Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Democracy's Catch 22 (1990)

1990 Dry Bones cartoon - Democracy and the Germans
April 22 1990. The free world lauded the return of democracy to Germany... As if democracy and giving the public the right to choose would ensure the election of candidates who were committed to human rights and freedom of expression. The 2006 election victory of Hamas is another unfortunate example of the inaccuracy of that viewpoint.

When I was a kid, there was an American Cold War slogan. It went "People who are free to choose will choose to be free". Says who?!

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Monday, January 30, 2006

People Are Shocked

Dry Bones cartoon - Media Reports
Apparently the media believed its own reports. Fantastic! One wonders what the cover-up story will be. I've already heard from a Jihad-Denier friend that the election was positive because it was "the most democratic election ever held in the Middle East". YIKES! That could be the new direction which will allow the ongoing appeasement of the terrorists. Stay tuned for further developments.

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Friday, January 27, 2006

Hamas Victory

Dry Bones cartoon - Palestinian Voter in the Street
When I wrote the post for yesterday's Golden Oldie I reported that
"We're being told that the huge vote for Hamas is actually a vote against the corrupt PLO chieftains who returned to take over.
Apparently the Hamas pledge to destroy the Jewish State in a bloodbath of violence was only a secondary factor in their vote-getting."
When I read that line today I thought "that's a Dry Bones cartoon!"
And so I stole the line to do today's cartoon.
The question this raises is "Is it plagerism if the person you're stealing from is yourself?"

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Thursday, January 26, 2006

Election Fever (1989)

1989 Dry Bones cartoon - Palestinian Elections
In 1989 Palestinian adults, who had lived under Jordanian rule until the 1967 war were fairly content. But in the 22 years following '67 a generation of Palestinians was born into Israeli "occupation". Kids who knew nothing of life under Arab rule. Kids who saw democracy in Israel and saw their own powerlessness . The result was the Intifada, a children's uprising. The PLO chieftains were all, at that time, outside the country.

It's now 17 years since this cartoon was published.
The rioting kids have grown up. And they've just had their say at the polls.
We're being told that the huge vote for Hamas is actually a vote against the corrupt PLO chieftains who returned to take over.
Apparently the Hamas pledge to destroy the Jewish State in a bloodbath of violence was only a secondary factor in their vote-getting.

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Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Bar Stool Pundits

Dry Bones cartoon - Ben GurionOver the years I've played with the image of two guys in a bar. I think I'll fix 'em up and start using them more, The first step was to give the (formerly bald) guy on the left a head of hair.

As to the "prediction" being reported on TV, check out the rumor at Debkafile.


Tuesday, January 24, 2006

The Past Future of Gaza (1993)

1993 Dry Bones cartoon - Gaza
Jan 1 1993.
The Oslo Accords held out a hope for a future of peace in the Holy Land.

Even the Saudis had plans for the fabulous economic future of a peaceful Gaza.

Well, that was the past "future" of Gaza.
The present "future" of terrorist-controlled Gaza looks pretty grim to everyone.

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Monday, January 23, 2006

Curiouser and Curiouser

Dry Bones cartoon - Ben GurionIt took the Feds YEARS, but they finally got AIPAC with a sting operation. Read about it HERE

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Friday, January 20, 2006

B.G.'s 100th

Dry Bones cartoon - Ben GurionIf you haven't heard about the Dalai Lama's planned visit to Israel next month, or about the 100th anniversary of late Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion's immigration to Israel, you can read about it HERE.


Thursday, January 19, 2006

Algeria (1992)

1992 Dry Bones cartoon - Algeria
This cartoon is from Jan 19 1992.
Exactly 14 years ago.
To the day.

The question of could democracy "work" in the "Arab world" had just been answered. In Algeria, in 1991, the first round of a democratic election had been held. The West believed that this would be a model for a democratic Middle East. But in that first round of balloting the Algerian masses voted for the Islamic Salvation Front. And so...
"The surprising first round success of the Islamic Salvation Front (FIS) in the December 1991 balloting spurred the Algerian army to intervene and postpone the second round of elections to prevent what the secular elite feared would be an extremist-led government from assuming power. The army began a crack down on the FIS that spurred FIS supporters to begin attacking government targets. The government later allowed elections featuring pro-government and moderate religious-based parties, but did not appease the activists who progressively widened their attacks. The fighting escalated into an insurgency, which saw intense fighting between 1992-98 and which resulted in over 100,000 deaths - many attributed to indiscriminate massacres of villagers by extremists. The government gained the upper hand by the late-1990s and FIS's armed wing, the Islamic Salvation Army, disbanded in January 2000. However, small numbers of armed militants persist in confronting government forces and conducting ambushes and occasional attacks on villages."
- The World Fact Book

So it's now 14 years later and there's an election in the Palestinian Authority. The West hopes for a triumph of peace and democracy, but the Islamic Fundamentalist terror group Hamas looks to be the Palestinian's favorite.

