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.

1,288 thoughts on “This Land Is Mine”

  1. I just love your work. I especially love “This Land Is Mine.” Beautifully done. Bravo! Bravo! Bravo!

  2. ZOMAUG-OSH….NINA….not to detract, but.

    i thought of this great comic strip concept, and it’s yours if you want to develop it….Ready? ok;

    the first frame starts on the planet of wanted children where the only rule is every child a wanted child…

    the next frame is the same planet or the planet of wanted children becomes the planet of 20 billion childless children + 2 parents planning their 10,000,000th child ( because the technology to do that exists ), might take another frame.

    in the next frame the 20 million childless children say “we don’t want a child”

    in the next frame , the two parents say, “we know none of you want children which is why you don’t have children, because this is the planet of wanted children, and we want soooooo mannny Mooooore”

    in the next frame, the 20 billion chidless people say….” no you don’t understand we don’t want any more children ”

    and the parents say, “oh you have children too….isn’t it wonderful”

    20 billion childless people ” no none of us has children ”

    two parents to each other ” did you hear that honey we better get busy”

    20 million childless people “i guess what we are trying to say is that WE don’t want you to have another child ”

    parents “but we want another child, and another and another..”

    20 billion childless people ” BUT WE DON”T WANT IT !!!! “

  3. I agree with jorge : You depict zionists as dark clothed guys with guns in their hands. This is not completely fair since jews have lived in the land before and many were refugees (victims). If you read muslim story and hadiths you will find out that Mohamed cut 800 heads of jews in a single day . All the males of a jewish tribe of Medina. Besides the jews from Arabic Peninsula were expelled. Adith quote: “Judgment Day will come only when the Muslims fight the Jews and kill them, until the Jew hides behind the tree and the stone, and the tree and the stone say: ‘Oh Muslim, Oh servant of Allah , there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him’”. So the anthipaty in the muslim world against jews predates the state of israel. To present jews as agressors -i am refering to the zionists in black – when in fact they have been persecuted throughout histoty is not fair. Besides in 1947 it was the arabs who declated holy war against the jews.

  4. Hi Lien Rag,
    You can download the flash videos using Flashgot or FlashGet software.

  5. Great artistry and perfect song–one of my favorites. No other land has been fought over for so long. When Israel did as the Creator asked of them all went well, but when foreigner entered, bringing their false gods, YHWH removed his protection. Never has this land belonged to any other peoples since the days of Moses.

  6. rulgert and pedro:
    Putting the Koran aside–since Muslim’s claim belief in the first five books of the Bible–you yourselves know God gave this land to Abraham who gave his inheritance to his son Isaac and not to Ishmael–which was Abraham’s right to choose.
    Tell me what is right and natural about marrying a 7 year old girl? (must be a pedophile thing rampant among Muslim’s)
    Or, having sexual relations with animals? (Bestiality) and this is okay just so long as the raper doesn’t eat its meat but sells it to another village.
    Or, forcing religious views on others with death the only other alternative? The Bible says to have unbelievers leave and live somewhere else not hacked to death.
    Or, sexual mutilation of young girls? (Only men ordered by God to be circumcised) Muslim men must fear she might find out God created both male and female to enjoy sexual relations and find someone else. Even Animals naturally enjoy mating. Must be something God created; ya think?
    Or, cleanliness laws. You know…burying trash and excrement instead of dumping it near the house.
    Or, the waiting 72 virgins. (Muslim history is filled with raped little girls) I’m sure the amount of waiting heavenly virgins is reduced since many Muslim’s have already taken ‘that’ from ‘tiny girls’ here on earth.
    Or, rubbing up against babies? (depraved sexual urges)
    Oh…, the list is to long and time consuming; filled with atrocities committed by Islam (the supposed, religion of peace)
    Since Islam came on the scene just a few hundred years ago, its people have caused conflict after conflict. Christianity is no better, I admit, yet there are people who truly try to live by the Holy Scriptures in all things. It is they who will inherit the earth!
    As for the land of Isaac–AKA Israel–it belongs to the Jewish people, the descendants of Judah, and has for thousands of years.
    Islam has done nothing except bring about chaos, hatred, and unhappiness–even among their own people.
    Blood-shed goes both ways. Israel and America are kick back just waiting, watching and enjoying Islam’s ridiculous antics. What a hilarious show.

  7. This is brilliant Art. Such a pity all the clever people trying to make it historically correct miss the comedy being drawn from the paradox of ‘us’ trying to be civilized, cultured & territorial at the same time. Don’t let the comments degenerate into the zealotry the cartoon pillories.

