Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy Birthday Dry Bones

Dry Bones cartoon: Dry Bones is 35 Years Old!
Wow! Thirty Five years seems to have just slipped by since Dry Bones made its debut on January 1, 1973.

Originally the cartoon was only available to people who read the Jerusalem Post. These days Dry Bones is being read around the world thanks to the Internet and the Dry Bones Blog (and Archive).

We've received emails from readers in India and Egypt and Baghdad and Singapore... So I've got two questions for you.

First: When did you start reading Dry Bones?
...and second, Where on Planet Earth are you?


Friday, December 28, 2007

Pakistan's Bombers

Dry Bones cartoon: Brit PM .
A suicide bomber in Pakistan has just assassinated Pakistani leader and former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto. Killing her and blowing himself and everyone else around him to pieces.

The story is here.

So my question is this. If they thought that by blowing up Pakistan with nukes they could rain fallout and destruction on the rest of the world ...would they do it?

So what do you think?

And what's your prediction for planet Earth on the eve of 2008?


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Thursday, December 27, 2007

Happy New Year ! (1977)

1977 Dry Bones cartoon - Happy New Year?!.
Thirty years ago, in 1977, here in Israel, there was a lot of controversy about New Years Eve parties. I just could not wrap my mind around the idea that New Years Eve was thought of as a Christian religious holiday.

I poked fun at the concept by claiming to celebrate the "rolling over" of the 7 to an 8 in the cartoon's signature/date.

We rolled the 7 to an 8 again for 1988 and then in 1998... so hold on to your hats! Here we go again! In a couple of days we'll be rolling the 7 in 2007 over to an 8!

Have a happy!

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Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Mubarak's Choice

Dry Bones cartoon: Brit PM .
Seems to me that Egypt's secular government is trapped. Meanwhile:
"SHARM EL-SHEIKH, Egypt (AFP) — Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak held talks in Egypt on Wednesday with President Hosni Mubarak and top security officials amid renewed tensions over alleged arms smuggling into Gaza.

Barak was in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh for his first meeting with Mubarak since assuming the defence portfolio in June. He held talks with his Egyptian counterpart Mohammed Hussein Tantawi and was also due to meet intelligence chief Omar Suleiman.

Barak was again to raise Israel's demand that Egypt crack down on alleged arms smuggling from the Sinai desert into the Gaza Strip, the impoverished Palestinian territory that has been controlled by the Islamist movement Hamas since June." -more

So what do YOU think should be done? By Israel? By America?


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Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Bethlehem at Christmas (1996)

Dry Bones cartoon (1996): Christmas under Islamic Occupation.
I used to have friends who lived in Bethlehem... a town just a 20 minute drive from where I then lived (in Jerusalem's "Greek Colony" neighborhood). Before we gave their city to the PLO I would hang out with them a couple of times a week.

Today's Golden Oldie is from Christmas 1996. My friends were trapped behind the lines.

It is now Christmas 2007, eleven years have passed. Their families are mostly dispersed, and those who remain in Bethlehem must smile for the TV cameras and take care not to offend their oppressors at this holy season. There is a name for what the remnants of their community live under.

The name is Islamic Occupation.

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Monday, December 24, 2007

Year's End

Dry Bones cartoon: Saying goodbye to 2007.
Mr. Shuldig and his dog Doobie, saying goodbye to 2007. In case you haven't heard how the Olmert government will have an answer to the Qassams in 2010 (maybe)click here

Your thoughts please?

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Sunday, December 23, 2007

Sunday Mail: December 23, 2007

Letters Fron Dry Bones
Posting a cartoon every weekday leaves no room for me to simply share news, ideas, and other stuff with you. So welcome to 'Sunday Mail: Letters from Dry Bones', the new, once-a-week Dry Bones feature.

Letters From Dry Bones

Worm Bread?!

