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Tue, Dec 20, 2011 | by Florian Druckenthaner

Inspection of the scene of a Palestinian terrorist attack near a bus stop at the entrance to Jerusalem, 23 March 2011.


Spiral of Violence: How the German online media portrays Palestinian terrorism against Israel


This paper analyses German media coverage of Palestinian terrorism on the example of the 2011 Jerusalem bus station bombing which carries all the characteristics of a terror attack. The qualitative research is focussed on the online media and looks at reports from the leading five internet news sites in Germany. Using Michael Walzer’s definition of terrorism and theories on the relationship between terrorism and the media, this paper approaches the topic from a moral viewpoint. It looks at how terrorism is contextualized by the media and to what extend journalists contribute to the justification of terror.

Definition of Terrorism:

There is no clear-cut definition of the term terrorism. Politicians, state agencies, journalists, even the perpetrators of political violence themselves use the term in multiple ways, often according to a certain function they pursue upon its use. In the same way, the term terrorism can be perceived in multiple ways by the audience. However, from the academic debate of this subject three key viewpoints have emerged

The first approach is that one does not require a definition. Jeremy Waldron describes it as the “you know, when you see it”-phenomenon. And George Fletcher says that the concept of terrorism fulfils so many different functions that it is impossible to agree on one definition. Fletcher found at least eight factors that bear on terrorism, those of violence, political intention, type of victims, type of offenders, their motives and just cause, organisation, an element of theatre and no feeling of regret.[1] Critics of this approach argue that one needs to specify what’s wrong with terrorism and that there are practical aspects of having an international agreed definition, as the term is used by international and national bodies.

Secondly, there is the inclusive definition of the term. In After the terror, Ted Honderich identifies the 9/11 attack on the twin towers as illegal according to the international rules of war, however for him “illegality is not wrongfulness or immorality”.[2]

The inclusive definition of terrorism suggests that the morality of a terror attack shall be judged by the cause. It further includes state agencies (military forces, policemen…), who are charged to carry out terrorist acts just like suicide bombers (Honderich provides the example of Israeli soldiers conducting operations in Palestinian refugee camps).[3] In his definition Honderich does not include the spread of fear as a necessary objective of terrorism and thereby detaches the term from its linguistic root, terror.

“Terrorism is violence with a political and social intention, whether or not intended to put people in general in fear, and raising a question of its moral justification — either illegal violence within a society or smaller-scale violence than war between states or societies and not according to international law.”[4]

In contrast to this defensive view, a third approach defines terrorism narrowly by distinguishing it from all other forms of military or paramilitary activity. According to Michael Walzer, a prominent advocate of a stringent use of the term, terrorism is

“the intentional random murder of defenceless non-combatants with the intent of spreading fear of mortal peril admits a population as a strategy designed to advance political ends.”[5]

It is this randomness, the deliberate not drawing of any line between combatants and civilians, the in-distinction between those eligible to be killed and those regarded as innocent that makes terrorism an almost genocidal act.[6] Therefore, unlike guerrilla warfare or political assassination, Walzer argues that terrorism could never be morally justified.

In my analysis of the relationship between terrorism and the media, I will relate to the narrow definition provided by Michael Walzer. The idea that “terrorists kill to deliver a message of fear among a whole population”[7] provides a crucial role for the mass media as they are the primary source of information in any modern society. It raises the question of how to report terror incidents in such a way that they don’t fulfil the intentions of the perpetrators and whether this is possible in Western countries, where the mass media constitutes a giant market with competition over sales and sensations.

(Mass) Media and Terrorism — A Love Story?

The relationship between terrorism and the mass media has been widely debated since the terror attack at the Munich Olympics in 1972 (and again after 9/11) and most scholars agree that both share complimentary interests — and form a kind of symbiosis. “Terrorists use the media as a conduit for their political message to be heard by the target audience whilst supplying exciting news for the media,” as Adam Lockyer, an Australian intelligence analyst puts it.[8]

Spreading fear among the target audience is only one of several objectives. In the eyes of Charles Krauthammer terrorism has become a form of political advertising which the media is an indispensable part of.[9]

