Thursday, January 31, 2008

Winter (1975)

(1975) Dry Bones cartoon: In Bed With the Flu.
Back in January 1975 I was in bed with the Flu. I lived in Jerusalem at that time and the only thing that could have dragged me out of bed would have been a Jerusalem snow fall. One of the amazingly beautiful Holy Land events to enjoy first hand.

Today, as I write this, Jerusalem has been blanketed with a delightful covering of snow, but as I'm no longer living there, I had to hunt for images online instead of out my living room window.

On Youtube, I enjoyed a lovely (virtual) 4 minute romp with a Jerusalem couple and their dog and thought you might enjoy it. I'll paste it in below. It's the closest thing to being there. If you've got speakers, make sure they're on.

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Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Royal Screw-Up

Dry Bones cartoon: Hamas is Burrowing into Gaza and the Israeli Government Seems Stumped.
I use King Solomon to represent the Israeli government and/or establishment.

But the unpreparedness in the face of the Hamas push into Sinai is equally true about the Egyptian government and, of course, the governments of the West.

When I was a kid they showed us a film in school about tuberculosis. The scary images haunt me to this day. According to the film, bacteria that the body can't fight off are encased in a kind of tube or "tuber". Later the tubers break open and the body is hit by the outbreak, which is called "tuberculosis".

I have no idea if this is at all accurate, but it is the way I remember it. And it's what I thought about after witnessing the pent-up Iranian-backed Hamas forces break out of their isolation in Gaza.

Main stream media continues to consider it a simple cough rather than a devastating outbreak of TB.

Your thoughts please?

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Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Snow Alert (1978)

Click on the cartoon below to open a larger, more readable version of this full page Dry Bones Golden Oldie from thirty years ago this month. Back then, as today, we were being warned by the weatherman of the approach of a big snowstorm heading towards Jerusalem: 1978 Dry Bones cartoon -Snow Alert

Click on the cartoon above to open a larger, more readable version of this full page Dry Bones Golden Oldie from January 1978.

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Monday, January 28, 2008

Cover Story

Dry Bones cartoon: Iranian-backed forces enter Sinai under cover of a
The 1979 Egyptian/Israeli Peace Treaty is based on having a demilitarized, non-threatening Sinai between the two countries.

Israel is not allowed to move its forces into the Sinai, and Cairo is not permitted to move additional Egyptian forces into the area. The "Multinational Force and Observers" patrols the Sinai, ensuring that the terms of the Peace Agreement are not violated by either of the two countries.

What has now happened is that, under the smoke screen cover story of the "humanitarian crisis", the Iranian-backed Hamas terrorists have broken out of Gaza and moved to establish their beachheads and footholds in Sinai. Egypt, Israel, and the MFO units are now threatened by dangers that the terms of the Peace Agreement never envisioned... and to which the Peace Agreement would seem to prevent their responding.

I wonder when the main stream media will discover the real story?

What's your guess?

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Friday, January 25, 2008

Their Gazan Brothers

Dry Bones cartoon: Gazans in Egypt.
The "Moses" in this cartoon is, of course, Mr. Shuldig. He's dressed in orange and blue. When Israelis struggled over the decision to uproot the Jewish communities, villages, and farms from the Gaza strip, we displayed our pro or con positions by wearing orange if we were against and blue if we were for the pullout.

Since then I've always shown Mr. Shuldig, my alter ego, wearing both colors.

Will the Gazan fundamentalists find their way into Cairo? How is this going to affect the Sinai separation agreement between Egypt and Israel? What happens next? So what's your prediction?


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Thursday, January 24, 2008

Peace in Gaza (1993)

1993 Dry Bones cartoon - the Saudi Plan For Gaza.
Today's Golden Oldie is from 15 years ago this month. Then, everybody had a plan to help Gaza become a small yet vital, independent, economically viable place. Like Hong Kong. Or Singapore.

These days nobody has any idea of how to turn Gaza into a pleasant place to live.

Do you?

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Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Humanitarian Crisis in Gaza

Dry Bones cartoon: ignoring the bombing of Sderot.
When I sketched out this cartoon I planned to include a line about Sderot having been bombed "for two years" ...or was it three?, I wasn't sure how long it actually has been. So I checked. It turns out that the people in Sderot have been under missile attack for more than seven years!! I couldn't believe it!

