Handala, the downtrodden cartoon symbol of Palestinian resistance, makes an appearance in the front yard of a house in East Jerusalem. The house was once owned and occupied by a Palestinian, but he and his family were evicted. Now an Israeli settler family lives in the house. IDF soldiers protect the handful of settler families that live in the neighborhood.

Naji Al-Ali, the artist who created Handala, describes his character:

“I presented him to the poor and named him Handala as a symbol of bitterness. At first, he was a Palestinian child, but his consciousness developed to have a national and then a global and human horizon. He is a simple yet tough child, and this is why people adopted him and felt that he represents their consciousness.”

Editor’s note: Krista and the On Being team are in Israel this week and working with Diane Winston’s graduate students from the University of Southern California Annenberg School of Communication & Journalism. We’ll be sharing some of these students’ reports as part of our collaboration and to add to the diversity of observations of this complex place.

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