This Land Is Mine

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.”

This Land Is Mine from Nina Paley on Vimeo.

Who’s Killing Who? A Viewer’s Guide

Because you can’t tell the players without a pogrom!

Early Man


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




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

Ancient Egyptian



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




….Assyria controlled it other times.




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




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





Here comes Alexander the Great, conquering everything!




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




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.)




More Greek-Macedonian legacies of Alexander.


Hebrew Priest

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


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




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




….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.




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

Egyptian Mamluk



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.[7]” And apparently they controlled Palestine for a while.


Ottoman Turk


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.




A gross generalization of a generic 19-century “Arab”.



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.




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

European Jew/Zionist


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…




….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



Guerrilla/Freedom Fighter/TerroristState 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?

Angel of Death




and finally…

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


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Author: Nina Paley

Animator. Director. Artist. Scapegoat.

1,242 thoughts on “This Land Is Mine”

  1. Great video. I’ve been using this to explain the history of that area since 2012. Please, keep up the good work.

  2. Brilliant.!!!
    Why are some of those relative to the plagues not available??
    As well the going out f Egypt- exodus – which have been available last year.

  3. Hello, i really enjoyed the video and the song mostly
    so can you please upload the song without the soundtrack or at least send it to me by Email I’d appreciate it 🙂

  4. You forgot the Persians, who liberated the land from the Babylonian empire and freed the Jewish slaves under Cyrus the Great. They were then conquered by Alexander the Macedonian. I know, many people don’t like the idea that ancient Iranians saved the Jewish people, but it’s a historical fact.

  5. By the way, I love your style. And the song. And how you could put thousands of years of history into a 3 minute movie. Although you forgot the ancient Iranians.

  6. ..& here comes another round as gory and needless and murderous as those that have gone before.

    Hoping the ending shown here can still avoided but not looking good for anyone really.

    (Love this clip.)

  7. Hello, I love this video — The art is fantastic, as I am a big fan of animation in general. I would love to put your image of the angel of death on a guitar. I make guitars that I gift out, or sell. If I do use it, I will donate or purchase a shirt of the very image. I enjoyed your interview with Jordan Peterson as well. If you do not want me to use the image, I won’t. I will still donate something, as I have watched your video about 8 times — and some of your other vids

  8. I like this animation. Israel’s nukes weren’t sanctioned though, they were (are?) illicit.

  9. Great stuff! What a pity you can’t do something on Islam and/or Mohammad because you’d be in danger of jihadists lopping your head off.
    Whatever happened to free speech

  10. This video is great. But I can’t believe you forgot the Philistines mentioned in Genesis who had already conquered the land by the time Abraham arrived. Then the Caphtorim who conquered those Philistines some time after the Israelites left to Egypt and just before they returned with Joshua. Just adds to the overall theme I guess.

  11. Great Video and Animation Ever
    Please extend your work into WWI and WWII
    your video is easy to understand.

  12. It would be so great if you kept aside from judging who is terrorist and who is not.
    no need to ruin your amazing video by such political descriptions, u know all these kingdoms and races were so violent.

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  14. This is great content. In love with this perfect mix of good music and history for years now.

  15. Give the angel of death to me.

    You will feel free from all the need for a man to command your life.

    You will be free from this need to praise GOD MAN so strongly and submissively.

    You will be free from HIM and you will find HER in an eternal and magnificent encounter.

    Will you give me the angel of death?

  16. While I don’t think cartoons have to be 100% historically accurate, it’s unfortunate you chose the Hezbollah logo for the last Palestinian fighters in the video, Hezbollah is a Lebanese militia, and while they go to war with Israel like when it invaded Lebanon, they are not fighting for Palestine despite their propaganda. Their fighting for their hold in Lebanon. The other groups are Palestinian groups. The second biggest Palestinian group, which you don’t mention, is the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, the PFLP, which is a communist organization. The biggest one was Fatah, which formed the PLO. The PLO is more or less defunct now but was functional at the time of this video and was a coalition between Fatah, the PFLP, and a few other groups before they a bunch left because of Fatah’s corruption and betrayal.

    Anyways, if ever you decide to repost this in 1080, maybe put the flag of palestine on their shoulders instead of Hezbollah 😛

  17. Never have I liked history but this video is the most intresting thing I saw in a while. And the song choice is just perfect!

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