Dominant Narrative Dictated by Israel and the US

In order to understand the constructed binaries in the dominant narrative of the Israel- Palestine Conflict one needs to look at the US media. Amani Ismail writes in “Making Sense of a Barrier: U.S. News Discourses on Israel’s Dividing Wall” about the importance of understanding the US media’s stance on the conflict, as the American media is exported to many different areas and is very influential.  He writes of the important to examine American media as, “the US media culture is increasingly exported and circulated abroad more than any other country’s media alone” as well as the “United States’ role as long-time mediator within the Palestine-Israel Conflict, [examining the] US media becomes especially relevant” (Ismail:2009, 86).

This video clearly describes the “institutional filters” the media operates in. This video clearly lays out the multiples factors within the United States in which creates a bias in understanding of the conflict. This video exposes the public relations campaign within Israel and the United States that strategically shows only certain aspect of the events actually occurring in the region. In the US media, they show the Palestinians as the perpetrators of the violence, or if they report on their deaths, the media represents the events as if they were victims of their own actions.

In this video, they also demonstrate how personalized Israeli’s are in the American media. This is a well thought out strategic move by the dominant media that pulls at people emotions, and connections to a person by creating a story of their life. By taking the time to show the family members and pictures and talking about ones life, it allows for the audience to become close and sympathizes with them and their family. This emotional and human connection that is created is important in understanding the support for Israel, as it has been scientifically constructed by presenting images that they know will pull peoples emotions, creating sympathy. These images fail to be presented for the Palestinians and their families intentionally, in order to not create any sympathy or a sense of connection. This emotional connection is never given to the Palestinians; they just remain a number of causalities in an event in the US media.

In the United States, the Israel Lobby is one of the largest and most influential. Last election, Israel Lobby gave more than 22 million dollars in campaign contributions to candidates (Dreyfuss:2009, 43). The interest of many American Jews is seeing a successful and powerful Jewish state of Israel controlling the land in which they see to be “their Holy Land”. The Israeli Lobby has been very successful in making sure their interests have been heard in Congress. One of the most notable lobby groups is American Israeli Public Affairs Counsel or AIPAC. AIPAC has over 100,000 members, an endowment of over 140 million dollar, and about 300 staff member lobbyists with 18 offices across the country (Dreyfuss:2009, 44). This army of lobbyist and money has also bleed through and has influenced the media, which is supporting the status quo and the current policies of the government. Any true challenge or opposition to the Middle Eastern Foreign Policy by smaller independent groups has been pushed aside because the Israel Lobby has dominated the discourse (Dreyfuss:2009, 45).

With the strong US Israeli Lobby, the United States Foreign Policy has supported the Israeli Government financially and militarily. The US has given over 140 billion dollars in 2003 to Israel and supported them militarily by supporting them with weapons and subsidies (Sharp: 2009, 3).

However the imbalance in the representation within the US mass media goes deeper than just the Israeli Lobby and can be understood by some theories that Edward Said presents.

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