The LSF (Long Suffering Wife) and I were having a couple of cups of coffee at our local cafe the other morning when the dolt who acts as waiter proudly offered us a menu in English. As regulars who ordered the same thing every day, we'd never been offered menus before. Clearly they were proud to show off their new handiwork to a couple of local English-speakers. At the top of the menu was printed the notice that all their breakfasts were served with worm bread. I mentioned this delightful tidbit at Friday night dinner with friends, leading our Hebrew-speaking hostess to remark that she'd seen worm soup featured on the English menu of another restaurant in town. Because she's a Hebrew-speaker I assumed that she knew why the Red Sea is called the Red Sea in English. She didn't.

Because of the reeds and bull rushes growing at its shores its Hebrew name is Yam Soof (Sea of Reeds). But the King James translators made a spelling error and the way warm bread became worm bread, the Reed Sea became the Red Sea. And like the proprietors of Cafe Norma in the little village of Kfar Shmariyahu, they're not about to correct their mistake any time soon.

Letters From Dry Bones

Red Sea?!

So if you'd like to know what the Bible actually says ...check out Word By Word Bible Study Tools. They make Bible/Hebrew study CDs. Each and every word of the Jewish Bible is translated from Hebrew to English, transliterated into English, and properly pronounced for you. Hey! You don't want to keep relying on the "worm bread" version now do you?

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Friday, December 21, 2007

Christmas 2007

Dry Bones cartoon: Brit PM .
It's a sad Christmas in Bethlehem under Islamic Rule, but you probably don't know that.

You probably haven't seen the story in your local newspaper, or on your TV screens. So here it is:

Muslims persecuting Bethlehem's Christians

Store owner in West Bank city says 'We are harassed, but you wouldn't know the truth. No one says anything publicly about the Muslims'

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Thursday, December 20, 2007

Peace on Earth (1977)

1977 Dry Bones cartoon - Peace on Earth to men of Goodwill.
1977. December. Thirty years ago. It seemed as if peace was coming to Earth. at least on our little part of it. Egyptian President Sadat had offered us Peace. And Israeli Prime Minister Begin was willing to reward the offer with every inch of territory which had fallen into Israeli hands after the Yom Kippur surprise attack by the Egyptian army.

I drew Begin as Santa and Sadat as an isolated "man of goodwill".

Although the generally accepted Christmas quote is "Peace on Earth, goodwill towards men" , there are those that say that a better translation is "Peace on Earth towards men of goodwill". The sad fact is that we don't have many "men of goodwill" leading the countries that surround us. Sadat turned out to be one.

They killed him.

To see a video of the assassination as we and the world saw it four years after this cartoon was done, in October of 1981 click here.

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Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Israeli Policy

Dry Bones cartoon: Israeli policy: confuse the enemy.
Today's cartoon about Olmert's confusing policies is a twist on a classic cartoon punchline. The cartoon was Pogo, drawn by Walt Kelly. Pogo. Kelly drew a Disney-like cutesy comic strip but which delivered often heavy political and social commentary. An obvious influence on Dry Bones.

Kelly's classic punchline was "We have met the enemy and he is us." Kelly's genius was to paraphrase a then-famous quote of "We have met the enemy, and he is ours", which was a message from Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry, commander of the U.S. naval forces at the Battle of Lake Erie in the War of 1812. These days nobody remembers Perry or his quote. And I fear, only cartoonists remember Walt Kelly and his creation, Pogo Possum.

Below is a recycled use of the Pogo punchline (as printed in 1971).

Pogo Possum

If you want to learn about Pogo Possum and Walt Kelly, check out the official Pogo website.

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Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Visiting Egypt (1977)

1977 Dry Bones cartoon - Peace with Egypt... returning visiting Israeli journalists start flashing proof that they were actually there
Today's Golden Oldie Dry Bones cartoon is from December 1977. Exactly Thirty years ago.

Back then we were all caught up in the excitement of a real attempt at finding peace. We had a genuine partner for peace in Egyptian President Anwar Sadat.

Peace with Egypt! It was actually happening. So many Israeli journalists were in Cairo covering the story that I sent Mr. Shuldig's dog Doobie to join the Israeli media frenzy. (see previous cartoon)

Soon returning Israeli journalists start flashing proof that they had truly been there... they started showing off Egyptian money. Back in 1977 the currency in Israel was the Israeli Pound. In Hebrew the Israeli Lira. The plural of Lira is Lirot. Which is why Doobie (speaking in the Hebrew-infected English that we locals speak) says he's been asked for Five "Lirot".

