Presentation on theme: "Under the Spotlight Jill Disbro. Huge Media Presence Anecdote: Major General Amram Mitzna encountered a disturbance of about fifty Palestinian teenagers."— Presentation transcript:
Huge Media Presence Anecdote: Major General Amram Mitzna encountered a disturbance of about fifty Palestinian teenagers (Friedman 425). Reporters quickly swooped in to get the story and in doing so surrounded the soldiers separating the commander from his men. “‘I am the supreme commander in the West Bank and I had to argue my way past journalists to get to a battle’” (Friedman 426). http://www.imemc.org/article/58583>.
Numbers One of the largest foreign press contingents in the world. 350 permanently accredited news organizations The Palestinian uprisings of 1987-1988 brought 700 additional journalists. About 1 foreign correspondent for every 6,100 Israelis (Friedman 426).
“How can a tiny country with the population of greater Chicago and the size of the state of Delaware occupy as much news space as the Soviet Union, if not more?" (Friedman 427).
Three Reasons 1.The West has a fascination with the Holy Land. 2.The West has high expectations of Israel. 3.Israel itself solicited attention.
Western Fascination with The Holy Land The Bible is “the main lens through which Western man looks at himself and at the world” (Friedman 428). “The characters, the geography, and the themes involved are so familiar” (Friedman 428). Israel in the news makes the old stories of the bible modern and once again relevant (Friedman 430-431).
High Expectations for Israel Anecdote: The front page news story in the Herald Tribune was about an “Israeli soldier not beating, not killing, but grabbing a Palestinian” (Friedman 431-432). 155 countries in the world today Five people grabbed other people in each country 775 similar incidents worldwide “Why was it that this grab was the only one to be photographed and treated as front-page news?” (Friedman 432). http://www.ccun.org/News%20Photos/2008/May/1-4%20May%202008%20News%20Photos.htm
Expectations (cont.) “What the West expected from the Jews of the past, it expects from Israel today” (432). Jews introduced the Ten Commandments so “modern Israel is expected to reflect a certain level of justice and morality in its actions” (Friedman 433). They are also expected to live up to their status as a symbol of optimism of hope (Friedman 433). Thus all news about Israel is sensationalized: “‘When the Syrians kill people it is a story about Syria,’ observed Yaron Ezrahi. ‘When the Jews kill, it somehow becomes a story about mankind’” (Friedman 434).
Israel Solicited Attention Jewish people were not a majority in their country and they “demanded that the world take heed of its uniqueness and judge it with a different yardstick from other nation-states” (Friedman 438). Israel’s innate insecurity coupled with “near-total economic dependence on the United States, [makes Israel] obsessed with how it is portrayed in the Western media in general and the American media in particular” (Friedman 440). “In Jerusalem, the Government Press Office [provides] daily English translations of the main articles and editorials in all the Israeli newspapers” (Friedman 441).
Effects of the Spotlight The presence of the soldiers often dictated events, like in the Mitzna anecdote. “The Palestinians have received more attention and visibility than any other refugee community or national liberation movement in the world…while other defeated nations, who didn’t have the Jews for enemies were ignored” (Friedman 443). However, the West only truly feels for the Jew. “It can be extremely frustrating to think that the world is talking about you but not feeling you but not feeling for you” (Friedman 445). “It has given [the Palestinians] a grossly exaggerated sense of their real strength and convinced their leaders that time is somehow on their side” (Friedman 447).
“When Israeli repression is no longer viewed as news, it means that the West no longer expects anything exceptional of itself” (Friedman 450).