Palestinian artist from Paterson says his work predicted the conflict between Israel and Hamas

Anthony Johnson Image
Thursday, October 12, 2023
NJ artist says his work predicted the latest conflict between Israel and Hamas
As families in New Jersey await news about their loved ones, in the Gaza Strip, many fear that peace is a long road ahead. Anthony Johnson has more, including an interview with a local artist who predicted the conflict in his work.

PATERSON, New Jersey (WABC) -- New Jersey is home to one of the biggest Palestinian populations in the country, and that includes one artist who predicted the latest conflict in his work.

Said Elatab has been painting pictures filled with anxiety and fear displaying the landscape of war.

He says this escalation of violence has been brewing for years and he has been predicting this latest conflict in his work for two decades.

"They keep killing each other, non-stop massacres, genocide and everything," Elatab said. "This problem has to be solved peacefully or it's going to be a disaster for everyone."

This struggle came quickly with Hamas firing rockets into Israel this weekend. The death toll on both sides is rising.

Images from inside the Gaza Strip show the toll war has taken on the youngest victims.

It came in a flash, but one political science professor does not see a quick resolution.

"Trust is hard to build and easy to break so I don't know how you reestablish trust or live side by side, that means you'll have a conflict that's going to go out of control," Montclair State University professor Gabriel Rubin said.

Relief efforts are nearly impossible, but some Palestinian organizations are trying to help.

However, there has been a rise in the United States of anti-Palestinian rhetoric on social media and many are raising their concerns with workers at the Palestinian American Community Center.

"People are in fear. They really are in fear. All morning I've been fielding phone calls of people saying, 'I posted this and am getting this reaction,' or 'I wore this shirt in public and I was harassed, yelled at and targeted," said Rania Mustafa of the Palestinian American Community Center.


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