Malta-born American journalist-cartoonist-author, Joe Sacco, after visiting the Occupied Palestine during 1991-92 – began expressing his personal impression of the lives of the Native Palestinians under foreign Jewish occupation through comics. In 1993, Joe Sacco put all comics in a single book Palestine. The book won an American Book Award in 1996. In 2001, Columbia University Professor Edward Said (1935-2003) wrote an introduction for the book.
I have a copy of the Special Edition of the book ‘Palestine’ (2007) which includes ‘some reflections on Palestine’ by the author.
“I was a US taxpayer whose money – my money – was being spent to perpetuate the occupation; and I was a graduate of the University of Oregon’s Schoolof Journalism, aghast at how poorly – should I say awfully – American journalists were presenting the issue.
Israel, as you probably know, gets more US financial aid than any other nation, and I didn’t (and don’t)like the idea of directly or indirectlyfunding its land-grabbing settlement projects or any other aspect of its brutal occupation…..
The conflict between Israelis and Palestinians will continue as long as the occupation – in any of its shapes and forms – continues, and this book, through it presents material that must seem mild in comarison with today’s violence and dramatic terns, toches on the essence of that occupation. It is not an objective work if by objectivity we take the American approach which lets each side have its say and doesn’t mind if reality is not revealed. My idea was not to present an objective book but an honest one”.
Joe Sacco’s other books include War Junkie, Safe Area Gorazde, The Fixer, Notes From A Defeatist, War’s End and But I Like It. The ‘Safe Area Gorazde’, about his time in Bosnia, was picked as a “Notable Book” by the New York Times in 2001 Sacco has contributed comics journalism pieces to Time magazine, The Guardian, The New York Times Sunday magazine and Harper’s. He is currently working on a book about the Gaza Strip.
The two comics illustrations above are courtesy of Fantagraphic.com.