In December 2003, then-Prime Minister Ariel Sharon announced his plan to evacuate the IDF and uproot Jewish settlements from the Gaza Strip, a policy to which he had earlier vocally objected. By early 2005, as the disengagement plan began to take shape, Israel’s left-leaning mainstream media abruptly dropped their habitual opposition to Sharon, instead deliberately adopting a policy of treating the prime minister, then under investigation on charges of corruption, with kid gloves—at least, Amnon Lord points out—until the disengagement was completed:
Amnon Abramovich, a veteran [Israeli] journalist and television commentator, called upon his colleagues in the media to unite and back Sharon to protect him from the potential negative consequences of the ongoing criminal investigations. . . . In a discussion [with] fellow leading journalists . . . at the Van Leer Institute in Jerusalem in February 2005, [Abramovich] exhorted his colleagues . . . “to protect Sharon . . . in a sealed box padded with gauze, cotton, and plastic wrap, at least until the end of the disengagement. . . . After that, we’ll reconsider.” . . .
In order to rally public support for the disengagement . . . after three-and-a-half years of ruthless attacks by a Palestinian terrorist enemy, a new enemy had to be created, the enemy within, namely the Jewish settlers in Judea, Samaria, and Gaza. Indeed, Abramovich admitted that he once had regarded Sharon as an “enemy.” Now, it was the settlers.
As Lord documents, the Israeli media largely followed Abramovich’s exhortations.