I’ve always been interested in the way language creates the mental images that form the basis for our understanding. For an editorial cartoonist, it’s a part of the job to use mental images and metaphors to encourage a certain way of thinking. Sometimes this involves oversimplification, which can be misleading. But can images also be used to lay bare the inconsistencies and abuses in the language we use? For this cartoon, I paired the often ridiculous images that might be associated with the language of the conflict in Gaza, with the images of the reality of the conflict, as I subjectively understand it.
They’re referring to using overwhelming military force to invade a blockaded territory with tanks, artillery and aircraft, many of which are supplied by the US.
The U.S. has provided Israel with about $3 billion in military assistance each year. Most of the money is used by the IDF to purchase weapons from U.S. Military contractors.
When Hamas says they’re “resisting,”
They mean they’re indiscriminately firing rockets at Israeli cities to provoke more conflict.
Thousands of rockets and mortars have been fired toward Israel from Gaza, resulting in 3 Israeli civilian deaths.
When Israel refers to their military operations in Gaza as “Mowing the grass,”
They mean the cyclical strategy of attacking Gaza and Hamas ever few years, despite the deaths of thousands of Palestinian men, women and children.
Nearly 2,000 palestinians have been killed, 50-80% of them civilian, including over 600 women and children. The fighting has displaced a quarter of Gaza’s population. Nearly 60,000 have lost their homes.
When Israel refers to Hamas using “human shields,”
They mean Hamas intentionally continues to fight and stores weapons in the densely populated territory that Israel has sealed off and confined them to.
Gaza, 25 miles long and around 5 miles wide, has a population of 1.8 million. It has been blockaded by the Israeli government since 2007.
And when Israel and Hamas talk about a humanitarian ceasefire,
Both sides seize the opportunity to build up their arsenals, dig in, and prepare to fire again.