Mickey Mouse: Palestinian Children’s Cultural Practices around the Television Set .” Middle East Journal of Culture and Communication 5.2 (2012): 211-245.
Interest in the effect of martyrdom television programming on Palestinian children’s culture culminated in 2007, after Hamas’s Al-Aqsa television station tried to promote its political platform with the aid of a Mickey Mouse look-alike character in The Pioneers of Tomorrow. Critics of this television program assumed that martyrdom programs must have a major impact on Palestinian children. Although this assertion may seem reasonable, it is not supported by my research exploring how Palestinian children use television amidst a cultural context pervaded by ongoing conflict. My analysis reveals, among other important findings, that Palestinian children do not watch martyrdom programs. Thus, somewhat unexpectedly and contrary to concerns voiced about Palestinian martyrdom programming, Palestinian children have not been tuning in. Above all else, Palestinian children negotiate the available options by choosing to tune into global, rather than local Palestinian television content. The television program they consume the most is Tom And Jerry. Their parents, on the other hand, prefer that they watch religious programming, including that which airs on Iqra, and that which is hosted by modernist Muslim televangelist Amr Khaled. Nevertheless, family practices around the television set indicate, ultimately, that these children, not their parents, decide what to consume. My findings are based on survey analysis of Palestinian children’s television consumption decisions, surveys of their parents’ opinions about these decisions, my viewing of related television programs, and ethnographic analysis of related family practices around the television set. I conducted my analysis during a period of two and a half years with over 400 Palestinians in the Palestinian Authority and Israel.
Sheffi, Na’ama. "Shifting Boundaries: The 1967 War in Israeli Children’s Magazines." Journal of Israeli History 28,2 (2009): 137-154.
This article examines Israeli children’s magazines that were published in the weeks preceding and following the 1967 war in order to show the ways in which the war and its consequences were presented to the children. As common in times of war, the magazines’ editors aimed to mobilize their readers to the national effort, establishing role models such as children living in settlements near the battlefront. Alongside the national jubilation that followed the war, children were exposed to the complex issues it had engendered: the hundreds of fatalities on the Israeli side and the condition of the refugees on the Palestinian side. Nevertheless, the meanings of the change in Israel’s borders were not explained to the young readers.
Lachover, Einat. "Women in the Six Day War through the Eyes of the Media." Journal of Israeli History 28,2 (2009): 117-135.
On the basis of a content analysis of 168 news items dealing with women in the two largest-circulation newspapers in Israel, this article investigates whether there was any change in the news media’s representation of women during the Six Day War. The results indicate that while there was little change in women’s representation in quantitative terms, that is, their visibility remained low, there were differences in qualitative terms. Whereas women typically appear in the news as victims, this type of representation was rare in the Six Day War, when women were represented in the context of the collective rather than the private sphere. Thus, the image of the “egotistical woman” was replaced by that of the “woman volunteer,” while the wife/mother image appeared in the national context during the war. However, once the war was over, women returned to their private world, and the image of the woman soldier as a sexual object also reappeared. Rather than enabling women to redefine their relations with men, the nation and the state, the war underlined their traditional gender roles.
Keywords: Israeli women; news media; private/public sphere; patriarchal gender roles; Six Day War, עינת לחובר
Naveh, Chanan. "Israeli Radio during the Six Day War: The Voice of National Unity." Journal of Israeli History 28,2 (2009): 99-116.
On 8 March 1965, when the Knesset passed the Broadcasting Authority Law, Kol Israel, the government radio station, became the state-public radio. But two years later, when a national state of alert was declared in the crisis preceding the Six Day War, Kol Israel in effect became the mouthpiece of official-governmental voices inside the country and abroad. The broadcasts served the military during the days of high alert and especially during the war when the news bulletins became part of the army deception plan. The mobilization of the radio was reflected in its news magazines, commentary broadcasts, and music programs, making Kol Israel a crucial factor in the public patriotic effort to “rally around the flag.”
Keywords: radio; Kol Israel; Six Day War; state-media relations; media mobilization, חנן נווה