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An examination of the 2008/09 conflict in Gaza has highlighted the ‘metaphorical’ war that was also taking place between British broadsheet newspapers during that time.
The armed conflict between the State of Israel and Hamas between 27 December 2008 and 18 January 2009 marks a significant event in the history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
In his new book ‘Violence and Understanding in Gaza’, UEL researcher Dr David Kaposi critiques coverage of the conflict by broadsheet newspapers such as the Daily Telegraph, The Times, Guardian, and the Independent, whilst examining the breadth and depth of content and the various ways of understanding violence.
As the first comprehensive study of its kind, the book highlights a reporting system that mirrored the ‘black and white’ nature of war, with conservative publications advocating Israeli interests and left-liberal titles supporting Palestinians. It argues that in order to do justice to the terrible tragedies of the war, and to support aspirations of peace, broadsheets have an important role to play in changing the dominant ways of thinking.
Dr Kaposi, a lecturer from UEL’s School of Psychology, comments: “To find a common ground, to genuinely acknowledge the rights and wrongs of both sides, somehow seemed to be practically impossible in the context of the armed conflict. Whilst all British broadsheets advocate a negotiated solution, the framework they construct makes it all but impossible.
“Instead of asking who is innocent and who should be blamed, it should start to treat the conflict as a story of mutually painful but very real human relations. Any meaningful political-moral criticism can only start from that position.”
Violence and Understanding in Gaza: The British Broadsheets’ Coverage of the War, published by Palgrave MacMillan is available to purchase in hardback here.