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Occupation, in the details

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I visited the West Bank earlier this month and created these illustrations as part of a travelog. This is part 1.

The last time I had been there was 2008. Now, everything seemed heavier, particularly in Hebron where I spent most of my time. The air was heavy, the mood was heavy, and  the gravity of occupation seemed responsible for the drooping faces. Merely existing there is exhausting.

Much of the media coverage misses the details because it’s not interesting enough or attention-grabbing enough to rope people in.

In these illustrations I focused on the details of military occupation that get overlooked.

Soldiers on the roof in Beit Omar, by Katie Miranda.

1) I was in a service going from Hebron to Jerusalem and passed the village of Beit Omar. The suffering the people of this village has faced over the years is unimaginable and has been documented in great detail by organizations like the International Solidarity Movement and the Palestine Solidarity Project. But on the day I drove by, it was just another day.. a guy operating his store, a woman hanging the clothes out, and two soldiers occupying their roof.

Surveillance camera in the old city of Hebron, by Katie Miranda.

2) The old city of Hebron. The ancient stones belong to the scene. The woman belongs to the scene. The mouse belongs to the scene. But the plastic surveillance technology– if this is the Holyland, just a few steps from the Ibrahimi mosque/tomb of the Patriarchs, what is holy about harassment and surveillance?

View of Israeli military base from the Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron, by Katie Miranda.

3) View of an Israeli base from the Ibrahimi mosque. With the shape of the crescent on the minaret, the first thing I thought of is that this scene looks like an Eye of Sauron in reverse. The crescent looks like the eye, but it’s the Israeli army base and the watchtower on top of the hill that holds the same position as Sauron did in Middle Earth.

The original illustrations are for sale on my website:

Katie Miranda

Katie Miranda is an illustrator, jewelry designer, calligrapher, and cartoonist living in Portland, OR. Her Arabic calligraphy jewelry and apparel are favorites of people in the Palestine solidarity community. Katie runs Palbox: a quarterly subscription box containing Palestinian goods benefiting the Northern California branch of the International Solidarity Movement. Connect on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

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8 Responses

  1. John O on October 7, 2017, 12:37 pm

    Thank you, Katie. A picture is so often worth a thousand words.

  2. Citizen on October 7, 2017, 1:36 pm

    Thanks, Katie.

  3. Ossinev on October 7, 2017, 2:05 pm

    Things can only get worse in the occupied West Bank. It appears that the Yahoo`s status quo Vichy tool Fatah has been designated / redesignated a “terror group”.

    And we all know the Yahoo`s position on “negotiations” with” terrorists”.

    BTW Question: When is Yahoo precondition not a”precondition”
    Answer: When it suits the Yahoo to say so(He has probably got a cartoon up his sleeve for that conundrum)
    “He explained that he would start talks without pre-conditions, but he would not conclude them without securing Palestinian acceptance of Israel as a Jewish state”

  4. JosephA on October 7, 2017, 3:08 pm

    Thanks for sharing your experience with us.

  5. Maghlawatan on October 9, 2017, 11:34 am

    50 years. Howard Jacobson says Jews and Zionism are inseparable. Surely Judaism can refute this or collapse.

    50 years of sadism. For what?

  6. Misterioso on October 9, 2017, 11:42 am


    The Palestine Liberation Organization
    Department of Culture & Information


    October 9, 2017

    “In her meeting with Norwegian Representative Hilde Haraldstad, Dr. Ashrawi condemns Israel’s plans to build 3,829 illegal settlement units in the Occupied West Bank

    “’We strongly condemn Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s approval of the construction of 3,829 illegal settlement units in the Occupied West Bank, including 300 units in Beit El, 206 in Tekoa, 158 in Kfar Etzion, 129 in Avnei Hefetz, 102 in Negohot, 97 in Rehelim, 48 housing units in Ma’ale Mikhmas, and 30 units in Jewish settlement in Hebron. It should be mentioned that permits will be granted for areas where unlawful construction has not taken place in years; these include settlements in and around Hebron, Beit El, Tekoa, and Giv’at Ze’ev.’ 

    “‘Clearly, Israel is bent on entrenching the military occupation and its illegal settlement enterprise, further reaffirming its intentions of displacing Palestine and replacing it with ‘Greater Israel.’

    “‘Rather than becoming party to Israel’s unlawful breach of international law and conventions, the global community should hold Israel accountable for acting outside the law before it destroys the prospects of a viable Palestinian state, peace and stability indefinitely.’

    “PLO Executive Committee Member Dr. Hanan Ashrawi made these comments during her meeting with Norwegian Representative Hilde Haraldstad at the PLO Headquarters in Ramallah.

    “In the context of discussing bilateral relations and future cooperation between Palestine and Norway, Dr. Ashrawi expressed her appreciation to the Norwegian government for its consistent and positive position towards Palestine and its dedication to peace and justice.  She also urged Norway to affirm its commitment to ending the occupation and achieving the two-state solution by recognizing the state of Palestine in the immediate future.

    “Dr. Ashrawi provided a critical assessment of the latest political and regional developments, including Israel’s deliberate and systematic efforts to impose the one-state solution with its persistent violations and illegal settlement activities.

    “In that view, Dr. Ashrawi stated, ‘It is vital that European countries exhibit the political will necessary to take decisive action to end the occupation and to remove all of its manifestations from Palestinian soil.’

    “Both parties also reviewed the internal situation and agreed that genuine reconciliation and legislative and governmental elections are in the best interest of peace in Palestine.” 

    • Marnie on October 10, 2017, 12:51 pm

      Dr. Ashrawi is a powerful voice and I hope she continues to use it to press europeans to assume the role of negotiator and supporter of palestinian cause. It’s obvious the united states has never been an honest negotiator, never punishing israel for not agreeing to terms it had agreed to and breaking promises.

      These pictures are as heartbreaking as I knew they would be. Thanks Katie.

  7. imagine65 on October 10, 2017, 9:06 pm

    Love your recent painting from your Mondoweiss post with the title Occupation, in the Details. These paintings manage to say more than what most people publish in the blogs on Mondoweiss, and in the many human rights reports in Amnesty International and B’Tselem. It takes great courage to places where others fear to tread(and I suspect where most people are not allowed to go). Take care.

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