Marketing Israel to the Arabs: The rise and fall of the Al-Anbaa newspaper

Wang Yu*, Hillel Cohen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Al-Anbaa was the only official Israeli newspaper in Arabic launched in the aftermath of the 1967 War to be distributed among Palestinians in the 'Territories'. This article focuses on the brief period in 1971-1974, during which this newspaper adopted a quasi-'liberal' line allowing dissenting and non-establishment voices to be heard from its pages. While the editor identified this ostensible pluralism as a kind of 'psychological warfare' against the Arabs, and was proud of the newspaper's success, the perceived 'liberalism' of al-Anbaa caused a rebuke from the establishment. In mid-1974, the paper was forced to change its line, becoming a pure government mouthpiece, which rapidly lost its impact on the Arab public. Focusing on the brief success and the swift demise of al-Anbaa, this article analyzes the predicament of Israeli propaganda directed at the Palestinian audience. It concludes that the government's decision to abandon the relatively effective approach of employing pluralism to convey its views to Palestinians reflected not only its ongoing paternalistic attitude to the Arabs but on a more basic level its unwillingness to become engaged in a meaningful dialogue with the Palestinians on both sides of the 1967 border.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)190-210
Number of pages21
JournalIsrael Affairs
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2009


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