May 25, 2011

Israel in the U.S. Spotlight

% of Newshole
Gaza Conflict Jan 5-11 2009 17
Flotilla Raid May 31-Jun 6 2010 13
Obama & Israel May 23-29 2011 11
Conference Nov 25-30 2007 8
Gaza Conflict Jan 12-18 2009 8
Peace Talks Aug 30-Sep 5 2010 5

3rd – Rank of the Obama-Netanyahu meeting among all Israeli events since 2007

The recent stress on the Israel-United States relationship—triggered by Obama’s May 19 speech in which he said that the 1967 Israeli borders should be a basis for an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal—generated major news in the U.S. media last week, May 16-22. Indeed, with 11% of the newshole, it was the most covered Israeli diplomacy issue since PEJ began the News Coverage Index in January 2007.

But the week ranks third among all Israeli events. The two that topped it were both military assaults.

The 2008-2009 Israel-Gaza War, garnered more attention than any Israel-related story. As Israel began its ground attack in the Gaza strip, the week of January 5-11, 2009, the conflict accounted for 17% of the newshole studied.

The second-most covered Israel event was that country’s May 31, 2010 deadly raid of flotillas headed to Gaza. The attack which killed nine activists and sparked an international outcry, accounted for 13% of the newshole from May 31-June 6.

Other major weeks for Israeli news include the second week of the 2009 Israel-Gaza conflict (8% the week January 12-18), the Bush administration’s ambitious Mideast conference (8% from November 25-30, 2007) and the highly anticipated peace talks held in September 2010 ( 5% from August 30-September 5).

Tricia Sartor of PEJ