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The Other War: Israelis, Palestinians and the Struggle for Media Supremacy Hardcover – September 27, 2005

ISBN-13: 978-1893554948 ISBN-10: 1893554945 Edition: First Edition

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In this meticulously researched and readable volume, journalist Gutmann focuses on media coverage of the latest Israeli-Palestinian conflict, known as the second intifada. How, she asks, did Israel come to be so uniformly vilified in the press? Israel's lack of media savvy is partially to blame. But Gutmann believes the larger issue lies with news outlets' desire to oversimplify and argues it's a misconception that news outlets "can tell you what you need to know about this conflict, or indeed about any serious, complex event." She cites an Associated Press photograph that allegedly depicted an Israeli soldier brutalizing a Palestinian on the Temple Mount, but was actually of an American Jew who had been attacked, and the "soldier" was an Israeli police officer coming to his aid. The subsequent correction got very little attention, and Gutmann compares it to "a Freudian slip that revealed something deeper: the prejudice and assumptions that governed most editors' thinking about the conflict." Gutmann doesn't offer easy answers, insisting news consumers start questioning what they're told to get a more accurate representation of the conflict's complexities. While Gutmann's tone can be self-righteous, her deconstructions of photos and video clips are admirably detailed. The book will be an eye-opener for those wishing to delve deeper into media representation of some of the most visible news events of our time.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

"...Gutmann's arguments are sharp and her investigative reporting is excellent." -- Tikkun, 2006

"In sharply observant prose that is often quite funny ...[Gutmann] documents case after case of events being distorted..." -- Hillel Halkin, Commentary, February 2006

"The phenomena described in this book is a compound of self-righteousness, stupidity, and group-think, completely characteristic of modern times" -- David Pryce-Jones, the New York Sun, September 19, 2005

"This book is AWESOME!!! It should be distributed to every journalist and editorial board in the country." -- Steven Emerson, author, American Jihad: The Terrorists Living Among Us

an "insightful book on how organs like CNN, the BBC...and others give a grossly distorted picture of [the conflict.]" -- The Jerusalem Post, November 2005
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 287 pages
  • Publisher: Encounter Books; First Edition edition (September 27, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1893554945
  • ISBN-13: 978-1893554948
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,631,992 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
5 star
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See all 16 customer reviews
The author has done her research and writes well.
The Lifelong Learner
In a most engaging fashion, the author explains how journalism works in practice whilst exposing the gross bias against the Israeli side.
Peter Uys
I recommend this gritty first person account to anyone who wants to understand how AP, CNN and others manipulate our view of the world.
Amazon Customer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

60 of 66 people found the following review helpful By Jill Malter on October 4, 2005
Format: Hardcover
This book is about the media war between the Arabs and Israel. It deals with journalistic sensationalism and lack of ethics. I am not surprised that Israel is not faring well in this war. The other side is cheating. And the referees aren't taking them to task for it. Still, Israel has no choice but to maintain its standards and value truth. Meanwhile, I think that many Arabs have drifted into a culture of destruction in this war. And maybe this culture is reflected to some extent in the media war. As Stephanie Gutmann shows, the anti-Zionists are making a mockery of journalistic standards. They are destroyers, not creators. In the short term, they may appear to be winning, but they are not achieving anything positive.

Like many other people, including myself, Gutmann was surprised at the extent to which many people "were ready to drop the skepticism they showed in most other areas of their lives and believe everything the New York Times and CNN told them about the conflict and then develop such great passions about a relatively small affair, in a land very far away." Many people are doubtful that Israel even wants peace, even though almost all humans, including Israelis, would rather be rich, free, and alive than poor, enslaved, and dead.

The author tells about the Mohammed al-Dura case in some detail. This was a 12-year old who probably died in September, 2000, during the Arab aggression against Israel. If he died, he was probably killed (intentionally or unintentionally) by Arabs. But there isn't enough evidence to tell for certain what happened. Still, the case points out the huge number of staged events (look at the cover of the book for a typical example) and the amount of media misinformation.
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62 of 72 people found the following review helpful By Peter Uys HALL OF FAME on October 1, 2005
Format: Hardcover
This highly readable book takes one behind the media scenes and agendas of the conflict in the Holy Land. In a most engaging fashion, the author explains how journalism works in practice whilst exposing the gross bias against the Israeli side. She names the worst culprits, both individuals and organisations. The latter include the BBC, National Public Radio, The Guardian, The Independent, CNN, Associated Press and that old grey harlot, The New York Times.

Using examples like the death of the 12 year old Palestinian boy Mohammed Ad-Dura, the gruesome lynching of two Israeli reservists in Ramallah and the so-called Jenin Massacre that was later debunked by a United Nations investigation, Gutmann provides plenty of detail on how the anti-Israel propagandists operate. Truth be told, some of the blame rests on the Israeli side where the media war was not handled correctly. For example, Israeli spokespeople have not always received adequate resources or been proficient enough in English. This situation is now being improved.

One of the most glaring examples of media hypocrisy is the way in which Israel's security fence has been portrayed, with false analogies to the Berlin Wall. This while the EU intends to erect a barrier on its eastern borders and there are similar fences or walls between Turkey and Syria, and between Yemen and Saudi Arabia, to mention just a few. Gutmann reports that the situation is improving but I think much damage has already been done if one considers recent opinion polls conducted in several countries of Old Europe where alarming percentages of the population see Israel as the greatest threat to world peace.

Then again, this might just be a resurgence of the old European Anti-Semitism now surfacing again under the guise of Anti-Zionism.
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28 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Deep Reader on November 30, 2005
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I couldn't put this down. It is about famous massacres that did not happen. The author has a literate yet contemporary voice and a sense of humor. She takes you to the exotic hangout of journalists at the American Colony hotel; inside Palestinian offices, families, and funerals; into the Israel Defense Forces; and into house-to-house combat. She is not only gutsy but also persistent. Not content to reveal ~ in evenhanded assessments ~ how unsound the reporting from the Middle East has been, she presses on and asks "Why?" She shows how reporters arrive in Jerusalem prepared to do battle, and how coercive and controlled their environment becomes. She even takes you into the Associated Press and Reuters ~ into their very inner workings. Every chapter is like the unravelling of a terrific mystery. It is a real page turner. Hats off to Gutmann for a terrific, exciting, courageous, and important book.
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30 of 38 people found the following review helpful By Squonk on November 23, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Ms Gutmann has written a very readable insiders account of the coverage of the palestinian/israeli conflict.

In it she has documented the media's failure to objectively report on the events of the conflict. The Mohamad al-dura death, the lynching of 2 israeli reservists, and the sensationally reported jenin massacre are among the many examples of stories the media have poorly reported. As a result, the coverage of these events do not repesent the truth.

Like Bernard Goldberg's book 'Bias' and 'Arrogance', Gutmann demonstrates how reporters and news bureaus alike come to a story with pre-conceived ideas, and how this slants the coverage. In addition, she exposes how journalists bend to palestinian authority's heavy handed use of intimidation, and how many journalists care more that they have a marketable story than the actual truth. 'The other War'and 'Bias' and the recent revelation that cnn sat on negative information about the iraqi regime before the war so that they could stay in Baghdad, should make consumers of news, unfortunately, skeptical of vitually everything they read.

It seems that sensationalism has been so rewarded that it has replaced the journalistic code of objectivity, thoroughness, and fairness, and we all suffer for it.
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