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Tuesday, June 19, 2007

EI: Decoding the media's Palestinian "civil war"

An interesting look at the media bias in Coverage of the Israel/Palestine issue:

Major news stories from Palestine/Israel are often accompanied by what becomes a self-reinforcing "vocabulary," typically generated by Israeli government ministries or other propaganda outlets, and then picked up by the Western media. A classic example was the redeployment of Israeli settlers and military from the Gaza Strip in 2005, which was successfully packaged as a "disengagement" that pitted "Israeli against Israeli," in a "painful compromise." This kind of marketing exercise often works even when there are widely available contradictory reports, such as how "disengagement" was openly trumpeted by Sharon and his advisors as a strategy for destroying the peace process.

This phenomenon went into overdrive recently, as dramatic events across the Occupied Palestinian Territories, but especially in Gaza, presented the evening news with a problem of how to reduce the conflict in the internal Palestinian political arena into an easily digestible sound bite. The solution was, as usual, lazy journalism and an almost total blackout on Israeli/US collusion in the dark events unfolding. Here then, is a guide to decoding the Palestinian "civil war," presented as a series of oft-repeated, yet entirely misleading, clich├ęs. READ ON

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