As a « Life Force », Israel identity is the inverse of its external brand image.
A study of Israel’s identity: Trying to square The Star of David.
Nations need a sense of identity. During the 1939-45, Winston Churchill often invoked ‘ the bulldog spirit.’ Britons were indomitable. The Nazis could never conquer the island race that had seen off Napoleon who was the last foreigner to be deluded enough to think he could invade the British Isles. Churchill crafted and played on a sense of national identity..
For Israel and Israelis a similar quest fo their identity is crucial.
Claude Meillet set out last year on what psychologists would call a qualititative study of Israel’s identity. Meillet ran a communication agency in France which specialized in analyzing brands and the corporate identity of companies. In 100 brand studies, he developed a four phases model. He calls them in French
The particularity of his studies is that they had to led to action – altering and modify the brands.. He has adapted these techniques to provide a concrete, precise analysis of Israel identity situation and a concrete, precise definition of the Israel identity system arising out of this analysis.
Meillet questioned 30 personalities both in Israel and abroad. He also carried out a content analysis of the existing bibliography and of the press.
Since the foundation of the state in 1948, Israel has always had to juggle its response to external threats and its own internal contradictions, the study concludes. It has only survived because of a fierce will to life. But the need to survive ironically has also made the country – and its citizens – and dynamic, creative and active. The study also shows that even though endlessly criticized and often attacked, the country does not lack a strong sense of morality.
The analyzing of the responses of the interviewees and the content analysis identifies five major factors
Israel strives to balance:
- its ordinary life with the need to be constantly alert to threats,
- its character as a theocratic Jewish community with its character as a secular nation,
- the evolution from the initial very idealistic values of Israel’s founders towards a state which encourages individual economic, social, cultural success. A change from the nation of the kibbutzim to the Silicon Valley on the Mediterranean
- absolute security, development, preservation of its fundamentals, with cohabitation with Palestinians and regional integration,
- economic performance with moves to reform social inequality, diminish the excesses of capitalism while dealing with ethnic discrimination.
These factors explain much about Israel, its dynamic and its sense of destiny. They recall the original values building of the state and give ‘’Israel’’ a positive boost that soul to mobilize Israel soul and affect the country’s actions.
Meillet’s conclusion is forceful. There is a sense of Israel’s permanent identity despite all the turmoil and controversies. He calls it;
THE LIFE FORCE
The study highlights
Three sides of The Life Force.
Israel is a nation:
- founded and animated by Values, with Liberty, Equality, Fraternity,
- dedicated to and engaged in Action, with Boldness, Pragmatism, Efficiency,
- rooted in and enriched by Thought, with Jewishness, Creativity, Universalism.
If Israel wants to act with coherence and stay faithful to its identity, it has to behave and to communicate in a Committed, Just and Humane manner. The study applies these ideas to the current political impasse between Israel and the Arab world
Claude’s study invites the Israeli community, now and for the future, to use this Israel identity platform as an inspiration for acting and communicating.
»We are a nation with a life wish » President Shimon Peres
Tel Aviv, July 8d -2013
Claude Meillet has just moved to Israel. He was, previously head of a corporate communication agency in France and specialist in companies identity.