The Suppression of Guilt: The Israeli Media and the Reoccupation of the West Bank

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September 2005



This is a groundbreaking new study of the Israeli media and its role in shaping public opinion on the conflict. The first book of its kind - an English-language study of how the Middle East conflict is covered within Israel itself, and by an Israeli scholar. It builds on the success of "Bad News" from Israel, which has sold nearly 5,000 copies in less than a year. The author is a well regarded and has published before with Indiana University Press. Controversial and timely, this will be of huge appeal to students of Media Studies and the Middle East. Is Israeli society losing touch with the rest of the world - and with the reality of the ongoing conflict with the Palestinians? Israeli scholar, Daniel Dor measures the breach between Israel's collective consciousness and international public opinion, and concludes that Israeli society has dangerously withdrawn into a sense of isolation and victimization - largely because of the role played by the Israeli media. Dor examines the ways in which the major Israeli media reports events - or fails to - and how it plays a key part in shaping opinion, waging the propaganda war that accompanies military offensives on the ground.


1. "Between the Hague and Jerusalem": An Introduction; 2. Objective Reality and Intertextual Analysis: The Definition of Bias; 3. Commitment, Despair and Confusion: The Newspapers; 4. "Live from the Jenin Area": The Television News Broadcasts; 5. "The Problem with Sharon's Plans": The Suppression of Intention; 6. Manufacturing Identity: Remarks Towards A Conclusion; Notes; Index.


A former journalist, Daniel Dor teaches at the Department of Communication,Tel Aviv University, and is a graduate of Stanford University. A revised translation of an earlier book, Intifada Hits the Headlines, was published by Indiana University Press in 2003. He has worked as a senior news editor in two of Israel's leading newspapers.


Daniel Dor is a brave and non- conventional Israeli reader of his country's media at a war time. D. Dor was not misled by his state propaganda nor affected psychologically by Palestinian terrorism. His sober mind and free intellect led him to critically review Israeli mobilized media reports, including its self righteous attitude and siege mentality that combines a victimhood approach with demonising the Palestinians collectively. He calls the media to serve democracy, to be part of the solution rather then reflecting the problem of an ill society corrupted by occupation and brutal army operations. -- Dr. Menachem Klein, author of The Jerusalem Problem: The Struggle for Permanent Status Dor's book, in its early Hebrew and urgent version, is giving ample evidence of how Israeli free press easily turned into an instrument of propaganda, geared at backing, justifying and encouraging the escalating military policies of the Israeli governments against the Palestinians. This research should not be seen as an internal israeli concern: it raises a universal question, about the limitations of any media and its journalists in disengaging themselves of their society\class\gender interests and be agents of doubt, if not change. -- Amira Hass, journalist for the Israeli daily Ha'aretz and author of Drinking the Sea at Gaza: Days and Nights in a Land under Siege (2000). This fascinating book shows how and why Israel's media supported the Israeli state's 2002 assault on the West Bank. The author, a teacher at Tel Aviv University, previously worked as a senior news editor at two of Israel's leading newspapers. Dor's account shows how the media reflects and maintains people's sense of themselves, presenting the news in a way that supports existing opinions. -- Will Podmore, Voice of Unions The Suppression of Guilt shares an interest in the ideological deformation of the Israeli state, but focuses on the operation of the media, in particular its representation of the military occupation of the West Bank in 2002 - the systematic state violence that went under the Orwellian name of Operation Defensive Shield. Israeli Press and television coverage of the occupation included a variety of political perspectives, some of which were bitterly critical of Sharon and of the IDF. Emerging out of Dor's survey is a consistent picture, a homogeneity of treatment across apparently very different newspapers and television channels. Even when the Israeli media are, in effect, forced to acknowledge the terrible deeds being perpetrated in the Occupied Territories, these actions are presented as exceptions, as accidents, as acts without agency. By these means, Dor argues, Israeli society is able to suppress its guilt. -- John Yandell, Palestine News Dor takes a particular period in 2002 (Operation Defensive Shield, the largest israeli incursion into the Palestinian territories since the second Intifada) and analyses the five media outlets in depth. He adopts an approach which 'does not pre-suppose an objective description of reality as a standard but develops an intertextual method of critical analysis which, in turn, allows for a better understanding of what the essence of bias consists of. In this way, Dor goes beyond offering a conventional interpretation of reporting to a new paradigm of how the analysis of the media can be conducted. This is a most innovative approach and one that deserves close study in this country. Aside from the political value of the analysis itself, readers who are themselves reporters and others interested in how the media work will find much of intellectual as well as practical value in this study. -- Jon Taylor, Chartist Daniel Dor, who currently teaches in the Department of Communication at Tel Aviv University, used to be a journalist. He was senior editor at Yediot Aharonato and the right-leaning Ma'riv. But he claims his book, is decidedly non-partisan. Rather, it is a critical study of Israel's leading newspapers and news channels during the previous intifada. Far from being reactionary, the book walks a razor thin middle ground that is fraught with complexity: an acknowledgement of Jewish victimhood as well as of Israeli atrocities. In only 106 pages, Dor accomplishes a nearly impossible task. With a sober, academic approach, he cuts through the emotional fuzz that distorts the news, and lays bare the collective fears at the root of the Israeli media's biases and self-censorship. Specifically, he deals with the issue of guilt. The crux of this book is in the title itself: the suppression of guilt in the Israeli media. Dor doesn't judge this form of collective denial. He doesn't excuse it either. These are not media obsessed with propaganda. But they do reflect a society ravaged by the complexities of war. Reading this book is like a good session on a therapist's couch, with Dor patiently exposing the media's - and the news consumers' defense mechanisms. -- Ann Keehn, The Jerusalem Post
EAN: 9780745322957
ISBN: 0745322956
Untertitel: Sprache: Englisch.
Verlag: PLUTO PR
Erscheinungsdatum: September 2005
Seitenanzahl: 128 Seiten
Format: gebunden
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