Middle East Cartoons - political cartoons and my thoughts

Middle East cartoons from around the world. Including the Mohammed cartoons. Cartoons about the middle east, Iraq, Israel, Palestinians, terrorism and more. Read peoples comments and post your own.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Peace is for the willing

The next cartoon by Daryl Cagle, Slate.com from February 9, 2005 focuses on George W Bush's role in the middle east peace process.

I have chosen to comment on the idea of external involvement rather than America's role only. It is very hopeful that so many countries and organsiations want peace in the middle east and are willing to try and help. Aside from the fact that many of the "concerned" parties are only involved for their own political agendas or for the appearance of caring, there is something very imprtant to bear in mind.......

.....we can not force peace on people that do not want it. So to speak to the cartoon, even if there were an unlimited number of quivers with an infinite number of arrows there is only so much that can be done externally. Peace is ultimately for the willing and only the willing. Perhaps more world efforts should be focused on addressing the root problems, attitudes and misconceptions than rather trying to force the leaders into agreements that the people are not prepared to accept.

Middle east opinions

I was looking through my posts and the comments I receive and I realise that many of my posts are too long. This blog was always meant to focus on middle east cartoons and my thoughts on them. In most of my posts I get very carried away with my opinion of the middle east region and its politics. Therefore.....

....I have decided to create a blog for my opinion and other peoples' opinions about the middle east. From now on "Middle East Cartoons" will have cartoons and short posts. My new blog will have longer posts (sorry no cartoons!) and feature mine and other opinions.
So without any futher adue, intro to "Middle East Opinions". Enjoy the new (and old) blog!

Marc K

Monday, March 14, 2005

Peace in the middle east

I was looking through middle east cartoons to review and a thought struck me - all (at least most) of the most recent cartoons focus on the leaders only. I know that satirical cartoons are most often targeted at leadership (especially since they are so often responsible for these situations), but we must not forget the man in the street. Since the beginning of the year all attention has been focused on Israel (represented by Ariel sharon), Palestine and Palestinians (represented by Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas) and America (represented by George W Bush or an American symbol.


This is all great and wonderful and these may be the "main players" on the political and world stage but in the bulk of cases and facets to the Arab-Israeli conflict, peace will not come from these leaders. This I believe to be the case for a multitude of reasons. Two of the most relevant are:
  • Much of the rethoric coming from these leaders is promoting terrorism. Even in the case of Abbas much of what he has promised to different factions of the Palestinians is "arguably" counter-productive to true peace.
  • Secondly and most importantly the true day to day environment of the middle east will be dictated by the opinions of the man in the street and not the leadership. Leaders may be able to start a process or initiate change but only the man in the street can see it through to success.


    Implicit in the above overly simplified version of things are some assumptions, including that leaders do what is best for their people (if things were this simple I wouldn't even have a blog about the middle east!), community leaders encourage peace and tolerance as do religious leaders (that means ALL, not just the "moderate" leaders). There are too many cases of mosques preaching violence and hate as the only answer and too many allowances for "non-moderate" or "hard-line" factions.

  • Wednesday, March 09, 2005

    Legal issues and thank you

    I just want to take a moment and thank those sites who have let me comment on their cartoon or cartoons about the middle east. I try to get permission from all parties before using them but in some cases I have not. I am still working on contacting all the artists involved to get permission (or at least alert them to my use of their cartoon). This is not always possible and often takes time. To those sites that I have not gotten permission yet, thank you so much!

    In all cases a BIG THANK YOU! If you are unhappy about the way any material has been used please contact me, otherwise enjoy!

    Hamas and middle east peace

    This cartoon is great because it is in colour!

    Like so many other observers Mr Bennet also sees Hamas as a huge obstacle to the middle east peace process. I'll try be short with my post! There are two things here that I wonder about:

  • 1. Are people aware that there are other elements as bad (maybe even worse) than Hamas? Importance of this being that we do not only address Hamas as the problem. This is a manifestation and we need to address the underlying problem - intolerance and the idea of violence against civilians as a justified political means.
  • 2. Other than simply "observing" Hamas as a problem, will anyone actually do anything about them? (and others like them)

  • Cartoon is thanks to Clay Bennett, The Christian Science Monitor, Boston February 9, 2005.