Not only did Prime Minister Begin bring us peace with Egypt, he also dumped the Lira and instituted our proper national currency... the Shekel.

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Monday, December 17, 2007

Rejecting Negativity

Dry Bones cartoon: The West decides to ignore all threats.
The West has, apparently, decided to just look the other way. In this cartoon I wanted to convey my sense of horror at this incredible denial of the threat that faces us all.

Sarcasm is, of course, really hard to get across in text, so I decided to use a "smiley" character to deliver the (dripping in sarcasm) words. Nothing as scary as a leering clown (or a smiley face)!

So what do you think? Does it work?

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Sunday, December 16, 2007

Sunday Mail: December 16, 2007

Letters Fron Dry Bones
Posting a cartoon every weekday leaves no room for me to simply share news, ideas, and other stuff with you. So welcome to 'Sunday Mail: Letters from Dry Bones', the new, once-a-week Dry Bones feature.

Letters From Dry Bones

I'm Living In The Future!

The other day I took a cab in Tel Aviv and gave the driver an obscure address in nearby Ramat Gan. "Do you know how to get there?" I asked. "I do not need to know" the driver responded in a lovely Russian-accented baritone voice, "I have GPS map!" There, mounted on his dashboard was a beautiful computer screen which was tracing our position against a local street map.

I've gotten used to the doors that slide open when you approach them (first seen in the original Captain Kirk Star Trek TV show). I'm comfortable carrying a mobile phone which is exactly like a Star Trek Communicator (likewise from Star Trek season one). But this guy's GPS map really got me. It "runs" on his Pocket PC. He flicked on the audio "voice" and the two of us enjoyed the "back seat" driving of a computer entity. "Was it expensive?" I asked. "At first they were, but the price has come way down", he answered.

I had forgotten about it until this morning when a friend in Jerusalem told me that he was ordering a GPS "map set" of Israel and Europe from an online site that he knew and trusted.

I checked it out. It looks really interesting. Part of an Israel-oriented online catalog site. If you feel like checking it out too, just click on Israeli GPS maps

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Friday, December 14, 2007

Santa Claus is Coming to Town

Dry Bones cartoon: Santa Claus 2007.
The idea of rewarding good behavior has been lost. It does not matter that Palestinians are bombing the civilian population of the Negev. It does not matter who's been "naughty or nice". George W. seems ready to establish his "legacy" by coming to the region and giving the terrorists a state by the end of 2008!

Your thoughts?

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Thursday, December 13, 2007

Israeli Journalists in Egypt (1977)

1977 Dry Bones cartoon - Israeli Journalists in Egypt!
Today's cartoon is a "Golden Oldie" from exactly thirty years ago! December 14, 1977. Peace with Egypt was breaking out! It was an exciting and wonderful time! Israeli journalists were reporting from Cairo. The barriers were down! It seemed as if every Israeli newspaper or magazine had its own correspondent in the land of the Nile.

Dry Bones refused to be outdone. We sent Mr. Shuldig's dog, Doobie.

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Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Like White on Rice

Dry Bones cartoon: the New American Idea ...A Jew-Free West Bank.
Condoleeza Rice is quoted as having said at the close of the Annapolis conference that she had grown up "as a black child in the South, being told she could not use certain water fountains or eat in certain restaurants".

I guess she feels empowered now that she gets to decide on which group of people have to know their place. In her mind, a "whites only" area is anathema, but a Jew-free neighborhood, town, or country is apparently "just fine".

Read about Dr. Rice's latest "No Jews Allowed" effort here.

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Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Bethlehem (2000)

Dry Bones cartoon (2000): Arafat and the destruction of Christian Bethlehem.
Okay, today's Golden Oldie is just seven years old. But I'm putting it up now because I've been wondering. With Arafat gone, will his heir (Abbas "the moderate Palestinian leader") carry on the Arafat tradition of using the Western media to blame the Jews for Bethlehem's catastrophic tourism problems?

Stay tuned to CNN, CBS, and the BBC for further developments.