Brigitte Nacos points out three objectives of political violence that are facilitated by the media: Attention, recognition and respectability.[10] By disproportionate and sensational coverage of terrorist incidents the media provides for the necessary attention. This is followed by recognition of the terrorist group who committed the act, granting them the spotlight they aimed for. Last, the media often provides terrorists or their supporters with a direct opportunity to communicate the reasons behind their actions (i.e. Nasrallah’s appearance on 60 minutes in April 2003, broadcasting of Bin-Laden’s messages to the “West”). This bestows a degree of respectability on terrorist leaders, who use the chance to justify their activities.[11]

Adam Lockyer points at another danger. He suggests that the media may act as a rhetorical amplifier for terrorists by adopting their language. “The language used by the media has an enormous impact on how the target audience perceives the incident”.[12] He thinks that journalists might be seduced by the romantic language of a terrorist source and are thereby tempted to adopt it.

A very interesting study comes from Dominic Rohner and Bruno Frey who developed a game theoretic model to calculate the impact of the media coverage on the propensity of terror attacks and vice versa. They describe the relationship between the two as a “common-interest-game in which both parties adapt to the actions of the other one”.[13] In their analysis they identified Western media coverage, in particular US media as a central goal behind terrorist activity. As a consequence of lower interest of Western media in attacks committed in developing countries, terrorists there aim for bloodier attacks with higher casualties in order to make it into the news.[14] Another finding was that after 9/11 the media’s interest in terrorism increased massively over an enduring period. At the same time terrorist activity has risen. The study conducted comes to the result that “terrorism and media coverage of terrorism cause each other”.[15]

Other researchers identify a similar, negative effect of how the mass media covers terrorism. In an analysis of religiously motivated terrorism Ayla Schbley found out that Muslim fundamentalists use the media to gather know-how on how to organize and execute terrorist attack.[16] And Brian Houston proclaims that youth who are geographically removed from a terrorist event experience the greatest amount of Posttraumatic Stress related to exposure to media coverage of terrorism.[17]

All these studies suggest a negative impact of how the Western mass media currently covers terrorism. However, from the findings one may also derivate recommendations of how the media can avoid aiding the perpetrators and may even contribute to the prevention of further casualties.

Most literature on this subject sees freedom of the press and the public’s right to know as one of the most important columns of Western democracy. In the eyes of many the danger of giving future governments the ability to exploit potential limitations of this freedom outweighs the gains that could be achieved by supervised media coverage of terrorism. Still, there are a number of measures that could provide for a less harmful media coverage.

One of them is the adoption of voluntarily self-limitations by journalists. Currently most media outlets respect some limits in certain topic areas such as suicide or child-pornography in order to protect the victims and avoid “copycat criminals”. Some scholars have suggested implying similar self-regulation in regard to the coverage of terror incidents. This would mean to avoid sensationalizing and highlighting the incident. Benjamin Netanyahu adds that journalists are further obliged to “responsible, restrained and critical reporting of terrorism and its practitioners”.[18] In other words should they refrain from sending the terrorist’s message. According to Nacos the ultimate message of terrorists is that they are respectable people and their cause legitimate (see last chapter). Here the logical recommendation would be to deny terrorists and their supporters a platform to advertise the reasons for their activities, especially in direct, unfiltered interviews.

One last ethical consideration for a self-regulation is raised by Michael Walzer’s definition of terrorism as random, genocidal murder. It would require the media to cover any terror incident as a criminal act regardless of the cause. Similar to the coverage of an amok-style massacre, there would be no place for glorification of the perpetrator by presenting his “cause” as legitimate.

Besides the demands for journalistic self-discipline there are other ideas on the break-up of the symbiosis between terrorism and Western mass media. Rohner and Frey suggest to avoid as much as possible to attribute terrorist attacks to particular groups.[19] Moreover they call for governments to indirectly subsidize so called quality-journalism in order to reduce sensational coverage of terror incidents and give room for a more differentiated debate.[20]

This analysis will show whether the quality press is really doing a “better job” in covering terror incidents appropriately. Together with Walzer’s definition, the above mentioned recommendations will be considered in the following evaluation of German media coverage of Palestinian terrorism.

