Monday, October 31, 2005

Prince Charles

Dry Bones cartoon - Prince Charles
This was reported in the (UK)Telegraph. But I didn't find out about it in a newspaper. I found out about it on a blog (where else?). The blog is called proecclesia.

At first I thought to do a cartoon about the royal family's flirtation with the Nazis and draw some kind of historical linkage.

After that I played with punchlines about the Prince of Wales' previous unfortunate statements.

But then, with a sigh, I realized how the Queen must feel about her bozo of an heir, and did the cartoon.


Friday, October 28, 2005

Iranian Threats

Dry Bones cartoon - Iran threatens Israel
President Ahmadinejad speaks. The World Without ZionismHe's launched "The World Without Zionism" campaign. So maybe you were wondering why a country with as much oil and natural gas as Iran so desperately needs nukes?

The "civilized" world is racist. It has a double standard. It doesn't expect much from Muslim states. Not when it comes to humanitarian aid and not when it comes to civilized behavior.

Of course these days we've got Bloggers to speak out and blow whistles. The following is from a neat German blog (in English) called MedienKritik:
"Anti-Semitic books are not permitted in Germany. Authors and publishers of anti-Semitic literature usually face the full brunt of the law, without regard to their nationality. Public presentation of anti-Semitic literature in Germany is simply not tolerated.Of course, there are exceptions, for instance when the publisher is the Iranian state, as Matthias Küntzel observed at the Frankfurt Book Fair 2005."
Iran's "The World Without Zionism" campaign has provoked some Euro-criticism but that too, I expect, will quickly pass.

I couldn't resist doing this light-weight but funny cartoon when I realized that they'd already wiped us off their maps.

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Thursday, October 27, 2005

Gaddafi - 1986

1986 Dry Bones cartoon - libya
Gaddafi? Qaddafi? Khaddhafi? Close to 20 years ago, the dictator of Libya boasted of public support. The shocking thing is that the dictators and despots of the Middle East have always thought that phoney elections would fool the world into believing that they are popular rather than feared.
To some extent they are, of couse, right.
I always enjoyed drawing Arafat, he was so ugly that he could have passed for a comic book villian in a Batman story or a troll in a German children's book.
But Muammar Gaddafi is different.
The guy is tall, gorgeous, and always seems to be incredibly stoned.
Like a really handsome Mick Jagger.
Libya's "super star" remains on the political stage, and as the Paul Simon song goes he's "still crazy after all these years."


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Wednesday, October 26, 2005

The Syrian Connection

Dry Bones cartoon - UN Investigation
Here in Israel we've had so much experience with the United Nations refusing to carry out proper or non-biased investigations that we think of Kofi's crew as the "Touchables".

When I look at Assad the younger, I don't see an evil mastermind. What I see is a small-time hood. A punk who inherited the gang from his father, the Don, and who has just realized that he has screwed up... big time.

Two Depressed Gangsters: Bashar Assad and Tony Soprano

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Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Iraqi Update (2003)

Dry Bones cartoon (2003) - Iraq people
This pessimistic cartoon was published in 2003. Not really old enough to be what I'd call a "Golden Oldie" but I wanted to post it now.

Because of the intimacy of the Blogosphere, I find myself in contact with the Iraqi reality. If you're a regular visitor you know that I've been reading a fascinating Iraqi blog. I mentioned them in a couple of posts just last week (here and here) and I put up a link to the blog. It's called Iraq The Model and it's a voice out of Baghdad. It's given me a feeling of optimism.

Maybe Iraq will be free! Maybe Iraq will be the "model" for a new and healthy and democratic Middle East!
The reason that I posted this cartoon today is that I just received a note from Omar (one of the two Baghdadi bloggers behind the Iraqi blog).
He writes:
"I think exchanging links between our blogs would be just nice.
I really want to bridge the gap between our people and clear the misunderstandings.
I really think that our countries can be best partners in the region, this will take time though."

Check them out. And while you're there, leave a comment and tell 'em "Dry Bones sent you."