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Monday, December 10, 2007

Santa's Visit 2007

Dry Bones cartoon: Christmas in the Middle East ...2007.
The current situation for Christians in the Muslim-dominated Middle East is no cause for celebration in 2007. And the gifts that the U.S. President will distribute on his proposed trip to the region will be for the Sheiks, Kings, and dictators that control this part of the world.

If the destruction of the Christian communities of the Middle East has not made it to the News in your part of the world read this ...or this.

...And to all a good night!

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Friday, December 07, 2007

Political Prozac

Dry Bones cartoon: U.S. Intelligence report says Iran has stopped building a bomb.

It seemed to me that the title of the cartoon should have been Political Ritalin (used to calm people down) rather than Political Prozac (used to un-depress people) ... but Political Prozac just "sounded better".

Check out this interesting piece in the LA Times headlined Doves Find Fault With Iran Report Too.

So what's your take on this insanity? Is it really in the service of American domestic issues? Like the economy? Or the Presidential campaigning?

What's YOUR guess?

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Thursday, December 06, 2007

American Pressure (1991)

1991 Dry Bones cartoon - George Bush (senior) puts heavyweight pressure on Israel.
Today's Golden Oldie is from December 12, 1991.

Okay okay, I know that you think that this is one of those Dry Bones cartoons that could be run today "as is", but you'd be wrong!

Yes it shows an American President George Bush putting heavyweight public pressure on Israel ...but the cartoon also shows the Israeli Prime Minister valiantly trying his best to fight off the threat, to defend us! And today's Israel does not have a Yitzhak Shamir as Prime Minister. All we've got is an Ehud Olmert!

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Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Our Lights

Dry Bones cartoon: Our Holiday of Freedom.
It's cold and rainy here in Israel ...which makes the holiday lights seem even warmer.

And yes, because it seems even darker and threatening in much of the world outside ...our lights seem, to me at least, to be a little brighter this year.

Happy Hanukka to us all!

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Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Happy Hanukkah (1991)

1991 Dry Bones cartoon - Happy Hanukkah.
Hanukkah, Hanukka, Chanukka, Chanukkah ... every year I struggle to decide how to spell the name of the holiday in English. Cartoons done for the Jerusalem Post had to conform with "their" spelling, cartoons that appeared in the Jerusalem Report had to use "their" spelling, cartoons that appeared in the Nation, well you get the idea.

It's driven me crazy!!

In any case, no matter how you spell it. This year the eight-day "festival of lights" begins with the lighting of the first candle at sundown tonight, Tuesday December 4, and ends at nightfall on Wednesday December 12.

Have a happy!

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Monday, December 03, 2007

The Russian Strongman

Dry Bones cartoon: Playing Russian Roulette with Russian Democracy.
The battle for and against democracy is being waged, not just in Iraq and the rest of the Middle East . . . the very latest news deals with would-be dictators Putin and Chavez.

In Russia:

Party’s Triumph Raises Question of Putin’s Plans
"MOSCOW, Dec. 2 -With President Vladimir V. Putin’s opponents persistently hobbled by the Kremlin, his party swept Sunday to the kind of landslide long predicted for the parliamentary elections. Yet the results, while a triumph for Mr. Putin, also usher in a new era of political instability for Russia.

Even as Mr. Putin has been accumulating power and popularity, he has been stirring deep uncertainty about his intentions, making it all but impossible to answer a fundamental question about Russia’s future: Come next spring, who will be in charge?

Yielding to the constitutional limit of two consecutive terms, Mr. Putin has said he will not be a candidate for president in March. But he has declared that he will retain significant influence, whether as prime minister, leader of his party, United Russia, or a vague role described here as 'father of the nation.'" - more

Meanwhile in Latin America:

Venezuela Votes No On Chavez Forever
"(CBS/AP) Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez suffered a stinging defeat in a vote on constitutional changes that would have let him run for re-election indefinitely.

Chavez called it a "photo finish" immediately after the results were announced. Tibisay Lucena, chief of the National Electoral Council, announced early Monday that voters defeated the proposed constitutional changes by 51 percent to 49 percent." - more

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