This paper explores the formation of U.S. public opinion regarding the Arab-Israeli conflict from 1948 until the present. There are several specific periods in the five decades this time span encompasses when events in the Middle East have focused world attention on the conflict over Palestine. The most significant include (1) the events of 1948, culminating in the founding of Israel; (2) the 1956 Suez Crisis, and the dispatching of U.S. Marines to Lebanon in 1958; (3) the Six-Day War of 1967; (4) the 1973 Yom Kippur War; (5) the 1978 Camp David Accords and Israel's two invasions of Lebanon, in 1978 and 1982; (6) the Persian Gulf War of 1991; and (7) the still-evolving "peace process" that grew out of historic Israeli-PLO contacts in 1993.
Rather than focus in great detail on any one of these time periods, I will give a broad overview of how key events during each were interpreted by press coverage in the mainstream U.S. mass media. I will also identify the primary Arab and Israeli-aligned domestic U.S. interest group players in the ongoing battle to shape U.S. Middle East foreign policy and U.S. public opinion on the subject. My research will reveal consistent propaganda themes that have been used over the years as substitutes for true information and dialogue on this issue. Such themes draw their strength from repetition over time, but their orgins lie in distortion of historic facts and misuse or withholding of proper historical contexts in news coverage. They must be examined in the total context of past news coverage and domestic U.S. interest group propaganda activity to be fully understood.
(Editor's note: Unfortunately, this paper never got written, but I had a great bibliography ready to go!)
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