Embarrassed at my own ignorance I just used the phrase "non-stop terrorist bombing" in the cartoon.

When we withdrew from Gaza, driving thousands of people from their homes because they were Jews, we assumed that Gazans would get on with building a Palestinian entity on the "liberated" land... and if they attacked us, well then we'd be free to respond.

This morning I saw a clip of a Gazan newscast in which, dramatically, right in the middle of the broadcast, the Palestinian newsroom was plunged into darkness. The fact that the microphone and the TV camera continued to function and that the broadcast was not interrupted led me to believe that the "loss of electricity" was probably implemented by a stagehand with his finger on the light switch.

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Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Stock Market Crash (1983)

1983 Dry Bones cartoon - Israeli Stock Market Crash.
Today's news is about recession jitters around the world. "Indexes" are falling. The American markets were closed because of MLK Day and the world is apparently waiting to see what happens when they re-open.

Today's Golden Oldie is a cartoon from exactly 25 years ago this week. January 26, 1983. The topic then was the Israeli Bank Shares "Crisis".

Then, as now, your favorite cartoonist was already broke he had nothing to worry about!

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Can You Dig It?

Dry Bones cartoon: Tu B'Shvat, New Year of the Trees.
Tu B'Shvat is a holiday that comes once a year. In the Hebrew month of Shvat. And it's that time again. Time to get out your shovel and show your faith in the future! time to plant a tree!

Problem is that according to Judaism, every seventh year the Israelites were commanded to let the land relax, to let the earth replenish itself, to do no planting. And it's that Biblical seventh year again in Israel. It's called the "Shmitta" year. So how can you plant a tree on Tu B'Shvat when that conflicts with the Shmitta injunction against planting?

Below is a snapshot of a Tu B'Shvat party in Israel. The merry makers are members of the International Women's Club. Half of the women are Israelis and half are "Internationals" (foreign diplomats, wives of diplomats, visiting businesswomen, etc.). What they are doing in the picture is planting a tree into a large pot. Next year it'll be transplanted into open ground.

Happy Tu B'Shvat!

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Sunday, January 20, 2008

Sunday Mail: January 20, 2008

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
Item One: Face Places! Social Networking?!!
MyPlace? Facebook? I have tried my best to ignore the spread of these online communities ...but more and more folks are opting in.

In the beginning, not long after I started the Dry Bones blog, a friend whined that it was too much trouble to check in with her web browser. She wanted it sent to her by email! And so we searched and searched and found a way to provide the stuff by email.

But two years have slipped by and the girl is now pushing me to find a way to supply her, and other facebook folks, with the daily Dry Bones "fix".

Are you on Facebook? Any tips, ideas, aps, or advice would be greatly appreciated!

Letters From Dry Bones

Item Two: January Clearance Sales?!! Weird how the Internet becomes more and more like the "Real World". It turns out that on the Net, January is also the best time to buy stuff due to post-holiday clearance sales! Check out this link for discounts of up to 70% on products and software related to Israel, learning Hebrew, the Bible and more. Get your goodies now before they put the prices back up again!Jewish Software January Sale

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Friday, January 18, 2008

Taxing British Patience

Dry Bones cartoon: British Taxpayers Have Just Discovered That Their Taxes Support Palestinian Terror.
British taxpayers have just discovered that their taxes support Palestinian terror!!

According to a piece in today's Daily Express:

MILLIONS of pounds of taxpayers’ money is being poured into financing terrorist propaganda, it emerged last night. "Some of the cash is even being used to fund school textbooks which teach children in Palestine to worship violence and hate all non-Muslims.

The money has also been spent on school books praising the “insurgents” killing British troops in Iraq, a report revealed.

Tories and Jewish leaders expressed outrage at the revelations and called for an urgent investigation into how the Palestinian Authority has used £47.5million in British aid over the past year.

