Palestine By Joe Sacco; A Book Review Essay

1946 Words 8 Pages
Joe Sacco’s graphic novel, Palestine, deals with the repercussions of the first intifada in Israel/Palestine/the Holy Land. The story follows the author through the many refugee camps and towns around Palestine as he tries to gather information, stories, and pictures to construct his graphic novel. While the book is enjoyable at a face level, there are many underlying themes conveyed throughout its illustrated pages and written text.
The most obvious of the themes is that of violence, brutality, and torture. Tied into this also is the idea of injustice. Many of these themes are intertwined. Constantly the reader is berated with violent images, or descriptions of violence. These must be on nearly every second page of the novel. A good
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The first to examine is near the end of the text while Sacco is leaving Palestine; he is sitting beside an old Jewish American . She states that it is a shame all the violence that goes on in the area, especially after all the hardships the Jews have already suffered. To contrast this, the reader must look back to an earlier instance in the book that is mainly textual . Here it talks about the opinions of the Zionists who first moved to Israel, as well as quotes from Prime Ministers of Israel. Quotes such as, “Palestinian Arabs have only one role left – to flee.” and “It was not as though there was a Palestinian people considering itself as a Palestinian people and we came and threw them out and took their country away from them. They did not exist.” prove a type of hypocrisy. After all the Jews had suffered from other cultures and societies discriminating against them, one would think that they would not wish to inflict anything similar on another culture or society. Quotes like this almost seem reminiscent to those issued during the time of the Holocaust (i.e., the Jews are not human/people). Similar to this, instances of hypocrisy are apparent throughout the novel .
Finally, there is also an underlying theme of the sensationalist nature of the media. At many times one finds Sacco talking about how he wants to see instances of violence happen, because they would make a great page for

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