  8. Th Jews you are talking a out that have been slaved through history are the palestinians today and not the israelites.they just changed their religion and they are still in their land and still being killed and slaved bye the European jews (israelites).Israelites are Europeans and came from Europe and they never been slaved as they were not the ancient jews. …The ancient jews are now the Muslim palestinians…..

  9. The history of that land escaped me. With the very well done cartoon it gives me a better understanding of the historical timeline. It seems to me that to believe that only one culture has the right of the land is simplistic. The many people who live there or have been expelled have rights to be there. It needs to be a mélange of people and religions. The days of race purification a la Third Reich cannot be revived by the very people who have suffered it and now inflict it on others.

  10. This is brilliant! Very cool infographic and to the animation video “The Land is Mine”. Great vierwer’s guide!

  11. You have made a great video, very illustrative of the idiocy of families, cultures and nations in fact. ‘This land is mine’ is obviously not the problem of Palestine alone. I suggest a sequel: ***This wife is mine***

  12. This animation is really brilliant. Even though it refers to a specific region, it tells something about humanity as a whole, at any place.

    I also found it to be a very good way to memorize the order of the different Mediterranean empires.

  13. It is brilliant and harrowing, hardly comedy. For those of us with a connection it is the ultimate tragedy.

  14. The cartoon is indeed a red cross over un… known… world’s and america’s…

  15. From an artistic point of view it lacks consistency. It condensed wars sometimes 100 years long into a single win lose act, but the present day war was shown as a see-saw affair. Far from it. Israel had won all its arab-isreali wars, obviously it should be standing alone. It’s current ‘war’ is more akin to a civil war, suppressing a minority it occupies. As opposed to using police force it uses its military which of course is built to fight wars against other armies and not a war against a civilian insurgency. This asymmetric power play is NOT a see saw affair as depicted in the video. (copied my post from youtube, it was meant to be shared with the artist as a critique)

  16. 1. Mamluks did not wear Fez.
    2. Ottomans are not from Northern India, as their clothing here suggests.
    3. Greek Ptolemaic dynasty used mostly greek, galatian or thracian troops that were dressed and fought in greek style, not resembling even in the slightest to ancient Egyptians.
    4. You made a ton of similar error with other cultures.
    5. Last but not least, and also my favorite errors of yours – you’ve skipped the Achaemenid and Sassanid periods of rule. Is it because those two states were Iranian?

  17. It is not a work of scientific reference. It is a shining condensation of 6000+ years and it ends up where we are all going.
    Showed it at the Bible Study class.

  18. right on point. history will always have a strange way of repeating itself as long human beings have a strange way of forgetting

  19. Well that about covers it, in blood. People can argue and bicker and fight over religion all they want but they are missing the bigger picture. Nina you portrayed that bigger picture perfectly with this. Thank you! Hopefully a lot of those commenting that are missing it will get it sooner rather than later.

  20. Brilliant! Horribly funny- and I mean both words – I had a fun time trying to figure out who the historical figures were as I was watching the video for the first time, and I did pretty well since I’m an ancient history buff, but I loved the viewer’s guide to fill in the blanks!
    One of the best animations I have ever seen! Please create more- I’ll be watching !

  21. brillant.
    Yet Israel was not back only by americans. Staline did too.

    i like your cartoon. It has got only one enemy the fanatic who doesn’t want to share.

  22. Interesting but certainly not a new idea at all.The most important take away from this is that of all the different factions or groups fighting for the land only the Jews look at it as an end all while all the other groups looked at the land of Israel as just another piece of conquered territory to add to their empire if that means anything at all. So comparing them as all equal is being dishonest.As for the Palestinians they were very happy to be apart of other countries and territories until the War Of Independence/1948.

  23. You can also make an argument that this same cartoon concept can be created for just about any region in the world with a history of greater bloodshed and involving a greater land area so why is everyone always zeroing in on an area no bigger than New Jersey? Whoever heard of the Palestinians prior to 1948,but everyone has heard of the Jews since time immemorial. Today it just bugs the world that Israel exists and suddenly it has become the most important place on earth when it comes to Peace. Maybe that concern would be better placed elsewhere where it can truly matter.

  24. missing the german nazis there in early 1930’s and their desire to create the jewish state. seems so many teachings about the nazis are being discovered untrue- hitler escaping germany, nonexistent mass graves, impossible oven quantities vs claimed body counts, unbeatable german technology, etc. also seems any info on german programs for jews to sell their property or buy their way, and be relocated to israel has been eliminated. you wouldnt even know if the germans actually won that war. all their scientists, technology, and experiments continued in other countries afterward anyway…

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