Shadow Foreign Office Minister David Lidington said he was “disturbed” by the findings of the TaxPayers’ Alliance report. He added: “It is imperative that future generations are taught a message of reconciliation and mutual understanding."-more

The Daily Express is reporting on a new study by the TaxPayers Alliance. The TPA revealed just yesterday that:
How British taxpayers are funding hate education and violence in the Middle East "In the first of a series of papers analysing the effectiveness of expenditure on overseas aid, the TaxPayers Alliance has published a paper looking at the effects of British aid spending in the Palestinian territories. Funding Hate Education reveals disturbing evidence showing how British taxpayers’ money has been spent helping to fund hate education and promote violence in the Middle East." -more

For a copy of the study, just click here.

So what do you think will happen next? Is this a story that'll be big? Or is it just too hot to handle?
Your opinion please?

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Thursday, January 17, 2008

Hoping for Warmer Weather (1998)

(1998) Dry Bones cartoon: negotiations and hopes for a less frigid weekend.
Today's Golden Oldie is a Dry Bones cartoon done in January of 1998, ten years ago this month.

Our Prime Minister (then it was Bibi Netanyahu, not Ehud Olmert) was dealing with pressure from the American President (then it was Bill Clinton, not George W. Bush). We were being swindled by a terrorist chieftain posing as a "Democratically elected" Palestinian "President" (then it was Yasser Arafat, not Mahmoud Abbas), and then, as now, Palestinian terrorists were targeting Israeli civilians.

Another similarity is that in Israel this week we've been suffering through a frigid cold spell. The freezing winds that are pounding us are blowing in from the north, out of Russia. So the air is crisp and dry and painfully cold. Today is Thursday and the weatherman is promising a warming up for the one day of Shabbat that passes as our "weekend".

And once again the cold weather is the main topic of conversation between us locals.

So how cold is it where YOU are?

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Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Our Dopey Leadership

Dry Bones cartoon: Negotiating the Core Issues.
The Olmert government is now discussing the "Core Issues" with the Abbas faction of the Palestinian movement.

And in reaction, the Israel Beiteinu party of Avigdor Lieberman announced, just a few minutes ago, that they are leaving the government coalition.

But the problem is that the Olmert government is NOT discussing the "core issues"!!

I wish that they were!

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Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Negotiations (1993)

1993 Dry Bones cartoon - We started negotiations with the PLO just as they began to lose their power base to Hamas.
Believe it or not, today's cartoon is a "Golden Oldie" from fifteen years ago this month! Back in January of 1993 we started negotiations with the PLO just as they began to lose their power base to Hamas.

I don't think I could draw a more pertinent comment today about today's situation.

What's going on?! Sometimes I feel like I'm in the movie "Groundhog Day", waking up each morning to the same day... but which everybody else thinks is new!

So how about you?
Do you have that "Groundhog", I've been here before, Deja Vu, feeling also?

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Monday, January 14, 2008

Pain Relief?

Dry Bones cartoon: A Cure For Fibromyalgia.
According to the New York Times:

"Fibromyalgia is a real disease. Or so says Pfizer in a new television advertising campaign for Lyrica, the first medicine approved to treat the pain condition, whose very existence is questioned by some doctors.

For patient advocacy groups and doctors who specialize in fibromyalgia, the Lyrica approval is a milestone. They say they hope Lyrica and two other drugs that may be approved this year will legitimize fibromyalgia, just as Prozac brought depression into the mainstream.

But other doctors - including the one who wrote the 1990 paper that defined fibromyalgia but who has since changed his mind - say that the disease does not exist and that Lyrica and the other drugs will be taken by millions of people who do not need them.

As diagnosed, fibromyalgia primarily affects middle-aged women and is characterized by chronic, widespread pain of unknown origin. Many of its sufferers are afflicted by other similarly nebulous conditions, like irritable bowel syndrome." -more

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Friday, January 11, 2008

Bush League Leadership

Dry Bones cartoon: Bush calls on Israeli politicians to support Olmert.
During his visit to Israel, Bush called on Israeli politicians to support and keep Olmert in office. I don't figure it's big news outside of the Jewish state. The story as reported on YNet is that:
Three scant weeks before the Winograd Commission issues its final report, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert received a noteworthy boost of support from visiting US President George W. Bush.

