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I had a hard time getting through this graphic novel It was a tough read due to the subject matter I also wasn t fond of the art on a personal level.I did immensely appreciate Joe Sacco s motivation for writing this graphic novel In an interview with Al Jazeera, Joe Sacco said I grew up thinking of Palestinians as terrorists, and it took a lot of time, and reading the right things, to understand the power dynamic in the Middle East was not what I had thought it was And basically, it upset I had a hard time getting through this graphic novel It was a tough read due to the subject matter I also wasn t fond of the art on a personal level.I did immensely appreciate Joe Sacco s motivation for writing this graphic novel In an interview with Al Jazeera, Joe Sacco said I grew up thinking of Palestinians as terrorists, and it took a lot of time, and reading the right things, to understand the power dynamic in the Middle East was not what I had thought it was And basically, it upset me enough that I wanted to go, and, in a small way, give the Palestinians a voice a lense through which people could see their lives.There are two ways in which Palestinians are portrayed as terrorist and as victim.There may be truth in certain situations for both descriptions, but Palestinians are also people going to school, who have families, have lives, invite you into their home, and think about their food Living in the U.S with its strong ties to Israel, your average person i.e Me will usually just get the Israeli sympathetic viewpoint from the media The author wanted to get the other side of the story, the side that is grossly under represented you might even say misrepresented in the American media He wanted to see and hear, first hand, the Palestinian story.My God, what a depressing story.What I came away with from the novel were the following memorable highlights 1 Palestinians drink A LOT of tea.2 If you re a young, Palestinian male then it s practically guaranteed that you ve gone to jail If you haven t, there is something wrong with you.3 The Israeli jails are set up in such a way that its Palestinian prisoners are intentionally dehumanized This was quite a powerful panel in the novel A former inhabitant of one of the jails points out how the prisoners are not given proper eating utensils, bathrooms, showers or basically any other living necessity therby forcing the Palestinians to live like animals just to survive their prison term Couple that reality with the fact that the Israeli soldiers in charge of guarding the jails military service is compulsory in Israel are often young impressionable kids witnessing large groups of Palestinians together for the first time and the whole prison set up takes on a very sordid and manipulative overtone of nationalist proportions.4 There was the depressing revelation that there are Israelis who honestly believe that Palestinians have it better under occupation than before sigh That s like believing under paid workers in third world sweat shops are doing all right because at least now, they have a job and are making SOME kind of money rather than none at all If you currently believe that bullshit, please read No Logo by Naomi Klein so that you get an opposing viewpoint and can subsequently make awell rounded and informed opinion 5 In another couple of powerful panels, Joe Sacco remarks to himself in wonder that he doesn t even know what it would be like to WANT to have the kind of faith that would compel young women to want to cover their heads all the time That struck me, because, well, I don t know what that would be like either 6 Much like the U.S agricultural industry, it seems that the Israeli economy also relies on the availability of cheap Palestinian labor 7 There was a poignant and possibly unintentional symbolism involved during the panel sequence in which a Palestinian patriarch describes to Joe how he was forced by the Israeli army to chop down his grove of olive trees The trees, the patriarch said, were like his sons He wept as the axe bit into the flesh of the trees In one cruel afternoon, his family s livlihood was destroyed.Overall, I liked the novel and the author s intent Like I said, I didn t much like the art but it was fitting to the novel s content and tone We in the States are always told that we have to support the Israelis Remember what the Jews have endured with the Holocaust Why didn t we stop Hitler there are always those that insist we had the chance We need to make it up to the Jews They need to have their own homeland as reparation for their terrible suffering Yes, the Jews suffered terrible things It was awful and horrific, and I hope with every fiber of my being that something like the Holocaust will never happen again.But what a We in the States are always told that we have to support the Israelis Remember what the Jews have endured with the Holocaust Why didn t we stop Hitler there are always those that insist we had the chance We need to make it up to the Jews They need to have their own homeland as reparation for their terrible suffering Yes, the Jews suffered terrible things It was awful and horrific, and I hope with every fiber of my being that something like the Holocaust will never happen again.But what about the Palestinians I always wondered as a kid how the Israelis can just go into a country that already has a government and a people, and just decide that it s theirs now because God said so What about the Palestinians Even in Israel, the reporting is very one sided, as evidenced by Sacco s reprinting of a news article that puts the blame for a particular episode of violence