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Attack When the World Is Not Watching? US News and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

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  • Ruben Durante
  • Ekaterina Zhuravskaya

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 US news on the following day is 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 US news.

Suggested Citation

  • Ruben Durante & Ekaterina Zhuravskaya, 2018. "Attack When the World Is Not Watching? US News and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 126(3), pages 1085-1133.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:jpolec:doi:10.1086/697202
    DOI: 10.1086/697202
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • L82 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Entertainment; Media
    • P16 - Political Economy and Comparative Economic Systems - - Capitalist Economies - - - Capitalist Institutions; Welfare State

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