Olmert is "a strong political leader," said Bush at a dinner party with cabinet ministers, as well as Olmert and his wife Aliza. The US President called on Olmert's deputies and coalition leaders to safeguard Olmert so that he could continue to lead. -more

Persistent rumors in Israel (now making their way into Israeli media reports) allege that the Bush/Rice pressure on Israel for further concessions has been orchestrated by Olmert himself!!?

Your thoughts? Predictions?

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Thursday, January 10, 2008

Israel's 50th Year (1998)

(1998) Dry Bones cartoon: plans Israel's 50th year celebrations don't seem to be progressing.
Back in January of 1998, ten years ago, we didn't seem to be making much progress on deciding on how to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Israel's establishment in 1948.

Now, in 2008, we don't seem to be making much progress on deciding on how to celebrate Israel's 60th Anniversary!

The punchline of the Golden Oldie cartoon from 1998 is the simple truth. For most Israelis, Israel is "just" the country that they live in.

But to believing Christians, to Diaspora Jews, to Islamic fundamentalists, to Holocaust survivors, and to oppressed minorities across the Arab-dominated Middle East, Israel is special. And our having survived against all logic to celebrate our 50th (and now 60th) year was (and is) a miracle.

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Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Who's On First?

Dry Bones cartoon: Iowa went to Obama, New Hampshire went to Hillary, and Bush went to Israel.
I spent this morning watching Israeli live TV coverage of Air Force One landing at Ben Gurion Airport. The rolling out of the humongous red carpet. The reception line of dignitaries. The highways closed to all other traffic as the official cars work their way from the airport to the eternal capital of the Jewish people. The holy city of Jerusalem.

Meanwhile the question of who is really in first place is probably uppermost in the minds of most politicians:
In America (both in the Democratic Primaries and the Republican race)
In Israel (can Olmert maintain control?)
In "Palestine" (how long will Hamas allow Abbas to continue to be "President" and fig leaf for the terrorists?)

And, curiously, some of the topics that seem to have faded from media coverage include the ongoing bombing of the city of Sderot from Gaza, the murder of Israeli hikers by off duty Palestinian "police", our kidnapped soldiers, and Jonathan Pollard.

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Tuesday, January 08, 2008

U.S. Jerusalem Embassy Act (1995)

(1995) Dry Bones cartoon: The Jerusalem Embassy Act.
Today's Golden Oldie is a Dry Bones cartoon that was published on October 31, 1995.

In September 1995, the new Jewish year of 5756 had been designated "Jerusalem 3000". It was to celebrate the 3000th anniversary of King David's declaration of Jerusalem as the capital of the Jews.

On October 23, 1995, the U.S. Congress passed into law the "United States Jerusalem Embassy Act" which recognized Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Israel, and which ordered that "the United States Embassy in Israel should be established in Jerusalem no later than May 31, 1999". President Clinton was not amused.

On October 25th Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Jerusalem Mayor Ehud Olmert went off to America to take part in Jerusalem 3000 celebrations.

On October 31st I published this cartoon which tied together the Congressional Act, the Presidential response, Jerusalem 3000 and the fact that keeping the American Embassy in Tel Aviv inferred that TA rather than Jerusalem was our capital city .

Tomorrow, more than twelve years later, yet another fearful American President and another appeasing U.S. Secretary of State will be in Jerusalem.

The American Embassy remains in Tel Aviv.

Your thoughts?

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Monday, January 07, 2008

An Undivided Jerusalem

Dry Bones cartoon: U.S. Congressional Law Demands the Moving of the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem ...but, well, you know...
Yes. U.S. Law demands the moving of the American Embassy to Jerusalem. And it recognizes the united city of Jerusalem as Israel's capital. "But, well, hey, you know, you've got to be reasonable, and well..."

So, in case you didn't know it, here's part of what the U.S. Congress made law back in 1995:

Statement of the Policy of the United States.

(1)Jerusalem should remain an undivided city in which the rights of every ethnic and religious group are protected;

(2)Jerusalem should be recognized as the capital of the State of Israel; and

(3)the United States Embassy in Israel should be established in Jerusalem no later than May 31, 1999.