Palestinian Terrorism in the German Media

Germany was the first site of a new era in Palestinian terrorism when terrorists took hostage and killed most members of the Israeli Olympic team in Munich 1972, under the eyes of the whole world. German media played an infamous role by covering the incident in a way that further threatened the lives of the hostages. For example did they reveal details of rescue operations before they have started and which the terrorist could follow live on TV.[21]

Given the close political relationship between Germany and Israel, one might suppose that the German media is sympathetic to the Jewish state and its effort to prevent terror attacks against its civilians. A study by Media Tenor during the Second Intifada found the opposite. The portrayal of Israel is reduced to violence. Over 80 percent of all media reports in 2002 and 2003 were related to terror and destruction. Moreover Israeli actions against Palestinians are put under the spotlight. Out of 704 TV reports from January 2003 to July 2004, 137 (or 19 percent) were on Palestinian terrorism while the rest (567) focused on Israeli reprisal attacks, targeted killings, demolitions or settlement built-up.[22]

This analysis tries to find out whether this trend has changed in 6 years by looking at how the German online media contextualizes Palestinian terrorism of today. This is of special interest since terrorist activities often aim at media coverage to influence Western audiences, which — in democratic states — may impact foreign policy on the long run.

Palestinian terrorists have used kidnapping, hijacking and random murder as means to present their cause on the world stage via highlighted Western media coverage. After they have succeeded in publicizing their cause, it is time to find out what message of Palestinian terrorists is delivered to the German audience today.

The qualitative research is focussed on German online media, as news portals are the fastest growing source of current information worldwide and together with TV the leading news source among young educated Germans aged between 20 and 39.[23] The analysis is based on media coverage of a terror incident in Jerusalem, the bus bombing of March 23, 2011 by the five leading German newscasts: Bild.de, Spiegel Online, Welt Online, n-tv.de, suedeutsche.de.


Bild.de is the online version of Germany’s biggest tabloid newspaper BILD, which is known for its sensational, short and often simplified reports. With 194 million visits in March 2011, Bild.de is currently the most popular online news site in Germany.[24] The editorial drift of the mother paper is conservative and sometimes nationalist. Its editors generally support the conservative party.

Bild.de published two articles of the deadly terror incident at a crowded Jerusalem bus stop on March 23, 2011 under the headlines Bomb-terror in Israel! Heavy explosion in Jerusalem[25] and After bomb-terror in Jerusalem: Israel flies air-attacks on Gaza.[26][27]

Both articles are written in a sensational style with a lot of exclamation marks in the text. “Terror in Israel” reads the introduction line of the first article. The report immediately talks about the casualties and the place of the detonation, followed by a citation of Israel’s interior minister giving further details of the attack. Interestingly, the article provides the correct bus line number 74, that was hit by the blast (other reports cite bus line 174). Both reports frequently talk about the bloodiness of the site and quote eye witnesses, supported by extremely bloody photos provided in a slide show.

The second article talks about the “return of the terror” to Jerusalem and again opens with a report of the victims, while Israeli air strikes on Gaza are presented as retaliation for the terror attack. Later they are mentioned as response to rocket fire from Palestinians. Palestinian Police and the Israeli army are cited as sources, no terror organisation mentioned or quoted.

The attack is put in a context with the Second Intifada, during which “extremists committed dozens of attacks aimed at busses”. The last sentence sums up that “violence between Israelis and Palestinians has increased in recent days” and that some members of the Israeli government called for another military offensive in Gaza. As a non related topic, Israel’s help for Tsunami victims is referenced.

Spiegel Online

Spiegel Online (www.spiegel.de) is the online-portal of the weekly news magazine Der Spiegel. The website counts 189 million visits in March 2011 and together with Bild.de it dominates the online news market in Germany (the two websites have more visitors than the next 16 websites put together). The editorial drift of the website can be described as left or liberal.[28]

Spiegel Online published two reports related to the Jerusalem terror incident (headlines: Bomb attack at center of Jerusalem — many casualties[29], Israel bombards smuggler tunnels in Gaza[30]) and one long feature-article (One more attack and there will be war[31]). Similar to Bild.de, the reports provide details of the incident, however they are presented in a less sensational way and lengthy descriptions of the “bloody site” as in Bild.de are missing, while an effort is put on explaining the political background of the attack. Throughout its reporting the magazine never uses the term terrorist or terror attack.

From the onset, the editors put the incident in a context with Israeli military operations in Gaza and the Israeli settlement program in the West bank.

