Israel Is Doing It Wrong

I woke this morning to the sound of airplanes overhead, and I realized, that as a marketing person and an Israeli, it is my duty to help Israel in its marketing and PR efforts. I had a lot to say, all of it politically incorrect. This is the first in a 3-part series. Since Israel didn’t listen to my advice in a previous blog, here’s some more.

Today I will simply look at what’s so, and not give any opinion.

Palestinian Leadership is Doing it Right

First of all, let me say that the Palestinians are doing it right. Their long-term strategy and branding are completely aligned. Their tactics are not bad, either. This is the Palestinian branding:

  • We are victims.
  • The Israelis (Jews/Zionists) are the oppressors.
  • Our long-term goal is to eliminate Israel.

I haven’t ever seen any other long-term goal, such as making life great for the Palestinian people. Those 3 points are very clear, consistent statements. The Palestinians are doing a great job not only in maintaining a consistent campaign, but also in maintaining the situation where they continue to be victims.

It would be problematic for their strategy to significantly improve the situation of the people living in Gaza and the West Bank, because that would threaten the foundation of their brand and long-term strategy. I think everyone knows that it is, at least theoretically, possible to have a thriving economy in Gaza and the West Bank, but there is very little movement towards that goal, because that is nobody’s stated goal. Therefore, it is completely aligned with the stated long-term goal to ensure that the Palestinian population continues to be poor and victimized.

Regarding the elimination of Israel, while the short-term tactics may look silly, it may be expedient. By forcing Israel to waste resources on security of all types, and by increasing the internal strife between different parties in Israel, the Palestinians are making good steps toward eliminating Israel. From a tactical perspective, Palestine would want to a stronger coalition of Arab states to attack Israel, but I think the Palestinians may be counting on the Arab states to do so if Israel becomes significantly compromised and vulnerable. Peace agreements between Israel and its neighbors are dangerous for this strategy, and probably Palestine should be doing more to eliminate such agreements.

Israel Is Doing It Wrong

Any management consultant would understand that Israel is doing it all wrong. Rather than setting out a clear strategy and message, Israel is in a reactive position. From a marketing perspective, this is a disaster, which is why you see very confused messages coming out from the country. The left-wing group in Israel is doing a better job of sending a clear message, but they also are in a reactive position.

Following are some of the messages Israel is trying to convey.

  • We are victims.
  • We are a healthy, economically-independent democracy.
  • We want peace.
  • We have a superior military.
  • We will do whatever it takes to defend ourselves.
  • We will treat our enemies in a humane manner.
  • The Palestinians started this whole mess.
  • We are willing to accept at Palestinian state.
  • We will only negotiate under certain conditions.
  • We are reasonable and they are crazy.

As you can see, many of these messages are in direct conflict with one another. They create a difficult decision-making process, confusion both internally and externally, and an ineffective policy. So what should Israel do? Glad you asked. That’s tomorrow’s blog. The third one will be a more practical approach.

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Rebecca Rachmany

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