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Monday, October 24, 2005

Bird Flu

Dry Bones cartoon - Bird Flu
Bird Flu? A world-wide threat or just hype from the drug companies? I have no idea, but I used to keep birds. I've had an african grey parrot, a white cockatoo named Cob, a breeding pair of cockatiels, and a parakeet that I raised from the egg. The parakeet was named Kooky and she lived to a ripe old age... which, of course, led me to wonder if I'd be as casual about bird flu if there were still birds in my home.
And that led to the cartoon.

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Friday, October 21, 2005

Saddam On Trial

Dry Bones cartoon - Saddam Hussein Trial
Frankenstein was not his name.
Frankenstein was the name of the scientist (Doctor Frankenstein) who had created the monster. The monster himself was properly called "Frankenstein's Monster". In the case of Saddam, one question which remains to be answered is, was he "Iraq's Monster"? Or, having been supported by America and Europe, is he "Our Monster" and not just Iraq's?!
In any case, his trial has begun and the monster will have his moment in the sun as he faces the camera and his victims, and we are treated to TV coverage of his cunning attempt to survive.

The following is from a post on an Iraqi blog called Iraq The model:

"As the prosecution went deeper into details and facts, the way we viewed the trial began to change and those among us who were demanding a bullet in Saddam's head now seemed pleased with the proceedings I don't think I want to see that bullet now, I want to see justice take place as it should be.
We were watching an example of justice in the new Iraq, a place where no one should be denied his rights, not even Saddam."
Can Iraqi democracy survive and become a model for the region? We've just put up a "sidebar" link to "Iraq The Model". We regularly read this wonderful and informative blog and recommend that you do too.

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Thursday, October 20, 2005

AIDS and Terrorism (1987)

1987 Dry Bones cartoon - AIDS and Islamic TerrorismI drew this cartoon almost twenty years ago. Like most political cartoons it uses exaggeration to amuse and highlight, but at the time I assumed that by 2005 we would have conquered at least one of these two diseases.
The sad reality is that I could run this cartoon today without any need to change the wording.

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Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Iraqi Democracy

Dry Bones cartoon - the Iraq vote
The terror attacks on Iraqi civilians has been a horror. If the reported election figures are at all correct, Iraqi Votersan amazing number of Iraqis braved the threat of death to exercise their right to be heard by actually voting. Check out an interesting and personal account from an Iraqi blog that is called Iraq the Model. The photograph on the right shows a group of Iraqi voters. They look like "regular folks", don't they? Sometimes the real heroes are the ordinary citizens. To see more photos check out Sooni, another interesting Iraqi blog.

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Syria in Lebanon (1988)

1988 Dry Bones cartoon - the Syrian threatSyrian control of Lebanon. Syria doesn't like Lebanese independence. And it's willing to take out whomever does. The recent "suicide" of Syria's interior minister and his connection with the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri is just the latest twist in the ongoing story. Check out this posting at Big Pharaoh.
Back in 1988, this Dry Bones cartoon commented on the ever-present threat to any Lebanese leader who believed in Lebanon as an independent country, and not as a Syrian province.

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Monday, October 17, 2005

Harvest Holiday

Dry Bones cartoon - the Succot holiday
The Jewish Harvest Holiday is called (in modern Hebrew) Sukkot or Succot. In the west it used to be pronounced Sukkos or Succos. In any case the word is the plural of succa (or sukka). The spelling variations in English impact my cartoons, in that each year I argue with myself (or an editor) about the spelling.
Succa (or sukka) means hut (or booth). Translations into English call the holiday "the Feast of Tabernacles" (a fancy word for temporary shelters). The Israelite Harvest Holiday (which begins this evening at sundown) is described in the Bible and is becoming more recognized by Christians.
"And ye shall take to you on the first day the fruit of goodly trees, branches of palm trees, and boughs of thick trees, and willows of the brook, and you shall rejoice before the LORD your God seven days. And ye shall keep it as a feast unto the LORD seven days in the year. It is a statute for ever in your generations; ye shall keep it in the seventh month. Ye shall dwell in booths - sukkot - seven days. All who are native Israelites shall dwell in booths, that your generations may know that I made the children of Israel to dwell in booths when I brought them out of the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God."
- Leviticus 23, verses 40 to 43

Picture of a succaThe holiday (which begins at sundown this evening) is filled with lovely practices, the building, decorating, and covering with palm fronds and branches of a succa being one.
Happy holiday!

