Blaming the Victims

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VOL. 44


No. 1
P. 91
Operation Protective Edge: Dissecting the Discourse
Blaming the Victims

Without explicitly referencing the so-called Dahiya doctrine, Israel accompanied its summer 2014 onslaught against Gaza with a formidable media campaign of vilification and dehumanization, which enabled it to prosecute Operation Protective Edge with minimal criticism. Despite repeatedly violating the norms of international law, Israel portrayed itself as facing a near-existential threat from Palestinians who, in turn, were characterized as irrational actors and blamed for their own deaths. Israel’s discursive dominance resulted from the failure of an official Palestinian media strategy and from the news media’s reticence to question Israel’s actions or challenge its narrative.