In the first article it is mentioned twice that the bomb hit a bus (line 174 instead of 74) with the destination Ma’ale Adumim, “an extensive Jewish settlement in the West bank”. This incorrect information was taken from the German news service AFP, despite the fact that Spiegel Online published a big photo of the bus displaying the correct number, line 74, headed for West-Jerusalem.

In all the articles, the reader not only learns about the terror incident, but also that Israel killed eight Palestinians in Gaza the day before, including four “uninvolved civilians, three of which youths”. The reports also mention the shelling of Israeli cities and towns by “Palestinian militants”. In one report of the terror attack, Palestinian president Abbas is quoted to demand a complete end of settlements (on the occasion of a Middle East quartet meeting), while Israeli president is cited as promising a “decisive and aggressive” response.

The 1023-word feature article on the “rise of violence in the Middle East” opens with a description of the terror site. “The sight of the blood pool makes a group of Israeli bystanders furious. Youths shout ‘Death to Arabs’ and demand heavy retaliation.”

The feature portrays the terror attack as a direct response to an Israeli military operation in Gaza: “Only hours before the incident, eight people were buried in Gaza, killed by Israeli shells and bombs. Four of the dead were civilians. (…) the Palestinians promised revenge — and kept word.” The bus bombing is presented as part of a “vicious cycle of the Middle East conflict” and the Israeli government is mentioned alongside terror organisations such as Islamic Jihad and Hamas as equally questionable protagonist. “Both parties claim, they only react to crimes of the other side.” The last third of the article is dedicated to speculations of why the Palestinians resort to violence. The article cites both Palestinian and Israeli sources and explains the escalation — among other — as an attempt by Israel to hinder the formation of a unity government.

Welt Online

Welt Online is the internet offspring of the daily newspaper Die Welt, which belongs to the same publisher as BILD, the Axel Springer AG. It is the flagship quality paper of the publishing house and has a moderate conservative (less nationalist) editorial drift. With 45 million visits Welt Online is the third most popular internet news source in Germany.[32]

Welt Online published three reports (headlines: Bomb attack in Jerusalem — one dead[33], Bomb attack: In Israel terror is back after seven years[34], After terror attack: Israeli Air force strikes targets in Gaza-strip[35]) and one op-ed (Bomb attack: Israel has to fear new wave of terror[36]).

The extensive reports provide many details that were not mentioned elsewhere, i.e. the young age of the casualties or the praise of the attack by the People’s Mujahedin in Gaza. There is also extensive citation of eye witnesses and references to four other terror incidents against Israeli civilians in the last two years, “one of which Hamas claimed responsibility”. However, the paper also contextualises the incident with an “escalation of violence along the border to Gaza” mentioning Palestinian civilian casualties, but also that one injured boy “was allowed entrance to Israel for hospital treatment.”

One report cites “bus line 174” and the “extensive Jewish settlement” and the op-ed picks up on this to elaborate on a potential connection between the terror incident and Israel’s settlement program: “That a bus was targeted which was headed for the extensive Jewish settlement Male Adumin [Ma’ale Adumim] in the West bank, suggests a relation to the recent approval of expanding Jewish settlements by the Israeli government.” Nevertheless the op-ed also condemns the terror attack and Western policies towards Israel: “The calculation of the West that concessions by Israel would moderate its deadly enemies might be a fatal fallacy. Someone who kills Jewish civilians wants to go all the way to exterminate the Jewish state.”


n-tv.de is the online portal of the first private German news channel NTV, which was created in 1992. It is affiliated with the RTL Group and the most popular (private) German TV channel RTL. It’s reporting is considered as economic friendly, however it is not associated with a particular political direction.

n-tv.de published two reports (Assassination in Jerusalem: One dead at bus attack[37]; Violence in Gaza-strip escalates: Israel flies air strikes[38]) and one op-ed by its correspondent in Jerusalem (Not Jerusalem is really important: Daily shelling provokes Israel[39]). The two reports consist of unfiltered agency reports by AFP and dpa. They repeat the mistake of mentioning the wrong bus line 174 and the Jewish settlement as its final destination.