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Friday, October 14, 2005

Jews and Arabs (1997)

1997 Dry Bones cartoon - Jews and Arabs
Europe doesn't like us. Back in 1997 I was having dinner with an Arab diplomat. During our friendly argument he noted that Israel's position had alienated the Europeans. I reacted by (without thinking) blurting out the line that would become this cartoon, the Smothers Brotherswhen I later put my exact words into Mr. Shuldig's mouth.

In the late sixties, in America, there was an intelligent and popular comedy team called the Smothers Brothers. Tommy Smothers' signature line was "Mom always liked you best."
The family feud between Middle East Arabs and Jews seems, on some level, to be doing the same routine, with "Mom" being the "West," and the line transformed into "Mom always disliked me more."

Mr. Shuldig is my alter ego and I use him to express my personal opinions. He's seen here watching TV (his favorite pastime) and talking to his wife. More often he's seen talking with Doobie, his dog.

As for Jews and Arabs, I think that a positive Middle Eastern future awaits us if intelligent minds prevail. For me, at least, the existence of such a far-fetched possibility is proven by the fact that the Dry Bones blog was just quoted and cited on a wonderful Egyptian blogsite, Big Pharaoh. Thanks guys, you've made me feel optimistic.

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Thursday, October 13, 2005

Yom Kippur (2003)

Dry Bones cartoon (2003) - Yom Kippur
I've posted this cartoon, from 2003, featuring my Rabbi character, after the end of the fast here in Israel. Whew!

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Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Yom Kippur (1998)

1998 Dry Bones cartoon (1998) - Yom Kippur
1998. Yom Kippur. Einstein's Theory of Relativity postulates that the passage of time is affected by the speed at which a body travels. It also seems to slow down in other situations. I refer, of course, to the sunset to sunset fast. The proper Hebrew greeting today is "Tsom Kal" (Have an easy fast).

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Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Egypt To Take Charge?

Dry Bones cartoon - Egypt Takes Over
King Solomon is a character I use to represent today's Israel's government or Israeli nation. His ever-present adviser is off screen, making a prediction. I agree with the prediction and with the Wise King's question. The Egyptians are in a situation created as the result of both Sharon's pullout from the Gaza Strip and the terrorist challenge to the present Egyptian government.
Here's a posting on the situation from an Egyptian blog called EgyptianPerson.
"For those who haven’t heard yet, after Israel disengaged from Gaza few days ago, things went out of control there. Thousands of Palestinians illegally crossed the borders between Egypt and Gaza, weapon smugglers sold guns from the Egyptian side to Gaza, Egyptian authorities discovered a tunnel filled with light and heavy infantry weapons, and Hamas blew a hole in the wall on the Egypt-Gaza border.

This kind of chaos on the border can easily include terrorists who participated in recent Sinai bombings fleeing to Gaza to hide among their cousins, or wanted Palestinian terrorists by Israel or the Palestinian Authority escaping and disappearing in Sinai. Guess what an uncontrolled Hamas terrorist will do if he found himself near a Sinai resort that has some Israeli tourists?

As far as I am concerned, this behavior by the Palestinians is the first threat to Egypt's national security on the East border in the last 25 years."

Note: the words in bold are bold in the original post at EgyptianPerson.

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Monday, October 10, 2005


Dry Bones cartoon - the Rabbi and the BlogosphereFrom time to time I use this Rabbi character. A while back he didn't know what the Web was. The Dry Bones cartoon to the right is from August 2003. Okay, I'll admit it. I'm worried. Dry Bones cartoon - The World Wide WebI got into the Internet before there was the Web. It was a time that pioneering souls felt the freedom of instant communications, email, etc. Then came the World wide Web. We could see pictures! ...and didn't have to use unix commands. Then more and more people began to get their own "Home Pages". In the final(?) stage, the web has become a giant Department Store, and email has turned into a giant spam magnet!
So now I'm worried about the Blogosphere!!
It's still warm and personal, but with increased popularity, what will it turn into?

