by Simon Farr, for The Guardian. Used with permission.
This sobering image from The Guardian, a perfect example of an illustration being worth a thousand words, is by well-known, UK-based political cartoonist Simon Farr.
In describing it, a Guardian blog notes, "hemmed in by barbed wire and brick walls as the bombs rain down, today's Guardian cartoon by Simon Farr illustrates the horror of life inside the Gaza Strip."
Former US Congressman Dennis Kucinich commented on it, also, saying:
"This image best describes what is happening in Gaza. Gaza is the world's largest open-air prison. Even calling the action against Palestinians in Gaza a war seems lacking in description. A war implies some equality in combat. What is happening in Gaza is a massacre by one of the world's most powerful armies, abetted by the silence of Western nations."
It's a poignantly, perfectly-timed illustration for this moment. Which is why it was surprising to discover that it was published, along with the blog mention above, on Dec. 31, 2008.
And not much has changed.
When I asked Simon Farr for his perspective, he said, "I am greatly saddened that the Israeli state continues to think that murdering women and children will weaken the resolve of the Palestinian people to resist oppression.
The opposite is true."
The 2008 Guardian blog also mentioned Mazen Kerbaj's arresting illustration, posted above and which carries a notation that it is "COPYRIGHTLESS. You are strongly encouraged to post it, print it, stick it on the walls of your city, and share it by any means with the biggest number of people you may know. please do mention/tag/link the author and/or his blog when it is possible."
An image can often offer a deeper sense of understanding than words can convey. And words that paint a visual image by using comparison or contrast are almost as effective as an actual image. For instance, Dennis Kucinich somberly notes that
"Gaza is experiencing the equivalent of three-and-a-half 9-11s EVERY DAY."
If this seems exaggerated, think again. He's done the math:
* The US has a population of 318 million. Gaza has a population of 1.8 million.
* The United States is 176 times the size of Gaza
* 1442 Palestinians have died in the 24 day siege of Gaza - Proportionate to 253,792 Americans
* On September 11, 2001, 2,977 innocent people lost their lives in the US
* Gaza is now experiencing the equivalent of three-and-a-half 9-11s EVERY DAY.
Dennis Kucinich by Dennis Kucinich
We must distinguish between governments and the people who are governed.