One cartoon, ironically subtitled “Scales of ‘Justice,’” portrays the traditional set of scales associated with the law. But here its column is sharply bent at an angle and the scales on either side of the beam are suspended in the air, implying a system in which justice is impossible.
Another depicts an Israeli judge – signified as such as he sits atop a lectern with the Scales of Justice adorned with a Star of David – saddled and ridden by an Israeli soldier, who chokes the judge with a set of reins. The soldier controls the gavel in the judge’s hand with a rope and waves it menacingly at a shackled prisoner below. Military rule supersedes fair trial.
Sabaaneh’s work also taps into Palestinian despair with the ongoing “peace process.”
An emotionally palpable drawing envisions Israel’s wall truly as an open-air prison that separates Palestinians into tiny, individual cells. People go about their lives as best they can in each cell – a little girl holds balloons, a man plays a violin, a woman breastfeeds her child – and some even manage to reach over the walls and hand a gift to their neighbors.
But these small acts of normalcy do not change their fundamental lack of freedom.