How should Palestine brand itself?

Western audiences routinely hear about Israel-Palestine through the Israeli lens. Israel is very good at messaging and branding itself as a victim in a hostile region. Based on this branding, American taxpayers annually give $3 billion to Israel in the form of weapons and military hardware and outright donations.

The Israeli hasbara has even fine-tuned its messaging and branding of Palestine and Palestinians who are portrayed as “terrorists” and uneducated, violent extremists.  Western audiences are very gullible or maybe just lazy. They like to be spoon-fed.

Maybe it’s time for Palestinians to brand themselves.  Based on my 5-6 months living in Gaza, I think a more appropriate description of Palestinians is peaceful, educated and moderate people who have many of the same concerns and dreams that Israelis, Americans and everyone else have.

Listen to this short interview with Khalid Meshaal, the political leader of Hamas.  Is his branding of Palestinians effective?

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2 Comments

Filed under Hamas, Israel, Media, People, Video

2 responses to “How should Palestine brand itself?

  1. Linda Moscarella

    I agree that Palestinians need rebranding and this can start with listening to the other side. I felt that Amanpour did less listening than Meshaal but the strictures of this kind of interview do not help positive branding, which is what the P’s need. What’s good about them? What are they doing to help themselves in extremely difficult circumstances? How are they doing in education and health? I visited Jordan in December 2007 for two weeks. We had a Christian Palestinian who grew up in Jerusalem for a guide. He said, I am a Palestinian regardless of my religion. I was born in Palestine. It made
    all in our group realize that regardless of the sense of what he said, we had fallen into the trap of thinking of Palestinians only as adversaries of Israel.The picture needed to be enlarged to include Christians and Jordanians, not to mention those who live on the West Bank under a regime that has recognized Israel. We flew on Air Jordan. Half the plane was Palestinians from the occupied West Bank and maybe Gaza. They are people, we could all see.

    Demonization is poisonous and must be countered.

  2. Great post! It makes me think of the great success of the Gaza Cookbook. However, I wonder if resistance itself is also a brand, one that unites the struggle in Palestine with those in South Africa, Tibet, northern Ireland, and the Spanish Republic. Like all branding efforts, it has its downsides and dangers, but might this sort of branding also be necessary to successful action? I’m honestly not sure whether the benefits of such branding outweigh its costs. Either way, you’ve given me some good food for thought.

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