While the terrorist attack is put into context with other terror attacks in the past, the more dominant reference is the exchange of force along the Gaza strip, with citations of Israeli Prime Minister (“decisive and aggressive response”) and a spokesperson of the Al-Quds-Brigades: “From now on there is no red line for resistance, as long as the enemy does not comply with declarations and articles of the United Nations”. The terror group is described as a radical Palestinian organisation.

One report cites an Israeli military operation in Gaza as a response to the incident. “Only hours after the bomb attack, Israel strikes back and bombards targets in Gaza”. Both reports close mentioning the eight Palestinian fatalities of an “Israeli attack” the day before, “four of which were uninvolved civilians.”

One report is substituted with a photo series of the Gaza-Flotilla incident, which appears at the bottom, but still within the text-body. The teaser photo shows an Israeli soldier with his weapon at gunpoint, the text reads “’Despicable crime’. Israel attacks aid convoy.”

The op-ed of Ulrich Sahm, N-TV’s correspondent in Israel, is a stark contrast to this. Sahm refers to the aim of the terror attack “to kill as many Israeli civilians as possible” and he does not see a connection to Israeli military operations in Gaza. “The attack will probably soon be followed by arrests, but not by dramatic military actions from the Israeli side.”

However Sahm accuses the world community of not condemning “the by far worse attacks (…) on Beer Sheva, Ashdod, Ashkelon and other cities close to the Gaza strip” and reports that recent rockets were equipped with phosphorus. He subscribes the increased rocket fire from Gaza as an “apparent attempt of Hamas to divert attention from its own suppression regime in light of the current uprising in the Middle East.”


Sueddeutsche.de is the online version of the quality newspaper Die Sueddeutsche who is perceived to have a social-liberal, moderately left political orientation. With 43,6 million visits it has been the fifth most popular news site in March 2011.[40]

The news portal published two reports on the terror attack (Violence in Israel: One Dead and Casualties at attack in Jerusalem[41], Middle East Conflict: Israel attacks targets in Gaza[42]) and one op-ed (Israel: At the beginning of a spiral of violence[43])

All these publications predominantly use the terms attack or violence to describe the terror incident, the term terrorist is mentioned twice. The reports put the event in the context of a upcoming war between Israel and the Palestinians by references to “warlike tones from the Israeli cabinet”, where “the first start to talk about war”; “another Palestinian-Israeli war on the way”; “Israeli warplanes” striking Gaza; “Israeli tanks” opening fire at “three soccer playing youths” and “Israeli bystanders calling for revenge”.

Other references are made to Operation Cast Lead with citation of number of victims (1400 vs. 13), the massacre of a “Jewish settler family” and the Second Intifada. However, the dominant context remains the “escalation of violence between Israel and Palestinians in Gaza”. In this conflict, the Israeli government plays the role of the escalator, while Hamas is put into the position of a moderator:

“Islamic Jihad (…) talked of retaliation for an Israeli assault yesterday, which has been one of the most bloody since the end of the Gaza war,” while “Hamas could have no interest in a long conflict with the by far superior Israeli forces.”

The op-ed concludes that “the terrorist organisations can count on an even more violent response by Israel. The government deems this reaction as appropriate. With such model, the region is on the best way to fall back to the darkest days of the conflict.” It closes with an indirect hint of who is responsible for the increased violence. “It could be a bitter revenge, that the time of relative calm has not been used for progress in the peace process.”


The majority of the media reports follow an inclusive or defensive definition of the term terrorism. Only two reports refer to its aim of “killing as many Israeli civilians as possible”, while the predominant reference is the exchange of violence along the Gaza-border. All but two reports mention Palestinian civilian casualties of an Israeli attack on Gaza one day prior to the attack.

While from a moral experience any civilian casualty of a conflict is equally regrettable and condemnable, there is a clear moral distinction when it comes to the context of its occurrence; whether it is the intended victim of a random, genocidal murder or a not intended casualty of a military operation targeting the perpetrators of such murder. The German media does not make this distinction, but creates an “objective” equidistance from which the acts of a democratic government seem as equally condemnable as the targeting of civilians by terrorists. The idea behind is that on both sides civilians die.

