Palestine Is Not Alone - Tahanian - 1

Translation / Interpretation / Caption Text

Curator's note:

In this wordless storyboard poster we see in the first frame in the upper left hand corner a guilty-looking Israeli soldier marching along with a model of the Dome of the Rock mosque under his arm.

In the second frame the soldier is confronted by a small Palestinian boy who is demanding that the soldier return the mosque to its rightful place (The mosque is representative not only of the Dome of the Rock or Jerusalem, but of Palestine itself). The soldier responds angrily to the boy's challenge by tweaking the boy's ear. 

In the third frame the soldier marches on still carrying the model of the mosque.

In the fourth frame the soldier is confronted by a much taller Palestinian man.

In the fifth frame the Israeli soldier, intimidated, sheepishly kneels down and returns the model to the man.

Note: the model features roots growing from the base of the mosque symbolizing that the mosque was forcibly ripped up from its original location as well as reinforcing the Palestinian iconographic practice of using roots as metaphors for the ancient nature of their rootedness and claims to the land of Palestine.

In the sixth frame we see the Israeli soldier racing away with a fearful look on his face.

In the final frame we see a group of small boys joyfully holding the model of the mosque in their hands and in the background the empty robe and boots worn by the "man" who faced down the Israeli soldier.

The punchline of the storyboard is that when the Israeli soldier was confronted by a small boy, he just abused him and moved on. However, when confronted by a larger presence, he immediately surrendered his loot and fled the scene not realizing that he had been duped into surrendering the model to boys who had,  worked together and stood on each others shoulders inside the white robe. By supporting each other in pursuit of a common goal, they had pooled their resources to present a more formidable presence which worked, in this poster at least, to outfox the IDF.

There are several nuanced subtexts at work in this poster: Jerusalem is not a negotiable issue for the Palestinians; the younger generation has not been intimidated by the Occupation; the Israeli Defense Forces are not invincible; steadfast Palestinian unity and cohesion will deliver victory; Palestinians have not forsworn the concept of armed struggle which is indicated by the makeshift wooden machine guns the boys carry.

This poster is propaganda in its purest form: it is meant to mock the Occupying power and heroicize the Palestinian resistance by disparaging the IDF and reminding Zionists that David Ben Gurion's infamous-yet-controversial quote about the Nakba: "The old will die and the young will forget", has not come to pass. 

The traditon of denigrating, satirizing and taunting the IDF is not new and it is not limited to Arab/Muslim/Palestinian sources. Click here to view a collection of anti-IDF posters by Israeli Haredi groups.