Chiche, Fabrice & Boms,Nir (2009) “The Other Gaza War: Hamas Media Strategy during Operation Cast Lead and Beyond” in Israel Journal of Foreign Affairs, Vol. 3. No. 2.
A simple search in Google for the word “Gaza” will yield over 67 million results, while a search for its neighboring Israeli city of Sderot-located just a few miles away from Gaza City and a target of the last few rounds of confrontation between Israel and Hamas-will yield a little over a million (a ratio of 60:1). A more interesting comparison demonstrates that a search for “Hamas,” a local terrorist group, receives twice the number of “hits” (27 million) as a search for the international terrorist network “al-Qa’ida.” These results can be explained by a number of factors, including the high level of interest in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the way different terms are coded on the internet. But the rather impressive Hamas media presence that was apparent during the recent campaign in Gaza can also be attributed to the calculated and successful media strategy implemented by Hamas and some of its supporters. The notion of a “media war” is nothing new when it comes to terrorist groups. Ayman al-Zawahiri, al-Qa’ida’s second-in-command, declared in 2005 that: “We are in a battle, and more than half of it is taking place in the battlefield of the media. We are in a media battle for the hearts and minds of our umma Continue reading