square on the Palestinians But even if it were supposedly unprovoked, how can you consider it totally unprovoked when the Palestinians are crammed into refugee camps When their villages are razed to the ground so that nothingexists of the homes in which they were raised When none of their sons over the age of 16 have escaped going to prison When they live under curfew, in homes without electricity, without plumbing, without even walls to keep out the elements When they can be arrested, beaten, and held without even being charged with a crime Sacco brings all of this to life, quite vividly And it s depressing that the Israelis and the Palestinians he interviews all seem to agree that peace is never going to come to the Holy Land, not while both Israelis and Palestinians exist Highly recommend this to everyone who is interested in seeing another side of the conflict in Israel, a conflict that is still going on,than twenty years after Sacco visited the area Hands down one of the best comic books and pieces of journalistic writing that I have ever read It s really up there with Marjane Satrapi s Persepolis and in my humble opinion the best and most clever comic book series out there, Gaiman s The Sandman I hereby vow to get further into Sacco s work He seems like an intelligent man with a great albeit somewhat dark type of humour, and I enjoy the political historical focus of his work Palestine is essentially a travel memoir political Hands down one of the best comic books and pieces of journalistic writing that I have ever read It s really up there with Marjane Satrapi s Persepolis and in my humble opinion the best and most clever comic book series out there, Gaiman s The Sandman I hereby vow to get further into Sacco s work He seems like an intelligent man with a great albeit somewhat dark type of humour, and I enjoy the political historical focus of his work Palestine is essentially a travel memoir political commentary It focuses on Joe Sacco s time in the 90s in Palestine and Israel, the West Bank specifically Joe Sacco set out to tell an authentic story, to show the lives of Palestinians and give them a voice It wasn t his aim to portray Palestinians as saints who have done nothing wrong, no, he simply wanted to show them as human to a world that treats them as less than that And what can I say I say I ve heard nothing but the Israeli side most of all my life, that it d take a whole other trip to Israel, that I d like to meet Israelis, but that wasn t why I was here, Sacco responds to two Israeli women who accuse him of being biased and showing only one side of the story So, he s aware of his biases but rightfully says that the Palestinian perspective is muchneeded and rare, especially if you take into consideration that he wrote this comic book for an American audience in the 90s I ve never quite read a comic book like this Joe Sacco s writing and art style is quite unique, and that in a good way His art is kept in simple black and white colours, but the arrangement of his panels is purposely messy and in disorder A lot happens on every single page We are thrown into the hustle and bustle of different cities not just by the impactful drawings alone, also by the way in which they are arranged on the page The way Sacco draws people, especially faces, is also noteworthy regardless of race or background, he goes for overly large heads, noses, bulging eyes, huge mouths and teeth Every feature is accentuated and exaggerated It took me some time to get used to that but all in all I would say that his art style heightened my enjoyment and understanding of this comic, as it stresses the emotional and raw aspect of all of these people By the means of hyperbole, he actually manages to make them seemhuman.The way he structured Palestine is fairly simple You can even track his path through the country on a map How he started in Cairo, then proceeded to his first real stop in the City of Nablus and his continuing journey through Ramallah, Hebron, Jerusalem, Jerichom, Bethlehem and other places on the West Bank In each city he arrives, Joe Sacco is quick to make friends With his fancy camera and Caucasian looks, people immediately notice him and are willing to share their stories with him He sometimes has tour guides, sometimes people whom he considers friends, who accompany him and grant him entrance into their homes Joe Sacco takes his time to portray these lives, all the horrible crimes and adversities these people faced in their lives Anyway it s not like I m here to mediate and let s face it, my comics blockbuster depends on conflict peace won t pay the rent And whilst his tone is definitelyon the humanistic and sarcastic end, you can tell as a reader how this is simply a means to make the comic bookappealing, and not Joe Sacco s true nature I actually appreciated that he kept his tone light some might even call it disrespectful in certain situations , because it showed the horribleness and morbid nature of the events Whether he describes torture, mistreatment by the officials, the horrible conditions in prison camps like Ansar II and III, threats of rape, demolished homes it never gets visually too explicit to become unbearable, and I actually appreciate that From a political and historical standpoint, I am also happy to report that I learned so much about Palestine I ve never learned about the 1948 Arab Israeli War or the 1967 Six Day War, when the West Bank was occupied by Israel Through the news and media, I also just saw and heard of glimpses of the conflict between Palestinians and Israeli settlers So, I m incredibly grateful that Sacco managed to make a whole world and reality come alive for