LETTER: Misrepresenting the conflict

I find the editorial cartoon by Pat Abbot on Sept. 27 to be an extreme example of misrepresentation. Although the idea of Palestinians and Israelis coming together for peace is a noble idea, it’s an insult to both parties that peace will be achieved by their shared hatred of a group.

The cartoon shows a Muslim and a Jew becoming friends after they discuss their hatred of the Catholic Pope in Jerusalem. First of all, it assumes that all of the native Palestinians in Jerusalem are Muslims, which is strange because there are many Palestinian Christians who are Roman Catholic themselves. Second, the Muslim in the cartoon is wearing an outfit which is often misportrayed by the media. This type of clothing, especially the turban, is not all common in Palestine. Also, the woman in the cartoon is wearing a Burqa, which is hardly, if ever, worn inside of Palestine. Third, the banner in the cartoon says, “Peace in the Middle-East”. This simplifies the entire region as “one problem”. The root of the Middle-Eastern Conflict is the Palestine/Israeli conflict, but surely it is not the only problem that exists in the region. Lastly, the cartoon shows Muslims and Jews celebrating together in Jerusalem, but fails to show the 25-foot-high apartheid wall Israel is building in Jerusalem. This wall, which was condemned by the international community and deemed illegal by the International Court of Justice, is designed by Israel to separate the Israeli population from the native Palestinian population. The wall itself has also been used to illegally confiscate land and drive the native Palestinians away if they happen to be on the wrong side of the wall.

Essentially, the cartoon tries to portray the conflict as a religious hostility, when in fact, it’s a matter of self-determination and independence for Palestinians, who are both Christian and Muslim. Free Palesine!

Rami Abuhabsah

Students for Justice in Palestine