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Branding ODS in Arabic and Hebrew

Proposals for discussion between ODS supporters

The following suggestions are fully serious – but their main purpose is to start an open and creative discussion…

After we succeeded to put the (very initial) organizational structure on the ground, and before we start mass marketing, we need to set the brand name to be catchy and expressive.

Or, in another perspective, after more than nine months working on the creation of our new dear baby-movement – it is time that the loving family will convene to give it a proper name.

You have an historic opportunity here to think well in advance – a good name is a very important element in promoting a good cause. Just think of other movements that were started in a rush and got stuck with incredibly horrible names like “Occupy”!

In Arabic

I like the way our comrades in Ramallah called the movement:

“الحركة الشعبية للدولة الديمقراطية الواحدة على ارض فلسطين التاريخية”

“Al-haraka al-sha’abiya lildawla al-dimokratiya al-waheda ‘ala ardh Falestin al-tarikhiya”.

Meaning: The popular movement for one democratic state on the historic land of Palestine.

The idea is very good and well expressed, but in order to compete in the free market of ideas you need something simple and catchy like Fatah or Hamas.

I would suggest taking only 3 letters from the long name. We may call the movement:

ح.ش.د. أو حشد

H. Sh. D. – or Hashd…

According to “Google translate” it could mean “Mobilize” or “Gathering” or many other things, most of them going in our way…

It expresses dynamism, determination and popular struggle.

What would our Arabic expert say about it?

In Hebrew

The Yaffa group tried to be more humble, calling itself:

“קבוצת יפו למען מדינה דמוקרטית אחת”

“Kvutsat Yaffo lema’an medina demokratit ahat”.

Meaning: “Yaffo group for one democratic state”.

It doesn’t claim to be “the movement” yet, only one element in its future formation.

For the final product I would suggest to use the “movement” anyway, making it:

התנועה למען מדינה דמוקרטית אחת – ת.ל.ד או תל”ד

In three characters again, it is T.L.D. You would usually pronounce it TALAD – which doesn’t have any particular meaning, but it could also be read as “Teled” – meaning “will give birth” which is somehow optimistic and bears the connotation of a new beginning.

(By the way – learn also from the experience of Azmi Bishara’s Arab party “Al-tajamu’ al-watani al-dimokrati”, which is known in many places by its catchy Hebrew acronym “Balad” – even though almost nobody knows where this acronym came from…)

Why those 3 letters?

In English we already have ODS – which is well known and shouldn’t be replaced.

But this is appropriate only for the westernized elite.

In Hebrew we sometime use מד”א “M.D.A” or Mada – which is the exact comparable to ODS – but it is already occupied by Israel’s famous emergency and ambulances services, and it will be a hard fight to take it away from them.

In Arabicددو  “Dadu” seemed to my un-expert ears as a non-starter for many reasons.

Also, to make a virtue out of necessity, we don’t start by building ODS but build a movement first. So we need a name for the movement, something you can say you are a member of, something you actively support. We need a name to sign declarations, to be mentioned in the press.

Still we want simple and short names.

So here comes the trick:

I put aside the “State” thing – it might be an unavoidable evil, but not something we really love.

I also put aside the “one” – It is too much like “One Country, One Leader” – while we aspire for openness and pluralism.

So we are left with Democracy for all –

حشد – حركة شعبية ديمقراطية

תלד – תנועה למען דמוקרטיה

Movement for Democracy

It is not a proposal to change our program or the full name of the movement. The full and clear names may be kept as they are, to be written at the top of every official declaration and letterhead paper.

It is only that good branding should give the free spirit wings to fly.