The Palestinian Initiative for the Promotion of Global Dialogue and Democracy-MIFTAH issues this report about the Arab-Israeli conflict in the Palestinian media coverage of the 17th Israeli Knesset Elections during the period between 7-29 March 2006, with the aim of monitoring, studying and analyzing the type of media coverage of the Palestinian –Israeli conflict in the Palestinian media.
This is the sixth of a series of reports issued by MIFTAH in cooperation with the Center for the Protection of Democracy in Israel “Keshev,” which monitors and analyzes the Palestinian and Israeli media.
Through this report, we hope to contribute to developing professional, brave, critical and free media. Such a media is capable of providing better press and media services to the Palestinian public, according to scientific and professional standards that would contribute to strengthening the credibility of this media and enhance its impact, as well as assist in establishing the role of media as a watchdog over the executive power.
Monitoring topics are divided in the following manner:
A) Palestinian media coverage of the Israeli elections in general:
This section covers a set of general questions about the coverage and its connotations. Among these questions are the following:
- How did the Palestinian media handle the Israeli elections?
- Did the media channels take great interest in the topic? Did they highlight it and in what ways?
- Were these elections linked to on-going developments on the ground, such as the breaking into Jericho Prison and the arrest of Ahmad Sa’adat and his comrades?
- Were there any advertisements in Palestinian newspapers for the Israeli elections, by Zionist or Arab parties?
B) How did the media channels address the issue of Jerusalem in its coverage of the elections?
- On what scale did the issue of Jerusalem appear in the headlines and details of the elections news in the Palestinian coverage?
- What are the differences, if they exist at all, between the positions of Israeli parties towards the issue of Jerusalem in terms of both the present and the future?
- Did the Arab parties clearly reveal their positions towards Jerusalem?
- Was there any indication of the size of Palestinian votes from East Jerusalem of both types: holders of Israeli citizenship of Jerusalem who fell under occupation since 1967, or holders of Israeli citizenship as citizens of Israel (1948 Land)?
- How did the parties address the issue of the borders of Jerusalem? Which Jerusalem did they talk?
C) The political agendas of Israeli parties
- How do the parties perceive the possibility of resolving the Palestinian–Israeli conflict? Did the Palestinian media address the agendas of different parties regarding the conflict and their proposed solutions?
- Did the Palestinian media highlight the points of difference or agreement in the views of parties towards the core issues of the conflict in addition to the issue of Jerusalem? These issues include the Palestinian state: its nature and borders, the refugees and the right of return, the settlements and plundering Palestinian land, in addition to the prisoners and their destiny.
- How did the media address the issue of permanent borders of the state of Israel in the agendas of Israeli parties as well as the statements made by their leaders?
- What was the scale of interest in the issue of the Separation Wall? How was it covered in the Palestinian media from an Israeli parties’ perspective? Did the Palestinian media highlight the discrepancies in the positions of Israeli parties towards the Wall, if such discrepancies existed?
D) Occupation Practices, the daily confrontations and military operations
- Was there any relation between the practices of occupation forces against Palestinians and the elections campaign of Kadima party?
- Did the Palestinian media cite any incitement, escalation, or racism by the Israeli parties in the election campaigns?
- Did the Israeli parties use any incidence of violence or Palestinian attacks to overbid and adopt positions that inflame the conflict for electoral purposes? Did the Palestinian media point that out?
E) The attitude towards Hamas
- How did the Israeli parties perceive the victory of the Islamic Resistance Movement “Hamas” in the Palestinian Legislative Elections?
- What are the differences, if any, between Israeli parties in their willingness to deal with a Palestinian government led by Hamas?
- Did the Israeli parties use Hamas victory as an excuse to disclaim the Palestinian party or partner?
- Did the Palestinian media observe any exploitation of the victory of Hamas by the Israeli parties in their pursuit to win votes, especially those of the right and the middle?
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