Your newsfeed is likely being flooded with articles, quotes and photos debating and rehashing the recent tragic violence occurring in Gaza. Driven by a desire to learn and understand, one can easily drown in the endless internet retelling of events and outpouring of opinions.
We recently stumbled upon this stunning animated short by cartoonist and activist Nina Paley, called "This Land Is Mine." In under four minutes, the musical cartoon summarizes the plight of the Middle East up better than many wordy op-eds we've encountered. Though the film was made in 2012, it was recently posted by Maria Popova on her blog Brain Pickings, where she illuminated the surprising relevance of the film given recent events.
Paley writes on her blog: "I envisioned 'This Land Is Mine' as the last scene of my potential-possible-maybe feature film, 'Seder-Masochism', but it’s the first (and so far only) scene I’ve animated. As the Bible says, 'So the last will be first, and the first will be last.'"
The striking work of animation spans the entire course of human history, capturing the hunger for blood that perpetuates from the Canaanites and Assyrians to the Zionists and PLO. You can decode the timeline of violence here. In the style of an animated musical, humans divided by politics, religion, or personal interest resort to violence to get their way, resulting in a history characterized by bloodshed.
We highly recommend setting aside the short four minutes necessary to get lost in Paley's stunningly simple, and equally heartbreaking, animated masterpiece. Donate to the artist's website here or Brain Pickings here. Follow The Huffington Post coverage of the Palestinian Territories here.