Tom Dougherty, CEO – Stealing Share
14 May 2018
The fight over Jerusalem relies on powerful emotion
You wanna understand the power of beliefs? Look no further than the uproar and deaths over the opening of the US Embassy in Jerusalem.
At least 28 Palestinians were killed crossing a border fence while 1,000 Palestinian demonstrators were wounded. And why? Because of beliefs.
I don’t mean to demean the beliefs of either side when I say this. But the most effective brands align themselves with beliefs that already exist in the market. Those beliefs don’t even have to be true. They just need to be believed. Brands would be wise to understand precepts form the bedrock of any coveted brand.
In this case, Israelis celebrate the relocation of the embassy to Jerusalem feverishly because it reaffirms their belief that the city is holy in Judaism. However, Muslims believe the same thing in Islam.
Therefore, Palestinians and Israelis both claim the city as their capital. That’s led to it being wiped out twice, besieged 23 times, attacked 52 times, and captured and recaptured 44 times in its long history.
“The beliefs are so strong that millions of people have been willing to die over the same belief from different points of view.”
Jerusalem intensifies because of belief, not logic
The beliefs are so strong that millions of people have been willing to die over the same belief from different points of view. If you were to be completely unemotional and objective about it, you could ask, “What does it matter? Who cares where the capital is?” It’s just a city, right?
A family member of mine said that same thing to me yesterday. “It’s not that big of a deal. I don’t know why they’re making such a fuss over it,” he says. Sure, if you took beliefs and emotion completely out of the equation. You might see it that way.
But that’s not how humans operate. Beliefs and emotion drive human behavior, even if we all spout rational arguments to back them up. Ever get into a political argument with the other side? You calmly present logical points only for the other side to day, “Yes. But I still believe.”
Brand works the same way. Even choosing a silly commodity like laundry detergent is driven by emotion. Do any of you really compare brands to find the best one? Of course not. That would be stupid. But we pick a favorite because of some emotional driver and belief system.
Whether the US should move its embassy to Jerusalem is a muddy issue. I think moving the embassy to the city isn’t productive for Middle East peace. At all. But as I left-handed Buddhist, I have little emotion in the game.
Now, if we’re talking about China and Tibet…
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