me, that has been quite distant in my mind I still wouldn t consider myself knowledgable on that subject though, since Sacco s work is the first I read about Palestine, but it was honestly a great start and solidified my opinion going into this comic Hang in there, Palestine Your anger is justified and your people deserve so much better The only criticism I have is that Sacco s comic focuses almost exclusively on the male perspective and the experience of Palestinian men There s only one chapter dedicated to the rights of women and the Palestinian feminist movement, in which popular topics like the hijab and divorce are discussed His focus on men is somewhat plausible, since it quickly becomes clear that those are the people he s connected to and the people who can allow him to stay in their homes and walk around with him freely I imagine it would ve beentricky for Sacco to reach out to women and become intimate with them So, I m not mad but I still wish he made a bitof an effort Yes, yes, we all want peace, whatever that is, but peace can mean different things, too, and isn t described identically by all who wish to imagine it Palestine is neither a bleak nor an overly hopeful look at the Israeli Palestinian conflict It fits right in the middle it s a realistic one Sacco tells the stories of the people he met, to show their hardships and accomplishments, for an audience who thus far hasn t really cared for them He makes us care He forces us to take a look at this horrible situation, and from my standpoint it s shocking that even 30 years later, the same conflict persists, the crimes go on We, as a people, have to do better than this book two for Jugs or that s not what I mean exactly, but the stories af book two for Jugs Capes, my all girl graphic novel book club Whew This is a really, really devastating book Part of the problem and obviously part of the point is that it is relentlessly awful, with story after story after story of death, destruction, skirmishes with soldiers, dead sons, dead husbands, maimed daughters, displacement, oppression, poverty, and pain It s so painful, horribly, that I actually started to get a little jaded or that s not what I mean exactly, but the stories after awhile sort of lost their power to shock, to devastate I understand this was originally published as many small issues, so perhaps if I d read each story as a standalone, with in between time to fully process each before moving on to the next, they would each have continued to wield as much sorrow as they were meant to I don t know I feel like I should say something intelligent about the art, since this is after all a graphic novel, but I m still finding my sea legs, as it were, on the books with pix So here s a try Sacco has an incredibly chaotic style, which really helped to create an immersive feeling That said, though, there s practically just as much text as pictures, and at times I wondered why he chose to tell this story as a graphic novel, rather than just straight prose There were plenty of illustrations that were particularly affecting, and times when the images did enhance the story it was paired with, but for the most part I think this could have been text only without losing a whole lot.I talked a lot about this book with my Zionist leaning mother, and it was pretty difficult Like so many impossibly polarizing issues, it s tough to even find the language with which to locate a middle ground She would say, The Gazans have no electricity because they dig up the pipes to use as weapons against the Israelis And I would say, Well, according to this book, the Gazans have no electricity because the Israelis cut it off all the time, at random, just to keep them unstable And she would say, Why do the Palestinians keep asking Israel to give them jobs Why can t they just make their own industry And I would say, How can they do that Israel controls the water, the power, the supplies, the land, the permits, the transportation, and everything else From what could they possibly make industry And she would say, Israelis are ready to discuss peace, but most Palestinians won t even acknowledge Israel s right to exist And I would say, This has been going on for decades Imagine if you were a teenager in Gaza and all you had ever known was relentless humiliation, oppression, and poverty How would you feel about your oppressors Would you be in any hurry to negotiate anything And then we would have to change the subject, because where could we go Palestine first appeared as a series of nine comic books, but is collected here in a special edition that also includes a foreword by the late Edward Said and an introduction by the author Sacco writes that he was compelled to visit the Palestinian territories for two main reasons First, he realized that the taxpayer dollars he paid as an American were being spent in financial aid to Israel, perpetuating the occupation Second, after pursuing a degree in journalism, he became aware as to the o Palestine first appeared as a series of nine comic books, but is collected here in a special edition that also includes a foreword by the late Edward Said and an introduction by the author Sacco writes that he was compelled to visit the Palestinian territories for two main reasons First, he realized that the taxpayer dollars he paid as an American were being spent in financial aid to Israel, perpetuating the occupation Second, after pursuing a degree in journalism, he became aware as to the one sided and inadequate reporting on the conflict After falling out of regular journalism, Sacco became a cartoonist, and it is this medium through which he represents his wanderings in the occupied