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

Author

Listed:
  • Ruben Durante

    (ECON - Département d'économie (Sciences Po) - Sciences Po - Sciences Po - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, UPF - Universitat Pompeu Fabra [Barcelona], CEPR - Center for Economic Policy Research - CEPR)

  • Ekaterina Zhuravskaya

    (NES - New Economic School - NES, PJSE - Paris Jourdan Sciences Economiques - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne - ENS-PSL - École normale supérieure - Paris - PSL - Université Paris Sciences et Lettres - INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, PSE - Paris School of Economics - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne - ENS-PSL - École normale supérieure - Paris - PSL - Université Paris Sciences et Lettres - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement)

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Ruben Durante & Ekaterina Zhuravskaya, 2018. "Attack When the World Is Not Watching? U.S. News and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict," SciencePo Working papers Main halshs-01631696, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:spmain:halshs-01631696
    DOI: 10.1086/697202
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    References listed on IDEAS

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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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