Like I say, I'm worried.


Friday, October 07, 2005

War Against Humanity?

Dry Bones cartoon - Those Damned Martians
We're in the middle of WWIII. It's an Islamic war against the rest of us. Trouble is that Political Correctness prevents most of us from seeing that obvious (and uncomfortable) fact. President Bush says that we're facing a War Against Humanity.Independence DayThe movie Independence Day showed how wonderfully warm and united we'd all be if only we had been attacked by an army of space aliens. If only!


Thursday, October 06, 2005

Free Gift

February 1991
Dry Bones cartoon (1991) - Scuddot
1991. The First Gulf War. Israel was hit with Scud missiles. We wore our gas masks and huddled in rooms we had sealed with plastic sheets. Both were to protect us from the possibly poison gas-filled Scuds launched at us after nightfall by Saddam's Iraq. It was an experience of biblical proportions, which led me to fantasize about how the period would be remembered by future generations. Surely there'd be a holiday. I imagined that it would be something like Succot. So we called it Scuddot. Folks loved the cartoon, so we printed up posters!

In just a couple of weeks (starting on October 17th at sundown) the week-long Succot holiday will begin. Observant Jews around the world will decorate and sit in little jerry-built leaf-covered huts called Succas. As a free gift for Succot we'd like you to have a letter-sized PDF version of the Scuddot Poster to see, print out and hang in a Succa (or on your wall). To get your free poster just click HERE. If you've got a PDF reader on your computer, the poster will open automatically. You probably have an Adobe Reader installed, even if you don't know it, but if not, you can get a free PDF reader by clicking on Free Adobe Reader.

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Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Old Nazis

Dry Bones cartoon - Happy New YearToday is the second day of the two-day Jewish New Year holiday. A time of looking back at our mistakes and looking ahead towards our hopes for the future. So maybe the old Nazis in their safe little communities are doing the same?


Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Rosh HaShana (1998)

1998 Dry Bones cartoon - the new millennium
The year was 1998. Rosh HaShana. The start of a new year in the Jewish calendar. The secular world was buzzing with the approach, in only two years, of the next millennium. The 1900's would be replaced by the 2000's, and in the midst of this was looming the threat of what we called the Y2K bug. For us, however...

The joke of the cartoon is that just about nobody really lives their daily lives according to the Jewish calendar. Many years ago I was rushing to a meeting in downtown Jerusalem. I pulled my car into a curbside parking space and pulled out a pad of "parking cards." What I had to do was to pull off a card from the pad, mark the month, date, and time of day and hang the card in the window of my car. A neat invention which rid our streets of parking meters. I checked my watch to get the time, but being late and hysterical, I couldn't remember the date. Frantically I looked around. Incredibly, the streets were empty. One smartly dressed gentleman carrying a briefcase and a cane came ambling down the street. "Mister", I asked, waving the pad of parking cards, "what's the date?"
"Hebrew or secular?" he responded.

Happy New Year! The new Jewish year is now 5766, oh, and these days they're selling us computerized parking cards!)

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Monday, October 03, 2005

Have a Happy

Dry Bones cartoon - Jewish New YearThis evening, at sundown, the Jewish New Year of 5766 begins. The holiday marks the 5,766th year since the creation of Adam and Eve. The specific date is calculated by making use of the biblical data tracing the complete geneology of the decendants of Adam provided by the "begats" in Genesis, as in the snippet sample listed below:
And Salah lived thirty years, and begat Eber:
And Eber lived four and thirty years, and begat Peleg:
And Peleg lived thirty years, and begat Reu:
And Reu lived two and thirty years, and begat Serug:
And Serug lived thirty years, and begat Nahor:

So we can easily figure out that it was 156 years between the birth of Salah until the birth of his great-great-grandson Nahor. See. And you never knew why those Biblical begats were there.
In any case, Happy Jewish New Year!