Except for Bild.de, all media outlets somehow provide this reading, the difference being only how prominently and if other references are made. While Welt.de mentions the situation in Gaza as one among others (i.e. it also references the Second Intifada and recent Palestinian terrorism), three media outlets — n-tv.de, Spiegel Online, sueddeutsche.de — make it their almost exclusive frame of reporting the terror incident, the latter two presenting the Israeli side as an escalator in the conflict. While the reports of Welt.de and Bild.de try to create empathy with the victims by describing the horror of such attack, Spiegel Online and sueddeutsche.de refer to Israeli civilians as vengeful and even murderous, being cited as chanting “Death to Arabs”. Such reporting does not only implicitly justify terrorism by presenting the political cause behind it, but morally legitimises the murder of those who call for the collateral death of other civilians.

Another problematic reference is the mentioning of the destination of the bus line (“extensive Jewish settlement”) by three news portals, Spiegel Online, n-tv.de, Welt.de. Not only is it mentioned without proof, even against the factual situation, but the question arises why it is mentioned at all. Is there any difference between terror victims who take a bus for a settlement and those living in West-Jerusalem? The wrong citation is there to explain the political motives behind the attack and implies that a bus headed for a Jewish settlement is a legitimate target for terrorists. The fact that the bomb hit a bus headed for West-Jerusalem shows that the terrorist did not make such considerations. The random murder of Israeli civilians was their target.

The German internet coverage of the Jerusalem bus bombing also fails to meet recommendations that have been outlined above. It gives considerable amount of attention to the terror incident, describing it as a potential historic U-turn or even the beginning of war. Headlines like One more attack and there will be war almost create an incentive for terrorists who regard an escalation as improved PR opportunities. Whilst statements such as The return of the terror make terrorists to discharge their duties and keep the promise.

With the exception of Bild.de all media outlets recognise terrorists by citing them in their reports, crediting Islamic Jihad and Hamas with previous terror attacks or delivering a message of approval by the People’s Mujahedin. Two reports directly quote a spokes person of the Al-Quds-Brigades demanding that Israel fulfils its obligations under the UN charter and thereby put them on the same level as leaders of democratic governments who have voiced similar demands. This bestows respectability upon terror groups and establishes them as a legitimate actor. It further rewards them for their activities by giving them an opportunity to directly voice their demands.

Lastly, it is interesting to observe a connection between the overall political orientation of the news sources and their coverage of Palestinian terrorism. Websites which are targeted at a liberal, politically left audience are more likely to justify Palestinian terrorism than those with a more conservative editorial drift, which also use the term terror more frequently. This split in the coverage of terrorism may be related to the media’s general position on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and its level of sympathy for the Palestinian cause.

figure 1: Classification of five German news sites' coverage of the Jerusalem bus bombing by justification of terror and editorial drift. (Seize of the bullet reflects the amount of visitors)



The analysis of the media coverage of a terror attack in Jerusalem by the five most popular German news sites shows that the media takes different approaches, ranging from implicitly condemning the attack (focus on its victims, differentiation in regard to its context) to its explicit justification (Israeli civilians portrayed as murderous, focus on Israeli military operations in Gaza and Jewish settlements). Three out of the five media outlets have troubles to portray Israel as a victim and counterbalance the image of terror-victims by reference to Palestinian victims of Israeli attacks, linkage to the Gaza-Flotilla raid or reference to Israeli government officials as war-waging and aggressive.

Most articles cite Palestinian and Israeli sources equally including indirect and direct quotations of terror organisations. This could be due to the journalistic interpretation of “objectivity”, the idea of giving both sides equal chance to explain their motives. This is not consistent with Walzer’s definition of terrorism as random murder. He deems it morally wrong to put terrorists in the same box as officials of a democratic government. By granting them the equal right to explain their cause, most German media reports comply with the terrorists drive towards attention, recognition and legitimacy as described by Brigitte Nacos.

An analysis of German media coverage suggests that the German media defines Palestinian terrorism in a more inclusive term, judging its morality by the cause, not clearly distinguishing it from other warfare in terms of legitimacy. Terrorism is nevertheless presented as illegal and some commentaries take a clear stance against it, providing for a nuance in the classification of the news portals on figure 1.

The findings of this study also have potential political implications. Given the strong political bond between Israel and Germany, it will be interesting to observe which impact the relativist reporting of Palestinian terrorism has on the German audience and how this would affect the German-Israeli relations.

