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Naji al-Ali

Naji Salim al-Ali (1938–87) was a Palestinian cartoonist, noted for the political criticism in his work. He drew over 40,000 cartoons, which often reflected Palestinian and Arab public opinion and were sharply critical commentaries on Palestinian and Arab politics and political leaders. He is perhaps best known as creator of the character Handala, pictured in his cartoons as a young witness of the satirized policy or event depicted, and who has since become an icon of Palestinian defiance. Naji al-Ali was shot by unknown assailants outside the offices of “al-Qabas”, a Kuwaiti newspaper in London on July 22, 1987 and died 5 weeks later.

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  • The Israel-Palestine Conflict: A Reading List

    On Friday 23rd December the UN passed a resolution demanding a stop to Israeli settlement in the occupied territories as, in a shock move, the US refused to veto the resolution. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu exploded, calling it a 'declaration of war' (having recently been granted a $38 billion military aid package by the US), and Secretary of State John Kerry criticised Israel's approach to the peace process. But with Trump tweeting that Israel should 'stay strong' until his inauguration, progress still seems unlikely.

    Verso presents a list of books from Israeli, Palestinian, and anti-imperialist authors, to explain the conflict and provide some perspectives on the future. 

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  • Joe Sacco's Introduction to Child in Palestine

    As part of our graphic non-fiction week, we bring to you Joe Sacco’s Introduction to A Child in Palestinea collection of cartoons by renowned Palestinian graphic artist Naji al-Ali, as well as some image excerpts from the book. Through his most celebrated creation, the witness-child Hanthala, al-Ali criticized the brutality of Israeli occupation, the venality and corruption of the regimes in the region, and the suffering of the Palestinian people, earning him many powerful enemies and the soubriquet “the Palestinian Malcolm X.” He was assassinated in London in 1987; the people and organization behind this attack remain unknown. But it is clear that there were many who wanted to stop his evocative political cartoons.

    Jesus is a Palestinian, says Naji al-Ali; like all the Palestinian people, he too dreams of returning to his home in Bethlehem (April 1982) 

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  • 64 years of occupation and resistance: a reading list

    The Nakba, or "day of catastrophe," remains the central issue of struggle for the Palestinian people. Commemorated each May 15th, the Nakba began in May 1948 when the State of Israel was founded on Palestinian lands, leading to the forcible expulsion of 75% of the indigenous population. Today, over 5 million Palestinian refugees remain in refugee camps in countries around the world, unable to return to their land and homes. They are the oldest and largest refugee population in the world.

    With the announcement, just one day before the Nakba, that Israel has settled with hundreds of Palestinian political prisoners on hunger strike, we reflect on 64 years of Israeli occupationand Palestinian resistancewith a survey of Verso's responses to this struggle.

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