territories during two and half months in the winter of 1991 1992.Each chapter, which represents the original series of nine comic books, contains a number of episodes or vignettes, detailing the stories that Sacco hears through his interviews with various Palestinians, and the experiences he has in the refugee camps The topics of these vignettes range from the expulsion of Palestinians from their homes and land in 1948, the intifada, jobs, checkpoints and roadblocks, living conditions in the camps, women s rights, and the peace process The episodes concerning three men s prison experiences in Ansar III are particularly moving Mentions of Arab Israeli politics are scarce and often are included only in footnotes The book is concerned, above all, with Palestinians living day to day under occupation.Sacco s style varies throughout the book As he notes in his introduction, in the beginning, he was uncomfortable drawing on a daily basis It shows in the early chapters, where both Palestinians and Israelis appear in a rather negative light, looking almost monstrous However, in the rest of the book, Sacco seems to have figured out a few things, and his drawings looklike regular people He also is flexible in his formatting Some pages follow a panel format, some are nearly taken up with writing, while others consist of half page or full page drawings with few words I found that the most absorbing parts of Palestine are those when there are only a few words or none at all Sacco notes in his introduction that the biggest criticism leveled against his work is that it is too one sided But he explains that was his purpose My contention was and remains that that the Israeli government s point of view is very well represented in the mainstream American media and is trumpeted loudly, even competitively, by almost every person holding an important elected office in the United StatesMy idea was not to present an objective book but an honest one Most of the book takes place in the West Bank or Gaza, and most of the Israelis represented are those seen most often through the Palestinians eyes the settlers and the soldiers The exception is in the very last chapter, when Sacco visits Tel Aviv His drawings and conversations with two Israeli women there provide a stark contrast to the rest of the book.Overall, this book turned out to be a very effective and interesting if somewhat depressing portrayal of the Palestinians plight In fact, I was surprised at how effective it was, but in a way, it makes sense Politics and social justice issues in general can be complex and confusing, but a medium like the comic is often viewed as instantly understandable The drawings what Sacco calls comics journalism provide a relatively easy avenue by which to access and develop an understanding of the Palestinians concerns Several years have passed since Sacco first visited the occupied territories and published these comics in their original form, but they are still highly relevant and comprise a significant piece of work Highly, highly recommended I also highly recommend reading Sacco s introduction for those who are unfamiliar with graphic novels or who are interested in learning about his methodology They destroyed everything There is no sign that we ever lived there This was good Interesting use of graphic journalism A little bit of preaching to the choir in my case as I m already pretty sympathetic to the Palestinians and aware of the abhorrent treatment they have received in the last several decades, but a must read for the Americans and Europeans who only get the pro Israeli stance on the issue For a graphic novel, it s quite word heavy, with a lot of pages filled up with text They destroyed everything There is no sign that we ever lived there This was good Interesting use of graphic journalism A little bit of preaching to the choir in my case as I m already pretty sympathetic to the Palestinians and aware of the abhorrent treatment they have received in the last several decades, but a must read for the Americans and Europeans who only get the pro Israeli stance on the issue For a graphic novel, it s quite word heavy, with a lot of pages filled up with text in the margins.Blog Facebook Twitter Instagram Youtube |Free Kindle ⚇ Palestine ☱ Prior to Safe Area Gorazde The War In Eastern Bosnia Joe Sacco s breakthrough novel of graphic journalism the acclaimed author was best known for Palestine, a two volume graphic novel that won an American Book Award in Fantagraphics Books is pleased to present the first single volume collection of this landmark of journalism and the art form of comicsBased on several months of research and an extended visit to the West Bank and Gaza Strip in the early s where he conducted overinterviews with Palestinians and Jews , Palestine was the first major comics work of political and historical nonfiction by Sacco, whose name has since become synonymous with this graphic form of New Journalism Like Safe Area Gorazde, Palestine has been favorably compared to Art Spiegelman s Pulitzer Prize winning Maus for its ability to brilliantly navigate such socially and politically sensitive subject matter within the confines of the comic book mediumSacco has often been called the first comic book journalist, and he is certainly the best This edition of Palestine also features an introduction from renowned author, critic, and historian Edward Said Peace and Its Discontents and The Question of Palestine , one of the world s most respected authorities on the Middle Eastern conflict Palestine is a one of a kind graphic novel, at least to me This is the first book I ve read for Joe Sacco and I loved it This book takes