Florian Druckenthaner is a scholar of the German Academic Exchange Service and currently pursues a M.A. in Security and Diplomacy Studies from Tel Aviv University. He also holds an undergraduate degree in European Media Studies from the University of Potsdam, where he won the award of best B.A. thesis 2009 for his investigation into the representation of Arabs participants in Israeli reality TV. He has been working for the Anne Frank Foundation in Berlin and the European Parliament in Brussels, where he further developed his interest for the Middle East and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. His fields of research include Turkish-Israeli relations; the Iranian nuclear threat; terrorism and mass media as well as the use of social media in the Israeli/Palestinian conflict.


[1] Fletcher, George P. (2006), The Indefinable Concept of Terrorism, Journal of International Criminal Justice Vol. 4., No. 5, p. 894.

[2] Honderich, Ted (2002), After the Terror, Edinburgh University Press, Edinburgh, p. 94.

[3] Ibid.

[4] Ibid., p. 98.

[5] Walzer cited by Meisels, Tamar (2005), How Terrorism Upsets Liberty, Political Studies Vol. 53, Issue 1.

[6] Walzer, Michael (1977), Just and Unjust Wars, Basic Books, New York, p. 201.

[7] Ibid. 203

[8] Lockyer, Adam (2003); The Relationship between the Media and Terrorism, The Australian National University, Sydney.

[9] Netanyahu, Benjamin (ed.) (1986), Terrorism – How the West Can Win, Farrar, Straus, Giroux, New York, p. 111-112.

[10] Nacos, Brigitte (2000). Accomplice or Witness? The Media’s Role in Terrorism, Current History, April, p. 176

[11] Ibid., p. 176-177.

[12] Lockyer.

[13] Rohner, Dominic & Frey, Bruno S. (2007), Blood and ink! The common-interest-game between terrorists and the media, Public Choice No.133, Springer Science+Business Media, p. 142.

[14] Ibid.

[15] Ibid.

[16] Schbley (2004), Religious terrorism, the media, and international islamization terrorism: Justifying the unjustifiable. Studies in Conflict and Terrorism, 27, p. 207-233.

[17] Houston, Brian (2009), Media Coverage of Terrorism: A Meta-Analytical Assessment of Media Use and Posttraumatic Stress, J&MC Quarterly Vol. 86, No. 4, p. 854.

[18] Netanyahu, p. 110.

[19] Rohner & Frey, p. 142.

[20] Ibid.

[21] Macdonald, Kevin (1999), One Day in September, Documentary, 94 minutes, BBC, UK.

[22] Medien Tenor Researchreport No.147 (2004), p.74f, cited from Bundeszentrale fuer politische Bildung (Federa Agency for Political Education): 40 Jahre Deutsch Israelische Beziehungen, (in German; retrieved on 1/5/2011).

[23] CARTA.net (2011), ACTA-Studie: Internet gewinnt leicht, TV stabil und weiter vorne, Print verliert, published on 12.10.2010, (in German, retrieved on 28.4.2011).

[24] Horizont.net (2011), IVW Online: Japan-Katastrophe beschert Nachrichtenportalen Top-Zugriffszahlen, published on 8.4.2011; (in German, retrieved on 23/4/2011).

[25] Bild.de (2011a), Bomben-Terror in Israel! Schwere Explosion erschüttert Jerusalem, published on 23.3.2011; (in German, retrieved on 25.4.2011).

[26] Bild.de (2011b), Nach Bomben-Terror in Jerusalem Israel fliegt Luftangriffe auf Gaza, published on 23.3.2011; (in German, retrieved on 25.4.2011).

[27] All quotes from the news sites are originally in German and translated into English by the author.

[28] Horizont.net

[29] Spiegel Online (2011a), Bombenanschlag im Zentrum Jerusalems – viele Verletzte, published on 23.3.2011.

