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Attack When the World Is Not Watching? U.S. News and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

94 Pages Posted: 19 Feb 2015 Last revised: 28 Dec 2016

Ruben Durante

Sciences Po

Ekaterina Zhuravskaya

Paris School of Economics (PSE)

Date Written: December 1, 2016

Abstract

Politicians may strategically time unpopular measures to coincide with newsworthy events that distract the media and the public. We test this hypothesis in the context of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. We find that Israeli attacks are more likely to occur when U.S. news on the following day are dominated by important predictable events. Strategic timing applies to attacks that bear risk of civilian casualties and are not too costly to postpone. Content analysis suggests that Israel's strategy aims at minimizing next-day coverage, which is especially charged with negative emotional content. Palestinian attacks do not appear to be timed to U.S. news.

Keywords: Conflict, Media, News pressure, Strategic timing, Israel, Palestine

JEL Classification: D74, L82, N4, D72

Suggested Citation

Durante, Ruben and Zhuravskaya, Ekaterina, Attack When the World Is Not Watching? U.S. News and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict (December 1, 2016). Journal of Political Economy, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2566741 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2566741

Ruben Durante

Sciences Po ( email )

28 rue des Saints-Peres
Paris, 75011
France
+33145497264 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.rubendurante.com

Ekaterina V. Zhuravskaya (Contact Author)

Paris School of Economics (PSE) ( email )

48 Boulevard Jourdan
Paris, 75014 75014
France

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