It's always refreshing when you read something as brilliant as this in the morning:
Let’s just face it: the “decency of the world” is relative. Perceptions and attention are all that matters when you want to tell/sell your story. If Israel, a mighty country which has brutalized the Palestinians for so long still manages to sell its story to the world, why is it that the Palestinians are incapable of selling theirs, although they are more deserving of sympathy and help?
What the Gaza Brand CANNOT be:
The creation of a sustainable core idea for telling Gaza’s story to the world, needs a thorough clean-up of the language we use to describe our tragedies. The clean-up needs to get rid of the language of exaggeration, of comparisons to past “epic” events and of generalizations, racism against jews and heroic Islamic/Arabic self-aggrandization.
In other words, it is not business as usual.
The brand cannot be the “Gaza Holocaust”: the “Holocaust” brand has already been taken by the world’s Jews. No one takes us seriously when we talk about Gaza’s Holocaust. Let’s acknowledge that suffering of the Palestinians today, although tragic and totally unacceptable, still is not directly comparable with the systematic annihilation of the Jews by the Nazi in World War II.
The brand cannot be “Gaza’s Epic, Heroic Battle of Victory”: If we keep talking about epic battles, the world might actually believe it and thus will fall into Israel’s trap of portraying its war on Palestinians as war of equals. It is NOT a war of equals and we should not claim we’re winning it.
The brand cannot be “Wipe Israel off the Map”: This sounds aggressive and, frankly, is not credible. Given that Israel actually has nuclear weapons, they can more credibly talk about wiping an Arab country off the map.
The brand cannot be “Hamas”: Political movements come and go. Gaza is not about Hamas. Gaza’s problem and Palestine’s problem was there before Hamas.
The brand cannot be about “glorifying death”: If all we’re saying is “we don’t care if we die” others will just shrug their shoulders when the bombs fall on our little concrete huts.
What the Gaza Brand SHOULD be:
The brand should be about defying mindless power: it should shame Israel for inflicting violence upon a population, resulting in the shameful ratio of 100:1 (killing 100 Palestinians for every 1 Israeli killed).
The brand should be about Palestine and the dream of a people of life in a free homeland.
The brand should be all about Human Rights as a universal concept that Palestinians seek to attain
The brand should have Global Appeal: it cannot have global appeal while being chauvinist or aggressive. It should also be connected to the suffering of people everywhere, not just people in Palestine.
It should be about Hope: without emphasizing hope and belief in a better tomorrow, you can hardly inspire people to support you. Remember, in a few days we’ll be living in the Post-Bush, Obama era. Hope is a word that has gained new currency.
Focusing the message to tell the world what happened in Gaza might only a piece of the puzzle. But in a media saturated world, we’d better start thinking clearly about what we want to tell the world.
About damn time too!