[30] Spiegel Online (2011b), Reaktion auf Attentat: Israel bombardiert Schmugglertunnel im Gaza-Streifen, published on 24.3.2011; (in German, retrieved on 23.4.2011)

[31] Spiegel Online (2011c), Noch eine Attacke und es gibt Krieg, published on 23.3.2011; (in German, retrieved on 23.4.2011)

[32] Horizont.net

[33] Welt Online (2011a), Bombenanschlag in Jerusalem–eine Tote, published on 23.3.2011; (in German, retrieved on 25.4.2011)

[34] Welt Online (2011b), In Israel ist nach sieben Jahren der Terror zurück, published on 23.3.2011; (in German, retrieved on 25.4.2011)

[35] Welt Online (2011c), Israelische Luftwaffe greift Ziele im Gazastreifen an, published on 24.3.2011; (in German, retrieved on 25.4.2011)

[36] Welt Online (2011d), Bombenanschlag: Israel muss neue Terrorwelle fürchten, published on 23.3.2011, (in German, retrieved on 26.4.2011)

[37] n-tv.de (2011a), Attentat in Jerusalem: Eine Tote bei Anschlag auf Bus, published on 23.3.2011; (in German, retrieved on 25.4.2011)

[38] n-tv.de (2011b), Gewalt im Gazastreifen eskaliert: Israel fliegt Luftschläge, published on 23.3.2011; (in German, retrieved on 25.4.2011)

[39] n-tv.de (2011c), Nicht Jerusalem ist wirklich wichtig. Täglicher Beschuss provoziert Israel; (in German, retrieved on 25.4.2011)

[40] Horizont.net

[41] sueddeutsche.de (2011a), Gewalt in Israel: Eine Tote und Verletzte bei Anschlag in Jerusalem, published on 23.3.2011; (in German, retrieved on 26.4.2011)

[42] sueddeutsche.de (2011b), Israel greift Ziele im Gazastreifen an, published on 24.3.2011; (in German, retrieved on 26.4.2011)

[43] sueddeutsche.de (2011c), Am Anfag der Gewaltspirale, published on 23.3.2011; (in German, retrieved on 26.4.2011)

13 Comments to “Spiral of Violence: How the German online media portrays Palestinian terrorism against Israel”

  1. Spiral of Violence: How the German online media portrays Palestinian terrorism against Israel | Midd http://t.co/bvUEffOq

  2. avatar ya'akov says:

    Spiral of Violence: How the German online media portrays Palestinian terrorism against Israel http://t.co/Qm6dn9H5

  3. avatar ya'akov says:

    Spiral of Violence: How the German online media portrays Palestinian terrorism against Israel – http://t.co/HPkhlh5m

  4. avatar ya'akov says:

    Spiral of Violence: How the German online media portrays Palestinian terrorism against Israel – http://t.co/HPkhlh5m

  5. avatar Elisabeth says:

    Spiral of Violence: How the German online media portrays Palestinian terrorism against Israel | Midd http://t.co/bvUEffOq

  6. avatar Paul says:

    Spiral of Violence: How the German online media portrays Palestinian terrorism against Israel http://t.co/Hjxye19z

  7. Spiral of Violence: How the German online media portrays Palestinian terrorism against Israel http://t.co/Hjxye19z

  8. avatar ya'akov says:

    Spiral of Violence: How the German online media portrays Palestinian terrorism against Israel – http://t.co/HPkhlh5m

  9. avatar Eli Tabori says:

    Spiral of Violence: How the German online media portrays Palestinian terrorism against Israel – http://t.co/HPkhlh5m

  10. […] iets heel fundamenteel niet klopt. Ook meer vergelijkend onderzoek zou wenselijk zijn, zoals deze case studie naar de berichtgeving van verschillende Duitse media over een Palestijnse aanslag op een bus in […]

  11. RT @crethiplethi: Spiral of Violence: How the German online media portrays Palestinian terrorism against Israel http://t.co/zOVNADFG

  12. avatar Ramon Topete says:

    Spiral of Violence: How the German online media portrays … http://t.co/pqNBMiyi

  13. avatar Ramon Topete says:

    http://t.co/pqNBMiyi Spiral of Violence: How the German online media portrays …


Quotes and Sayings

About the Region, Islam and cultural totalitarianism...

    Let me first tell you one thing: It doesn’t matter what the world says about Israel; it doesn’t matter what they say about us anywhere else. The only thing that matters is that we can exist here on the land of our forefathers. And unless we show the Arabs that there is a high price to pay for murdering Jews, we won’t survive.

    — David Ben-Gurion, “The 50 Years War : Israel & The Arabs” (1999), advice given to Ariel Sharon by Ben-Gurion after the controversial raid on Qibya; Oct 14, 1953

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Middle East region weather forecast...

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    25 July 2017, 05:38
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