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Malcolm Gladwell’s “David and Goliath”

16 Dec

Malcolm Gladwell’s new book, “David and Goliath,” explores the possibility that people who are faced with a major disadvantage can use it to propel them to heights they otherwise would not have achieved.

That is precisely what happened in 1948 when the fledging, upstart State of Israel accepted a U.N. vote to partition the land. The Arabs rejected it and sent five armies on what the Arab League Secretary called “a war of extermination and a momentous massacre.” Yet with no planes and only three tanks, the rag-tag Israeli militia miraculously staved off annihilation.

The Jewish people — after nearly two millennia of exile from their historic homeland — went on to achieve the unimaginable by ingathering the exiles, reviving an ancient language, and making the desert bloom. This was all done in the face of economic embargo, diplomatic isolation, relentless war and terror attacks. And the world rallied behind this amazing Israeli underdog story.

So how did the Palestinians manage to turn the tables and usurp the underdog label?

In 1967, something catastrophic happened from the standpoint of PR. Israel — again on the verge of annihilation by the three-front aggression of Egypt, Syria and Jordan — won the Six Day War. The images of triumphant tanks, planes and paratroopers adorned with a blue Star of David were flashed around the world. Suddenly, Israel had the best army in the Middle East. And with time and effort, the Palestinians — held in refugee camps as political pawns while their Arab host countries refused to resettle them — became cast as the innocent, weak and downtrodden character in this story.

For a good sociological perspective, read Malcolm Gladwell’s “David and Goliath.”

For the unvarnished truth about the Mideast conflict, read this “David and Goliath.”

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Now in pre-release!

1 Jan

For decades, the Israeli-Arab conflict was waged on the battlefield with guns and tanks. But today – with satellite phones, the Internet, and a 24-hour news cycle – the real war is being fought in the court of public opinion.

David & Goliath is a gripping first-person narrative chronicling the “frontline” experiences of Shraga Simmons, a foremost expert on media bias and founding editor of HonestReporting. With comprehensive research and a biting edge, David & Goliath is packed with dramatic accounts of going toe-to-toe with reporters to expose media bias in the Mideast conflict.

Eleven years in the making, David & Goliath takes readers behind the scenes to witness the groundbreaking long-term study of CNN, which statistically proved a pattern of bias and shook the media world. Readers are privy to the secret negotiations with network executives, and how a grassroots campaign was cited by the New York Times as affecting sweeping changes in Mideast media coverage.

With current interest in the peace process riding high, and the media consistently focused on Israel, David & Goliath is a timely book that reveals how media misrepresentation may actually foment violence and hinder the possibility of a peaceful settlement.

David & Goliath reveals the truth behind the news business, showing how the drive for ratings and profits favors an “underdog” narrative that keeps viewers tuned into the story. While the media casts the Palestinians as “David” fighting the powerful Israeli “Goliath,” this book suggests that Israel may in fact be fighting a more powerful antagonist – the Media Goliath.