Exploring Message Targeting at Home and Abroad: The Role of Political and Media Considerations in the Rhetorical Dynamics of Conflict Resolution

Elie Friedman, Zohar Kampf, Meital Balmas


Targeting messages on sensitive, conflict-related issues while mediating between disparate audience expectations presents a significant risk to the image and interests of political actors. This study provides a basis for understanding the factors that impact a politician’s choice between using message consistencies or gaps and discusses their consequences for conflict resolution processes. Based on quantitative and qualitative analysis of 644 messages presented by Israeli officials with respect to the Israeli–Arab conflict and Israeli–Palestinian conflict over three different periods (1967‒73; 1993‒2000; 2009‒12), the study points to foreign relations defined by the existence of negotiations rather than mediatization processes as the significant factor that impacts the rhetorical dynamics of conflict resolution negotiations, due to the amplified pressures of a two-level game during periods of rapprochement.


Israeli–Palestinian conflict, mediatization, message, negotiation, rhetoricages; negotiation

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