This Land Is Mine (by Nina Paley) Picture

It tells the story of the wars in the land called Israel/Palestine/Canaan/the Levant, since the cavemen until today, all so musical and poetic.

Who's Killing Who? A Viewer's Guide
Because you can't tell the players without a pogrom!

Early Man
This generic "cave man" represents the first human settlers in Israel/Canaan/the Levant. Whoever they were.

Canaanite
What did ancient Canaanites look like? I don't know, so this is based on ancient Sumerian art.

Egyptian
Canaan was located between two huge empires. Egypt controlled it sometimes, and...

Assyrian
....Assyria controlled it other times.

Israelite
The "Children of Israel" conquered the shit out of the region, according to bloody and violent Old Testament accounts.

Babylonian
Then the Baylonians destroyed their temple and took the Hebrews into exile.

Macedonian/Greek
Here comes Alexander the Great, conquering everything!

Greek/Macedonian
No sooner did Alexander conquer everything, than his generals divided it up and fought with each other.

Ptolemaic
Greek descendants of Ptolemy, another of Alexander's competing generals, ruled Egypt dressed like Egyptian god-kings. (The famous Cleopatra of western mythology and Hollywood was a Ptolemy.)

Seleucid
More Greek-Macedonian legacies of Alexander.

Hebrew Priest
This guy didn't fight, he just ran the Second Temple re-established by Hebrews in Jerusalem after the Babylonian Exile.

Maccabee
Led by Judah "The Hammer" Maccabee, who fought the Seleucids, saved the Temple, and invented Channukah. Until...

Roman
....the Romans destroyed the Second Temple and absorbed the region into the Roman Empire...

Byzantine
....which split into Eastern and Western Empires. The eastern part was called the Byzantine Empire. I don't know if "Romans" ever fought "Byzantines" (Eastern Romans) but this is a cartoon.

Arab Caliph
Speaking of cartoon, what did an Arab Caliph look like? This was my best guess.

Crusader
After Crusaders went a-killin' in the name of Jesus Christ, they established Crusader states, most notably the Kingdom of Jerusalem.

Mamluk of Egypt
Wikipedia sez, "Over time, mamluks became a powerful military caste in various Muslim societies...In places such as Egypt from the Ayyubid dynasty to the time of Muhammad Ali of Egypt, mamluks were considered to be "true lords", with social status above freeborn Muslims." And apparently they controlled Palestine for a while.

Ottoman Turk
Did I mention this is a cartoon? Probably no one went to battle looking like this. But big turbans, rich clothing and jewelry seemed to be in vogue among Ottoman Turkish elites, according to paintings I found on the Internet.

Arab
A gross generalization of a generic 19-century "Arab".

British
The British formed alliances with Arabs, then occupied Palestine. This cartoon is an oversimplification, and uses this British caricature as a stand-in for Europeans in general.

Palestinian
The British occupied this guy's land, only to leave it to a vast influx of....

European Jew/Zionist
Desperate and traumatized survivors of European pogroms and death camps, Jewish Zionist settlers were ready to fight to the death for a place to call home, but...

PLO/Hamas/Hezbollah
....so were the people that lived there. Various militarized resistance movements arose in response to Israel: The Palestinian Liberation Organization, Hamas, and Hezbollah.

State of Israel
Backed by "the West," especially the US, they got lots of weapons and the only sanctioned nukes in the region.

Guerrilla/Freedom Fighter/Terrorist
Sometimes people fight in military uniforms, sometimes they don't. Creeping up alongside are illicit nukes possibly from Iran or elsewhere in the region. Who's Next?

and finally...

The Angel of Death
The real hero of the Old Testament, and right now too.

LYRIC:
Song: "The Exodus Song" (This Land Is Mine)
Melody by: Ernest Gold
Lyrics by: Pat Boone
Sung by: Andy Williams

This land is mine
God gave this land to me
This brave and ancient land to me
And when the morning sun
Reveals her hills and plains
Then I see a land
Where children can run free.

So take my hand
And walk this land with me
And walk this lovely land with me
Tho' I am just a man
When you are by my side
With the help of God
I know I can be strong.

Tho' I am just a man
When you are by my side
With the help of God
I know I can be strong.

To make this land our home
If I must fight
I'll fight to make this land our own.
Until I die this land is mine!

Art by: Nina Paley
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