place between 1991 and 1992 in several Palestinian cities, Cairo and Tel Aviv from the Israeli side The main focal point of the book was showing the occupied land s people point of view of the story, because in the west this other side of the story is pretty much invisible The art style was really amazing, all the drawings were very supportive to the content Palestine is a one of a kind graphic novel, at least to me This is the first book I ve read for Joe Sacco and I loved it This book takes place between 1991 and 1992 in several Palestinian cities, Cairo and Tel Aviv from the Israeli side The main focal point of the book was showing the occupied land s people point of view of the story, because in the west this other side of the story is pretty much invisible The art style was really amazing, all the drawings were very supportive to the content and they were funny when they needed to be.Obviously this book was written at a time with much better political conditions, when people could go from Gaza strip to the west bank, and there are other stuff that got really complicated after the second Intifada which happened after the book s publication.Politically the author s opinion was absent It pretty much conveyed other people s testimonies, whether they were Palestinian which they were in the largest part of this book or Israelis Tragic stories of Palestinians Some lost their kids, some brothers, some their legs and others their eye Most of them been to prison and they were tortured for crimes they didn t commit Kids forced to lose their innocence Although they are stories I m used to listen to as a Palestinian they still had a huge impact on me For the religion part, the author really wasn t afraid to show his point of view regarding that, e.g when writing the call of prayer for Muslims he wrote as so he changed the meaning from Allah is the greatest to Allah isn t the greatest He also pointed out how he had problems with religions in the book Despite an interesting medium, Sacco seems very blas white dude about all of this He admittedly goes to Palestine seeking the most tragic, horrific stories he can find, but spends the rest of his time avoiding as much of the experience as possible, and keeping some serious journalistic distance He s egotistical, self centered and seemingly oblivious to the situations nuances Halfway through the book he gets tired of hearing about bullet wounds and beatings, and he seems to treat the hospit Despite an interesting medium, Sacco seems very blas white dude about all of this He admittedly goes to Palestine seeking the most tragic, horrific stories he can find, but spends the rest of his time avoiding as much of the experience as possible, and keeping some serious journalistic distance He s egotistical, self centered and seemingly oblivious to the situations nuances Halfway through the book he gets tired of hearing about bullet wounds and beatings, and he seems to treat the hospitality of the people he visits like his right as the White Knight Journalist they ve been waiting for Basically, I was waiting for the punchline when he figured out he was an entitled douche It never happened PALESTINE by Joe Sacco, original 1993 for 9 volume set, my edition 2006 re printing from fantagraphics with foreword by Edward Said.As a fan of graphic storytelling, I was a long time coming to Joe Sacco He is one of the most well known names in graphic comic journalism war reporting with several award winning books to his name His most famous works are about Bosnia Safe Area Gorazade, others and Palestine.This book tells of Sacco s reporting in 1991 and 1992 in Palestine There are some PALESTINE by Joe Sacco, original 1993 for 9 volume set, my edition 2006 re printing from fantagraphics with foreword by Edward Said.As a fan of graphic storytelling, I was a long time coming to Joe Sacco He is one of the most well known names in graphic comic journalism war reporting with several award winning books to his name His most famous works are about Bosnia Safe Area Gorazade, others and Palestine.This book tells of Sacco s reporting in 1991 and 1992 in Palestine There are some large text histories throughout the book, providing a lot of context leading to the first intifada Sacco interviews scores of people in various walks of life He shares their stories, struggles, family situations, imprisonments, the search for work.Graphic works be it novels, memoirs histories have a unique reading style Following panels, or large spreads, text that winds around a page, etc Sacco utilizes all of these techniques in this book, weaving text between his drawings of crowds and pages It makes for a page bursting with content So much to take in No doubt very similar to his own experience walking through the crowded Palestinian camps.Sacco s real skill is his quick cuts at the end of an interview issue showing juxtapositions A damning interrogation ends and right outside, the street is bustling with laughing people We see this in cinema, and in comics too.The stories are heavy, many feel quite hopeless Especially when realizing that these were from nearly 30 years agoand not much has changed This street journalism oral history storytelling is always educational, even when it s uncomfortable and challenging, and sometimes as was he case in this book a few times harrowing He s an imperfect narrator, but he does not hide that He is sarcastic, satirical, deprecating There s a charm to it in some occasions, and others feel inappropriate to the context.Another book in this graphic journalism vein is OTHER RUSSIAS, a fantastic piece by Victoria Lomasko, translated Russian by Thomas Campbell, and a favorite of 2019