What does a country's television programming say about its deep character, beliefs, dreams, and fears? In Demon in the Box, Tasha G. Oren recounts the volatile history of Israeli television and thereby reveals the history of the nation itself.
Initially rejected as a corrupting influence on "the people of the book," television became the object of fantasies and anxieties that went to the heart of Israel's most pressing concerns: Arab-Israeli relations, immigration, and the forging of a modern Israeli culture. Television broadcasting was aimed toward external relations-the flow of messages across borders, Arab-Israeli conflict, and the shaping of public opinion worldwide-as much as it was toward internal needs and interests. Through archival research and analysis of public scandals and early programs, Oren traces Israeli television's transformation from a feared agent of decadence to a powerful national communication tool, and eventually, to a vastly popular entertainment medium.