And so it goes...

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Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Faith in Democracy

Dry Bones cartoon - DemocracySometimes I don't go for "funny".
Sometimes I try to debunk a pleasant but self-delusional belief by showing its obvious falsity.
Sadly, this is one of those times.


Tuesday, January 17, 2006

On The Road (1991)

1991 Dry Bones cartoon - The New Middle East
A Golden Oldie from 1991. Back then we were being promised a "New Middle East". In another month we'll have been on the road to that "New Middle East" for a full fifteen years!!

I drew Mr. Shuldig in an overly simplistic style to emphasize the overly simplistic idea of the "New Middle East". In the first panel Mr. Shuldig passes the palm trees of the deserts around us, then the cypress trees of Lebanon. In box five there's the tall buildings of Tel Aviv and in the final panel the shelling I predicted we would suffer through.

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Monday, January 16, 2006

Bird Flu in Turkey

Dry Bones cartoon - Bird Flu in TurkeyA silly joke followed by a punch line about how different a view can be, based on the geographical location of the viewer. To us, here in Israel, Turkey is a friendly neighbor, and one that lots of our citizens visit for quickie vacations.

So the appearance of Bird Flu there is worrying to us here.

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Friday, January 13, 2006

The New Situation

Dry Bones cartoon - A New SituationThe more things change the more they stay the same.
When I drew this cartoon I thought of another cartoon I did years ago that read: "You've got to feel sorry for the Palestinians, their leaders are even worse than ours!"

Thursday, January 12, 2006

On The Campaign Trail

Today's Golden Oldie is below this post.
As you can see, Mr. Shuldig and his dog Doobie are on the campaign trail. We've been nominated in 4 different categories in the The 2005 Jewish and Israeli Blog Awards Competition..

That's right, the rule is "Vote Early, and Vote Often!"
Please vote for The Dry Bones Blog in each of the 4 categories. This preliminary round of voting continues until midnight January 19th.

How to vote:
Each link below will open the page for voting in that category.
You'll need to pop open the category B "drop down" menu and select The Dry Bones Blog (alphabetically under T ) . Then click vote. And go on to the next link for the next category.

vote for Best New Blog
(The Dry Bones Blog in Group B)

vote for Best Jewish Humor Blog
(The Dry Bones Blog in Group B)

vote for Best Politics Blog
(The Dry Bones Blog in Group B)

vote for Best Overall Blog

(The Dry Bones Blog in Group B)

And after you've voted in all four categories, then do it all over again in three days!

Hey you wouldn't want to disappoint Mr. Shuldig, would you?


Hamas Wake-up Call (1994)

1994 Dry Bones cartoon - Hamas1994. Eleven and a half years ago! Another "Golden Oldie" cartoon that could be run today "as is".

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Wednesday, January 11, 2006

A Grim Fairy Tale

Dry Bones cartoon - A Grim Fairy TaleI always do my best to deliver a joke, but sometimes what seems called for is to paint a picture of the situation. Sometimes the important story is how we "feel". And that seemed to me to be the case here and now.

I built the script in a past tense. I wrote "the people had held their breath" instead of "the people held their breath". The "voice over" says that they "had waited" instead of that "they waited". This makes the 'toon a snapshot of this dramatic and traumatic moment in Israeli history ...And enables it to be used after the situation changes.

Which it will.

Be it for better or worse.

In the title I use the phrase Grim Fairy Tale, hoping that most will understand the pun on the Grimm Fairy Tales.

I drew the public in white robes. By not drawing arms I emphasized our passivity and helplessness in the face of medical developments. I based the Sharon drawing on the Disney depiction of the Sleeping Beauty and the Disney image of the helpless dwarfs watching the poisoned Snow White.

Sleeping Beauty
Sleeping Beauty

Snow White
Snow White

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

The Way We Were (1995)

1995 Dry Bones cartoon - The InternetMost of the fun in looking at Golden Oldies is to notice what's changed and which cartoons could be run today "as is".
And then I came across this cartoon from 1995.

If you're like me you'll have to read it twice.
In 1995, words like "email" and the "Net" were new and technical jargon to most folks, and getting "connected" to the web was a difficult concept.
So does this mean that occasionally there is something new under the sun?

