Palestinian Partisan Journalism Reliance on Rumors and the Impact on Political Development in the West Bank and Gaza Strip (Fatah and Hamas Movements as a Model)

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Khalaf Jamal Yousef Khalaf
Palestinian Partisan Journalism Reliance on Rumors and the Impact on Political Development in the West Bank and Gaza Strip (Fatah and Hamas Movements as a Model)1.33 MB

Traditionally, the Palestinian interest was focused on liberation and the establishment of the Palestinian state, or specifically, on the pattern of relationship with the Israeli occupation. However, thanks to a number of developments, most important among which is the creation of the Palestinian National Authority, the Palestinians began to form other interests that could be summarized in achieving development, a great part of it was in the political arena. However, a number of obstacles appeared thwarting all theoretical and practical efforts to achieve this development, among which was the absence of political stability. After reviewing a group of factors that negatively impacted the political stability, it became clear that one of the most important of these factors could be framed within what this researcher had called "the rumors in the partisan journalism," thus the researcher's interest in this topic, such that this study is an attempt to reveal the form, nature, and the direction of the relationship between rumors and political stability, and political development, which is a compound relationship in that more than one factor are tied to this relationship. Building on that idea, the research was based on a basic hypothesis, the gist of which says: that rumors in the Palestinian partisan journalism negatively impact political development in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. This is illustrated by a few points, most prominent of which is that rumors in the partisan journalism contributes to the eventual disintegration of the Palestinian society, as well as create confusion among the citizens. Rumors in partisan journalism creates a glum atmosphere, stirring tempers, making the internal situation more tense, and creating a culture of hostility that prevents the Palestinian national dialogue, given that every party uses it to weaken, and libel the other party. Testing the hypothesis required the researcher to divide the study into five chapters. The First Chapter discussed the importance of the study, its background, its hypothesis, and method, in addition to presenting a literary review of the study. The Second Chapter, the researcher presented a conceptual detailed description of the rumors, types, goals, methods of influence, journalistic relevance, the public opinion, and the political decision, to be immediately followed by the Third Chapter which presents an introduction of the Palestinian partisan journalism, and including a summary of its goals, history, and its relationship with rumors. The goal of the last two chapters is to lay the foundation for a theoretical rule, through which abstract concepts are converted into procedural reality. This is what became apparent in Chapter Four which included an analysis of a sample of the partisan journalism depending on a scientific model developed by the research to measure the credibility of the partisan journalism and its role in the internal Palestinian harmony, which came as result of discussing three issues in which partisan journalism played an influential role, they are: corruption within the Palestinian Authority's ministries and institutions, the national unity government, and the internal strife between Fatah and Hamas. The Fifth and last chapter of the study included analysis of the conclusions, most prominent among which is the Palestinian partisan journalism as represented by a sample of the study, did not pay much attention to the requirement of creating a dynamic atmosphere for a vital civil society capable of making progress. Rather, it helped fuel the Palestinian internal strife and reinforced the division among the political parties over the national common denominators when it relied mostly on misleading information and rumors. The conclusions show that the partisan journalism played a major role in simmering the emotions and promoting animosity within the society. It even went further than that when it legitimized infighting as a prelude to justifying it and making it more palatable. This thwarted the possibility of creating a harmonious political body with all the parts working in full cooperation and coordination, and forced the door wide open for dissention in the West Bank and Gaza. At the end of the study, the researcher recommended that Palestinian partisan journalism take a number of coordinated and orderly steps in order to improve its performance and enhance its situation, as well as gradually strengthen its position. Among such recommendations was seeking honesty, integrity, and thoroughness when covering events, as well as eschewing rumors that only serve to confuse the Palestinian society as well as disintegrate its stability and progress. Moreover, the researcher recommended avoiding negative terms and expressions, adopting the principle of accountability instead of mistrust and attacks. Finally, the researcher recommended that Palestinian factions sign a Letter of Media Principles or a Covenant of Media Honor that may lead to crating a system to regulate the workings of partisan journalism in the future, and specify its tasks. Moreover, the researcher recommended organizing training courses and seminars for those working in the partisan journalism.