Officials of the United States government have, at least rhetorically, made peace in the Middle East a priority in every administration for the six decades. However, despite the premium being placed on peace agreements, foreign policy enacted by the United States often seems to be focused on more short-sighted goals, often at the expense of long-term peace. In no case is this truer than with standing policies regarding Hamas. These policies have failed to bring the Palestinians and Israelis any closer to a peace agreement. If policies fail to achieve their stated goals, one must ask why they remain in place. A number of studies have been undertaken over the years to explain U.S. policy in the Middle East. These studies have focused on everything from Cold War politics, to the oil market, and the Israel lobby. This thesis will examine an often overlooked factor: the relationship between domestic American media coverage and the foreign policy apparatus of the United States government. The thesis will show that the government and the media both act upon one another in a way that keeps them both locked into the status quo. Theories such as framing, indexing, cascading activation, hegemony, culturally congruent frames, and the CNN effect will all be used to analyze the relationship and its impact on foreign policy formation.


School of Humanities and Social Sciences

Degree Name

MA in Middle Eastern Studies

First Advisor

Fishere, Ezzedine Choukri

Committee Member 1

Kholoussy, Hanan

Committee Member 2

Leach, Jerry

Document Type



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