Monday, January 09, 2006

End of an Era

Dry Bones cartoon - After SharonIt is amazing how Ariel Sharon managed to unite most of Israel in support of his candidacy as representative of a new political party. Most Israelis simply trust him. He was a master strategist and pretty much the last of his fighting and idealistic generation. (I know, I know, there's Shimon Peres, but he doesn't count. The public has never fully trusted Shimon). So most Israelis have sunk into despair. What do we do now?

* * *
At the time of this writing (Sunday night, Israel time) the Israeli public is still praying for Ariel's life. TV is now saying that maybe he'll survive, and of, course, the question is "if he lives, what condition will he be in?" Arik (his nickname) has never failed to surprise us... And he's now in a battle for his life. Will he pull off one last unexpected and incredible victory? I sure hope so.
* * *

Friday, January 06, 2006

After Sharon

Dry Bones cartoon - After SharonSome pundits are saying that the Israeli public wants a middle of the road party like Kadima. I disagree. I think that the support for Kadima is simply the public's support for Ariel Sharon.

So I did this cartoon.

There actually was a "retired peoples' party" back in the bad old days when Israeli politics were dominated by small splinter parties.

* * *
At the time of this writing (Friday morning, Israel time) the Israeli public is still praying for Ariel's life. TV is non-stop interviews with brain surgeons, political experts, friends of the PM, etc.
* * *

Thursday, January 05, 2006

New Year Hope (1996)

1996 Dry Bones cartoon - New Year's hopes 1997
1996. Ten years ago. Like now, we were then welcoming a New Year.
As usual Mr. Shuldig is optimistic and Doobie, his dog, is realistic.
I love the old cartoon tradition of showing the New Year as a baby. I've used the device often.

I've always thought it funny the way some people "jiggle" babies to keep them quiet... So I showed Mr. Shuldig "jiggling" the baby New Year.

* * *
As I write this, the news has just broken that Israel's Prime Minister, Ariel Sharon has suffered a second, more serious, stroke... Making the New Year of 2006 that lies ahead of us even more unpredictable.

* * *
News updates about Sharon's condition are beginning to sound bleak. The country is glued to non-stop TV and radio News reports from the hospital. Clearly I'm going to have to "pull" the cartoon that I had sent in for Sunday's Jerusalem Post newspaper. I post it below. A cartoon which now won't be published in any newspaper. And if the cartoon commented on the gravity of the situation before the Prime Minister's latest, massive stroke... how grave is the situation now?!?
And how even more unpredictable the coming year?!
* * *
Dry Bones cartoon - PM Sharon

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Wednesday, January 04, 2006


Dry Bones cartoon - Anarchy in Palestinian TerritoriesThe text in the first two panels is from a news report. All I had to do was to write the text for the second two panels.

I like to play with minimalist details in my cartoons. Notice how Mr. Shuldig's eyes show his attention moving from the paper in panel one, up a bit in panel 2 to focusing on the TV audio in panels 3 and 4 (and his mouth moving to the right to display a surprised expression in reaction to the TV audio punchline, different from the feel of the panel one expression). I don't expect the reader to consciously notice these details, but I think that it does get across, almost subliminally.

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Tuesday, January 03, 2006

The Pressure Cooker (1994)

1994 Dry Bones cartoon - Pressure Cooker

1994. The Palestinian leader refused to stop the wave of terrorism, and it exploded in his, and our, faces. Eleven years have gone by. Now it's Abbas instead of Arafat who refuses to stop the terror that is now plunging Gaza and the West Bank into anarchy and threatening to swallow up the Palestinian Authority.

And so it goes...

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Monday, January 02, 2006


Dry Bones cartoon - Holocaust Demial

I'm starting to get really miffed by Middle Eastern Holocaust denial. Apparently I'm not alone.
"In a column that was published on December 26, 2005 in the London daily Al-Hayat, columnist Hazem Saghiya harshly attacked Arab and Iranian leaders who denied the Holocaust. Those he singled out included Muslim Brotherhood leader Mahdi 'Akef, Hamas leader Khaled Mash'al, and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad." -MORE
I came across this item at MEMRI, the Middle East Media Research Institute. They provide translations of Arabic, Farsi, and Hebrew media. An invaluable resource.

I loved the phrase "Intellectually and educationally retarded," and so, in the cartoon, I enjoyed drawing the "Intellectually and educationally" challenged folks in charge of the oppressive regimes in our part of the world.

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