Mu’taz Ali’s “Breaking News”

The Palestinian right of return to their indigenous homeland land has been one of the salient features of artist Mu’taz Ali’s cartoons in his recent exhibition held under the title of  “Breaking News”.

Ali has been able to reflect the aspirations of his people in liberating their lands and returning to it.

The tent and the key are two most prominent symbols through which he addressed two major themes. The tent summarizes the tragedy of the Palestinian people which resulted from their expulsion from their indigenous homeland where they were distributed to refugee camps living in tents and feeling nostalgia to return to their villages and cities.

As for the key, it symbolizes for the determination of the Palestinian people to return to their homeland despite the Israeli hectic attempts to wipe out this right which has been guaranteed by UN resolution No. 194 and other UN resolutions pertaining to the Arab Israeli conflict. The Palestinian girl, Fatema in Ali’s cartoons, wears Palestinian embroidered dress which symbolizes for the adherence to the Palestinian identity, culture and heritage in the face of the recurrent Israeli attempts to wipe out this identity and obliterate the genuine characteristics of the Palestinian culture and heritage.   The cartoonist deals with the resistance in its pan-Arab dimension, especially the unity of the Syrian and Palestinian people in resisting the Zionist entity. He also portrayed the huge marches of the Palestinian people who headed to the occupied Golan and broke the barbed wires on Nakba Day to express their determination not to sell out their repatriation right.

One cartoon deals with the struggle of our people in the Gaza Strip and their brave confrontation of the tight siege imposed by the Israeli occupation authorities with the aim of halting the unabated struggle of the Palestinians.

Fatema cleans the dust from the key and hangs it on her chest waiting for the breaking news which might carry hope and optimism in liberating the homeland.

Ali makes us remember the most prominent symbols of Palestinian cultural life, especially Ghaasn Kanafani, Mahmoud Darwish and Naji al-Ali through his mouthpiece Hanzallah, a thin, miserable-looking man representing the Palestinian as the defiant victim of Israeli oppression and other hostile forces, and a fat man representing the reactionary Arab regimes and Palestinian political leaders who led an easy life and engaged in political compromises which the artist fervently opposed.

The Palestinian olive, the nuts of Nablus and the thyme of Hebron can be seen in the cartoons.

The artist did not forget to touch on the current developments, especially the conspiracy against Syria which aims to undermine its resistant role and serve Israeli interests. One cartoon portrays the media fabrications against Syria through a propaganda implemented by four instigative channels: al-Jazeera, al-Arabiya, al-Hurra and France 24 which transmit in Hebrew in reference to their implementation of a foreign agenda that serves Israeli interests.