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Palgrave Macmillan

Violence and Understanding in Gaza

The British Broadsheets' Coverage of the War

ISBN 9781137439499
Publication Date August 2014
Formats Hardcover Ebook (EPUB) Ebook (PDF) 
Publisher Palgrave Macmillan

In the familiar atmosphere of hue and cry, Violence and Understanding in Gaza encourages its readers to think for themselves when it comes to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. As the first comprehensive investigation of the British broadsheets' coverage of the armed conflict between the State of Israel and Hamas, Kaposi critiques the newspapers' output, arguing that they without exception merely replicate the black and white logic of war. He contends that the newspapers defeat their own aims about a two-state solution based on compromise. For that to happen, the British media must in future cease to write about the conflict as if it were a mythical contest between Good and Evil. 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.

Dávid Kaposi was born in a football stadium in Budapest. It is from that time that his interest in the human affairs dates. Having written about the work of novelist Imre Kertész and the exchange between philosopher Hannah Arendt and historian Gershom Scholem, he has also come to appreciate that life is not a zero sum game. Kaposi currently teaches psychology at the University of East London, UK, and is a psychotherapist in training.

List of Tables
1. Introduction: Violence and Understanding in the Armed Conflict of Gaza
2. Method of the Analysis and General Characteristics of the Newspapers
3. Action and Death in War
4. Engagements with History
5. Engagements with Criticism
6. Engagements with Antisemitism
7. War – Purity of Arms and Souls in the Conservative Press
8. War – Purity of Arms and Souls in the Liberal Press
9. Conclusion: Beyond Good and Evil
List of Sources
List of References
Appendix: List of the Newspapers' Editorials


"Kaposi sets out to examine, in detail, not only different interpretations of the Gaza conflict, as represented in broadsheet newspaper coverage of the war, but also to analyse the ways that these very interpretations make understanding - and conflict resolution - unattainable. I am sure that the book will come to be considered a significant contribution to the literature on the war (and on the Israel/Palestinian conflict more generally) and should retain this status for some years." - John E. Richardson, Department of Social Sciences, Loughborough University, UK
'The book provides a complex and multi-faceted assessment of British news coverage of the Gaza conflict which will hopefully be expanded to other political developments and newspapers in the future. It is eye-opening in its critical scrutiny.' - Catherine Hezser, LSE Review of Books, 2014
  • Brian Klug 8th September 2014

    Violence and Understanding in Gaza is a landmark publication. The book, in which David Kaposi meticulously analyses the coverage in British broadsheets of the war in Gaza between Israel and Hamas from December 2008 to January 2009, sets out both the common ground and the differences between conservative and left/liberal interpretations of the war. Reflecting on his findings, Kaposi reveals the role that Western media plays in perpetuating tropes that stand in the way of resolving the conflict. In a field dominated by writing that is either polemical or superficial, Kaposi's book stands out for its objectivity and depth. Should be required reading for students taking relevant courses in political science, Middle Eastern Studies, media studies and cultural studies.

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