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The difficulty with drawing about Israel and Palestine

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With the escalation of violence between Israel and Palestine, the number of cartoons about this conflict has, not surprisingly, increased dramatically as well. As a cartoonist, I find this topic to be one of the hardest things to draw about. As an editor, I also find it challenging which cartoons to pick for publication on our homepage or to highlight on social media. Let me explain why.

Cartoons are basically opinions on paper. When I draw, I try to present my perspective on an issue. At the same time, I consider myself to be more of a journalist than an activist, so I try to keep my perspective based on facts and to take all sides into consideration. The same goes for my job as editor. I consider Cartoon Movement to be a journalist platform and as such the content we publish should be journalism, not activism. And this isn't easy when it comes to Israel and Palestine.

In general in the world of editorial cartoons, there are three camps in this Israeli-Palestinian conflict:

1: the pro-Palestine camp
2: the pro-Israel camp
3. The 'neutral' camp
(basically cartoonists saying that both sides are to blame)

And no matter which camp a cartoon comes from, they all misrepresent reality to some degree, because the reality of the situation is so complex.

 

1: the pro-Palestine camp

Within this (perhaps largest) camp we can distinguish more moderate and more extreme cartoons. This is a mostly geographic distinction; the legacy of the Second World War and the Holocaust still ways heavily on Europe, and therefore most European cartoons will use more moderate visual language when drawing about Israel, like these cartoons by Marian Kamensky and Maarten Wolterink.

 

Img224 tt Cartoon by Marian Kamensky

 

Online873Cartoon by Maarten Wolterink

 

In Latin America, the specter of the Holocaust is felt less, and analogies between Nazi Germany and Israel are more commonplace, such as this cartoon by Peruvian cartoonist Karry. The use of Nazi imagery is not something I support, mainly because I don't think its helpful to what you are trying to achieve as a cartoonist. If your goal is to make people think (and perhaps even change their minds), you are estranging a lot of people (e.g. moderate Israelis) by using extreme symbols.

 

GAZA-KARRY-PERÚCartoon by Karry

 

In the Arab World, the conflict is far more present and immediate. The majority of cartoonists in the region are firmly in the pro-Palestinian camp, and their anger shows in their work. Like cartoonists in Latin America, they do not shy away from WW II imagery; their cartoons also tend to have more shock value (blood, war victims etc.) than cartoons from other parts of the world:

 

Netan nazis Mv Cartoon by Sanouni Imad

 

 

50865677-0617-4244-A7E7-3B53194D5B61Cartoon by Rafat Alkhateeb (Read the cartoon from right to left.)

 

2: the pro-Israel camp

The pro-Israel, or anti-Hamas camp, is smaller on Cartoon Movement. The argument in these cartoons is that Hamas is a terrorist organization that would eradicate Israel if it had the chance. In the cartoon below, Hamas is the snake in the grass:

 

Palestinesnake_pete_kreiner_0 Cartoon by Pete Kreiner

 

This cartoon (again by Marian Kamensky, which goes to show a cartoonist can be in two camps simultaneously) shows the tactics of Hamas:

Img229 ff FFTTCartoon by Marian Kamensky

 

They're not wrong in their depictions. Hamas is widely regarded as a terrorist organization that doesn't shy away from putting Palestinian people in harms way if it suits their tactics. And like all oppressors, they do not handle criticism well: our only cartoonist in Gaza, Majda Shaheen, was similarly critical of Hamas in her work, receiving death threats because of her work. In 2018, she disappeared, and no one has heard from her since.

 

Hamass_army__majda_shaheen Cartoon by Majda Shaheen (read from right to left)

 

3. The 'neutral' camp

In Europe and the US, most cartoons that appear in the newspapers are from the neutral camp. They condemn the violence, and call on both parties to stop the bloodshed and sue for peace. Here are some examples by Marco De Angelis and Iman Rezaee.

 

Destinies- Marco De AngelisCartoon by Marco De Angelis

 

3AAC5E4D-3A8B-4A7F-9403-832B6BD51915Cartoon by Iman Rezaee

 

The problem with these camps is than not one of them truly represents the reality of the situation. The overwhelming majority of cartoons from the pro-Palestinian camps ignore the thousands of missiles that Hamas shoots at Israel, and the fact that Hamas is recognized the world over as a terrorist organization. In turn the pro-Israel cartoons ignore the atrocious way the Israeli government controls Gaza and treats Palestinians in general (a recent Human Rights Watch report called Israel an apartheid state). And the neutral cartoons mainly fail to take into account the skewed power relation between the extremely well-funded hi tech Israeli Defense Force and the Palestinian home-made missiles. Just take a look at the death toll on both sides: one Israeli victim for every ten or twenty Palestinian dead.

In part, this misrepresentation of reality is part of what cartoons are. They simplify reality, and as such, they often omit part of the story. But in a conflict that is so polarized as this one, these omissions become more obvious, not least because they tend to be pointed out immediately by people adhering to a different camp. And I find the omissions become more difficult to defend, precisely because they are so obvious. So both as an editor and as a cartoonist, I tend to favor the more moderate depictions. These can still be just as hard-hitting - the first cartoon by Marian Kamensky shown above was one of our most popular cartoons on social media this month - and may even make someone in a different camp stop and think.

