Psychological Warfare in the Intifada: Israeli and Palestinian Media Politics and Military Strategies
Psychological warfare is a touchy subject in western democratic societies. It raises the spectre of Nazism and totalitarian methods of mind control, yet provides an explanation for the spectacular success of the Palestinians in their fight against Israel, and their ability to exert political pressure on this regional power. This is the first book of its kind on PSYOP (psychological operations -- military actions designed to influence the perceptions and attitudes of individuals, groups and foreign governments) in Middle East research. It provides a much needed in-depth analysis of the techniques used by both the Israelis and the Palestinians. The volume clarifies the rationales for psychological warfare in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict from 1948 to 1991, examines the development of concepts of offensive and defensive psychological warfare as developed by the Nazis and the Soviets, as well as US and British tactics of persuasion, and the ways the main actors have adapted these tactics to the specifics of the Intifada. Close attention is paid to the formulation and dissemination of Palestinian psychological themes directed at the Arab world, neutral parties and the enemy, and official Israeli (largely unsuccessful) attempts to counter them, including official government stances and directives to the Israeli Defense Forces. The Intifada, conducted under media scrutiny, resulted in a total re-examination of Israeli military strategies, which has important bearing for the future conduct of armies fighting local insurgency, most recently the US Iraq experience. This book is essential reading for all involved in Media Studies and Military Strategy.
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