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Perhaps the most shocking fact in More Bad News from Israel is that two-thirds of the British public are still unsure whether Israel is occupying the Palestinian territories or vice versa.
This book, an update of Bad News from Israel (Pluto Press, 2004), extends the research done by Greg Philo and Mike Berry of the Glasgow Media Group on how Israelis and Palestinians are represented by mainstream media and how the conflict and its origins are framed. It assesses the impact this has had on public perceptions of the conflict. This new edition includes studies of how television covered the Israeli offensive in Gaza in the winter of 2008–9, as well as the Israeli attack on the flotilla to Gaza in mid-2010.
The book demonstrates how the mainstream media, and especially the BBC, consistently focus on the immediacy and violence of events in sensationalist ways that fail to provide a clear historical context for current developments. This has been exacerbated by the emergence of Israel’s National Information Directorate, a PR apparatus founded in 2008 to feed interpretative texts to mainstream outlets. It provides them with a narrative that runs counter to the evidence of particularly violent images of death and destruction to which audiences are exposed.
Why does the BBC, for example, buy this pro-Israel interpretation? At least in part, it is because in a world of libel suits and PR bullying, bodies such as the BBC steer shy of direct criticism of Israeli government policies in the occupied territories, and of challenging Israeli officials who shamelessly distort facts to the camera. There is nothing ‘impartial’ about it.
Such representations ensure that the most basic relation of occupier to occupied is overlooked or even inverted and audiences are left with a vague sense of an endless chain of tit-for-tat violence that has neither a rational political explanation nor any hope for a resolution.
Rich in facts and rigorous in analysis, this book is an excellent, if depressing, expose of how the media has failed both the English-speaking public and the people who ultimately bear the results of this conflict – both Palestinians and Israelis.
The collapse of Carillion is only one small part of a larger story of decades of economic mismanagement
Laura McDonald writes that universities should not just be finishing schools for the wealthy or disciplinary institutions churning out docile workers.
A floundering alliance of Blairites is trying to reinvent itself for a Corbynite age. By Tom Costello.
Marienna Pope-Weidemann explains why decades of occupation and oppression have led some people to call Israel an apartheid state.
International Women's Day is set to be marked by strikes from "paid work in offices and factories, or unpaid domestic work in homes, communities and bedrooms."
Laurie Laybourn-Langton writes that measuring the economy is political - and economic measurement dominates politics.
David Scott argues that our prison system represents a human rights disaster, and reformist solutions can't tackle the root problems.
A deeper engagement with culture can strengthen our democracy, taking political projects beyond electoral impact and festival memes into a whole new world of radical, lasting change.
Ruth Tanner writes that revelations about Oxfam's behaviour in Haiti are shocking, but not surprising.
The actions of Oxfam officials are horrendous - but gutting foreign aid funding just puts more people at risk, writes Daniel Gibson.
For All, By All
The latest issue of Red Pepper asks - how do we invite, support and nurture greater public participation so that our cultural capabilities are empowered beyond the crushing logic of market fundamentalism?
‘We are hungry in three languages’: The forgotten promise of the Bosnian Spring
Ruth Tanner looks back at a wave of protests which swept through Bosnia and Herzegovina in 2014.
It’s time for a cultural renewal of the left
Andrew Dolan writes that we need to integrate art, music, films and poetry into our movement, creating spaces where political ideas are given further room to breathe.
Jeremy Hunt is poised to flog the last of the NHS
Peter Roderick sounds the alarm on an 'attack on the fundamental principles of the NHS'.
Viva Siva, 1923-2018
A. Sivanandan, who died this week, was a hugely important figure in the politics of race and class. As part of our tributes, Red Pepper is republishing this 2009 profile of him by Arun Kundnani
Sivanandan: When memory forgets a giant
Daniel Renwick calls for the whole movement to discover and remember the vital work of A. Sivanandan, who died this week
A master-work of graphic satire
American Jewish cartoonist Eli Valley’s comic commentary on America, the US Jewish diaspora and Israel is nothing if not near the knuckle, Richard Kuper writes