If you want to take a look at the cartoons I recently made about this subject, you can see them here.

Tjeerd Royaards

Comments

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SAMIR SARDANA

IT ALL STARTED WITH AN ISRAELI SETTLER STEALING AND OPENLY CLAIMING TO STEAL THE LAND OF A PALESTINIAN

The quote of the Israeli on "If I do not steal.............." is a lift from the Sanhedrin Talmud.The Philosophy is that Goyim and Gentiles are inept (which may be be true) and undeserving of any serious possessions (and this is NOT a ethical or righteous stand) - and so,it is BETTER,that wealth be in the hands of the Israelis !

So the Settler,is merely following the Talmud - which SUPERSEDES TORAH and the HEBREW BIBLE,as under:

Baba Mezia 24a . If a Jew finds an object lost by a gentile ("heathen") it does not have to be returned. (Affirmed also in Baba Kamma 113b).
Sanhedrin 57a. What a Jew steals from a gentile he may keep.(MY INTERPRETATION - But the Jew MIGHT make a compensation !)
Baba Kamma 37b. The gentiles are outside the protection of the law and God has "exposed their money to Israel."

And the same applies to the Israeli gobbling of Palestine - as Israel is the name of Jacob,the son of Isaac !

“Your name shall no longer be Jacob, but Israel since you have striven with god and men and have prevailed” (Genesis - 32:29).

Israel Gobbling Palestine by deception and treachery,is all a part of the lineage of Jacob,who cheated Esau and His father Isaac ! This is Isaac the son of
ABRAHAM the PROPHET ! But as per Maimonides,this was NOT a Cheating - as Yaweh had PROMISED Jacob's mother that he would be the successor,and Isaac TRIED TO BREAK THAT COVENANT

Hence,the THEFT of Jacob was justified,and so is the Israeli occupation as - BENJY IS FULFILING THE PROPHECY MADE BY YAWEH to REBECCA (the mother of Jacob !)

The Israelis do NOT CARE for what the world THINKS - as they view the opinions of the world,as that of ESAU (the twin of Jacob)

Mr Esau said that JACOB was RIGHTLY named JACOB,as he was a CHEAT ! (God Bless !)

Esau said, “Is he not rightly named Jacob? For he has cheated me these two times. He took away my birthright, and behold, now he has taken away my blessing” (Genesis 27:36).

Y Israelis care a CAHOOT for the world - is that ,as per Genesis - Yaweh also came to JACOB, and promised him success and glory (AFTER HE CHEATED HIS FATHER AND BROTHER),and that the whole world will bow to his lineage (which is the state of the Jews today - so the Jews of Israel,see it as fulfiling that prophecy !)

TREACHERY AGAINST THE JEWS,is something that Jews accept, as passe.Jacob who CHEATED his father and his brother - was ALSO CHEATED by his uncle,TO MARRY A WOMAN,who he was NOT to marry - and it was from this CHEATED MARRIAGE,with LEAH - that was lineaged 12 sons,and the 12 TRIBES OF ISRAEL !

SO THE CONCEPTION OF ISRAEL,IS BY SUBTERFUGE,AND TAKING THE RIGHTS AND PROPERTIES,OF GOYIM AND GENTILES - IS A VALID RIGHT BESTOWED ON THE JEWS,BY EXPLICIT INSTRUCTION (BY YAWEH), DEDUCTIVE INFERENCE (FROM GENESIS) AND DECONTRUCTED DIALECTICS (FROM THE TAKMUD).This EXPLAINS THE MINDSET of the Israelis !

That is Y Maimonides calls Jacob or ISRAEL,the NOBLE DECEIVER - as HE as BLESSED BY YAWEH - just as the transgressions of Israel today - which GETS AWAY,EVERY TIME !

UN protocols mean garbage to Israel - as Rebecca COERCED and TRAINED Jacob,to CHEAT ISAACC (the PROPHET) - BUT ALL FOR A GOOD CAUSE - AS REBECCA WAS FULFILING THE PROPHECY OF YAWEH,TO REBECCA,WHEN THE TWINS WERE INSIDE HER ! SO ALL THAT ISRAEL DOES IN INTERNATIONAL LAW - MEANS NOTHING - AS THEY ARE DOING ALL,AS PER THE PROPHECY OF YAWEH TO REBECCA, ON THE DIVINE SUPREMACY,OF THE JEWS AND ISRAEL !

GENESIS HAS COVERED ALL THE THEFT OF JACOB,IN MAGICAL SYMMETRY,BY WORDS FROM YAWEH (IN PERSON) - BLESSING JACOB TWICE.

SUCH PERFECTION IN THEOLOGICAL SYMMETRY AND LOGIC.dindooohindoo

It APPEARS TO BE WRITTEN IN HINDSIGHT !

IT ONLY "APPEARS" - GENESIS IS,OF COURSE,A DIVINE DOCUMENT !

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