Oh and the bit about how Condi needs to file reports every six months on the "progress" being made, the law states:

At the time of the submission of the President's fiscal year 1997 budget request, and every six months thereafter, the Secretary of State shall report to the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate on the progress made toward opening the United States Embassy in Jerusalem.

To read the whole text of the The Jerusalem Embassy Relocation Act of 1995, just click here.

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Sunday, January 06, 2008

Sunday Mail: January 6, 2008

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

Historic Visit

A friend called me this morning to tell me about a January Clearance Sale of Jewish History. "I know!" I sputtered and went into a tirade about the January 9th George W. Bush visit to Israel. I raged about how the Americans seem ready to sweep away History in their eagerness to appease the Palestinian terrorists.. "I'm not talking about Bush and Rice" said my friend. "Don't talk to me about Olmert!" I fumed in response, "He has already signaled his desire to give away whatever he can."

"Listen!" my friend shouted, "This is a January Clearance sale of a five disk crash course in Jewish History by Rabbi Berel Wein! ...and lots of other stuff. They've slashed the prices ...check it out at Jewish History.

So my question is, how do we get a copy to George W.?
Olmert's a lost cause.

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Friday, January 04, 2008

It's A Trip!

Dry Bones cartoon: Bush is Coming!
The country is getting ready for the visit of President Bush. How? By speculation about what he's coming to do.

Israeli newspaper headlines explain that in "exclusive" interviews ("read about it in tomorrow's edition") the U.S. President has revealed that...

One popular theory is that he's organizing an anti-Iranian alliance. Another that he's personally going to set up a peaceful Palestinian state. I think that he's coming to the Middle East for some other reason.

What do you think is going on? And what do YOU think is about to happen?

Your predictions please?

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Thursday, January 03, 2008

The Way We Were (1973)

1973 Dry Bones cartoon - Israeli Drivers ...Yikes!
In keeping with our celebration of Dry Bones' 35th Anniversary, here's another cartoon from January 1973. Dry Bones was exactly one month old at that point.

Back then we Israelis all smoked. And the cigarette butts dangling from the lips of my characters as they chatted just seemed to make it more accurate.

In this Golden Oldie, two immigrants (new Olim in our pidgin English) were experiencing the daredevil excitement of driving on an Israeli road. "Kol HaKavod" is a Hebrew term of praise and encouragement which can be translated as "Way To Go!". Egged is the name of our national bus company (the second largest bus company in the world!!). The joke was that by driving like a maniac, our unwitting newcomer had earned the acceptance and congratulations of the Israeli drivers on the road.

35 years have passed. The few of us that haven't quit the tobacco habit are trying to.

As to maniacal, incompetent, unsafe, aggressive, and dangerous driving ...well, "The Way We Were" is unfortunately still "The Way We Are".

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Wednesday, January 02, 2008

A Happy 2008

Dry Bones cartoon: Feeling unreasonably good about the coming year of 2008.
I admit it! I'm feeling unreasonably good about the coming year.

Meanwhile I'm enjoying the celebration of 2008 as Dry Bones' 35th Anniversary year! If you haven't done so, check out the responses to the two questions I asked on Monday's posting. Just click here.

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Tuesday, January 01, 2008

The First Dry Bones Cartoon (1973)

1973 The very first Dry Bones cartoon.
Today's Golden Oldie is the very first Dry Bones cartoon ever published. It appeared on January 1, 1973, on the editorial page of the Jerusalem Post. Exactly 35 years ago today.

Back then we had a (sort of) socialist government, and new immigrants to Israel had to run a gauntlet of government clerks. Most of my readers in 1973 had spent time sitting on benches outside of Israeli government offices waiting their turn to get some form stamped by some low level bureaucrat.

Particularly infuriating was the ritual of the "ten o'clock meal" ("Aruhat Esser" in Hebrew). At 10 in the morning every clerk enjoyed a cup of coffee or tea and a bit of pastry. Their food and drink having been wheeled into their offices like room service) ...while we continued to wait on the benches outside their doors. It was no surprise, then, that although the topic of the first Dry Bones cartoon was labor unrest and work "slowdowns" ...the target was the government clerks, and their 10AM munchies break.

So Happy 35th Anniversary to Dry Bones

And Happy New Year 2008 to us all.

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