    Tuesday, March 08, 2005

    New Features

    I've added links to some middle east sites and a blogroll! Check them out on the left hand side.

    Ariel Sharon and Mahmoud Abbas shake hands

    I quite like this cartoon. I think it very cleverly captures aspects of the situation that are not often focused on by the world. While Sharon and Abbas may have shaken hands there is still a lot going on between the two of them in terms of dynamics. This is a new "partnership" - Abbas and Sharon. With Arafat there was an existing dynamic to the relationship but with Abbas now in power the dynamic is still unsettled. Niether leader wants to be seen as "conceding" too much or being too "hard". So while the world watches the handshakes and feels all warm and fuzzy about the prospect of peace, those in the know understand that this is a much more complicated hand shake than appears! Cartoon is thanks to Mike Lane, Baltimore, Maryland, The Baltimore Sun February 9, 2005.

    Arafat and the middle east peace process

    Another cartoon from MidEastTruth.com. This time the topis is Yassir Arafat and his part (or lack thereof) in the peace process. This cartoon is by Doug MacGregor, Ft. Myers, FL, The Ft. Myers News-Press
    November 15, 2004. It very aptly depicts Arafat's constant attempts to hamper the middle east peace process and prevent a resolve to the Arab-Israeli conflict. Chossing to perpetuate the violence for his own means, not the sake of his people (Egyptians) or the Palestinians. Arafat's payoff was to the tune of Billions of Dollars intended for the Palestinians. Either way money can't help him anymore, in fact niether can lies! Very simply put the best thing Arafat ever did for the chance of peace in the middle east was to pass on.

    Hamas and the peace process

    This is the first cartoon I am reviewing from MidEastTruth.com. Many of the recent cartoons focus on Hamas and their involvement in the peace process (never thought I'd say that in the same sentence!). Let's just clarify what I mean. I don't mean that Hamas will take an active part in the peace process but rather how hard they will try to derail it. This cartoons speaks to the same idea as many of the recent cartoons about Hamas. I like the way this has been depicted, very clever imagery exposing Hamas as external and reactvie to the process. This cartoon was done by Mike Keefe, The Denver Post February 9, 2005. Anyway here it is....

    MidEastTruth

    I found a great site devoted to stopping terrorism and spreading the truth about the Middle East. The site is run by a small team of citizens from different countries. I have not spent that much time on the site yet but they have some great cartoons! Give them some traffic - Visit MidEastTruth
    I am going to go through a few of the cartoons later so keep checking.

    Monday, March 07, 2005

    I'm back!

    Hi All

    Hope you missed me!

    I have been so hectic with other projects that I was unable to keep this blog up to date. This blog is more of a "hobby" for me - a way to escape for a few minutes during a hectic day!

    Wow! So much has happened since we last blogged.

    Arafat dies
    Arafat died and then didn't and then died and then didn't and then finally died. That's not even to speak of the lies surrounding the cause of his death (AIDS is one of the most popular theories on the street!). Someone made the comment to me that it was a fitting death (in terms of the lies) for someone who had devoted his life to lies. He could never tell the truth in life and even in death his name was associated with lies. It was shocking to see his family and aides fighting amongst each other and trying to get their grubby little paws on his money (i.e. the money he stole from the Palestinians) before it was too late.

    Palestinian elections
    Elections were held and a new leader elected. The elections were "free and fair" according to the world but Israel's presence on the border was "unsettling". That is a problem but the same South Africans who made the comments accept last Zimbabwean election and free and fair and "totally without incident". Well, love may be blind to colour (and political alliances) but diplomacy sure aint!

    Mahmoud Abbas
    After a long wait Abbas is the new PLO and PA leader. Looks to provide more of a chance than Arafat but let's wait and see. The key now is that there has to be a significant reduction in bombing attempts (remember that 90% of attempts are stopped) before there will be any real hope for a "meaningful" peace.

    Gaza disengagement
    What a hotly contested issue! Votes and votes and finally it loks like Sharon gets his way! I am still unsure as to exactly where I stand on this. One thing I do know is that the idea of Jews kicking Jews out of Jewish land leaves a bad taste in my mouth (almost as bad as the idea od Jews fighting against the IDF).

    Anyway that's me for the moment.
    I have some new cartoons to review (mostly from last year) and will begin on them this week. Feel free to comment and let me know your thoughts.

    Till next time!

    Marc K