Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Hope For the Best

Dry Bones cartoon - Hamas, Israel, Jordan, Al Qaeda
Jordan is a moderate Arab state that lies between Iraq, Israel, Syria, and Saudi Arabia. The Kingdom is now trying to use TV to counter the growing Islamic threat it faces.
"Two weeks earlier, three detained Hamas activists were shown recounting a plot to stage attacks inside Jordan, and in March authorities said they had thwarted plans to blow up a major power plant.
The unusual broadcasts follow hotel bombings in Amman that killed 60 people last November November and which were claimed by the Iraq-based Jordanian militant Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, who has warned of more attacks in his homeland.
They also come against a background of rising violence across Jordan's eastern border in Iraq and economic crisis and political infighting in neighboring Palestinian territories after the militant Hamas movement swept to power in January.
Analysts say the Jordanian authorities are trying to reassure people that security forces still have a firm hand on the country."
- Full Story Here.

Men in Sheets

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Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Our Common Enemy (1993)

1993 Dry Bones cartoon - Islamic Terror and a Common Enemy for the Middle East
This cartoon was published 13 years ago.
Today Egypt is being attacked.
Israel is being attacked.
And the life of the King of Jordan is being threatened.
And we STILL don't openly declare Islamic terror as our (Egypt, Israel, Jordan) common enemy.

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Monday, May 29, 2006

Promised Land

Dry Bones cartoon - Bush, Israel, Iran, Jerusalem
The May 2000 Bush promise.

The May 2006 Bush promise.

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Friday, May 26, 2006

Movies That Offend

Dry Bones cartoon - the passion, the da vinci code, islam, van gogh, dutch, amsterdam, moslem, offensive
I drew this cartoon and then I read this news item:
"New Delhi (ENI). Some Indian Christians are so incensed with the fictional blockbuster "The Da Vinci Code" they want the government to ban it and one Roman Catholic has offered a bounty of US$25 000 on the head of author Dan Brown,"...more


Thursday, May 25, 2006

The Salami Principle (1991)

1991 Dry Bones cartoon - Land for Peace, the Salami Principle, Israel, mideast peace, Palestine, Israel
The above cartoon was published back in June 1991.

Fifteen years have passed,
...and they're still trying to slice us up!

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Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Palestinian Solution

Dry Bones cartoon - palestinians, Palestine, two-state solution, fatah, hamas, plo, PA, peace, Israel
This cartoon uses King Solomon and his adviser. The Israelite King is a major figure in Jewish folklore. I use the wise king to represent the government of Israel as it faces the seemingly impossible dilemmas of our day.

I draw Solomon's crown with a device on it that is sometimes called the Star of Solomon opposed to the six-pointed Star of David.

six and eight-pointed stars

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Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Meeting with Bush (1989)

1989 Dry Bones cartoon - Meeting with Bush

The news was that the Israeli Prime Minister was to meet with President Bush. The Prime Minister (Shamir) was from one party (Likud),
Our Defense Minister (Rabin) was from another party, (Labor)
...and there was an Israeli peace plan of sorts.

That was seventeen years ago.

Today's news is that the Israeli Prime Minister is to meet with President Bush.
The Prime Minister (Olmert) is from one party (Kadima)
Our Defense Minister (Peretz) is from another (Labor),
...and there's an Israeli plan that we want to explain.

...And so it goes.

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Monday, May 22, 2006

Iraq and Afghanistan

Dry Bones cartoon - Iraq and Afghanistan
I like to use these two "barstool pundits" as observers of the news as presented on the small screen in a neighborhood bar.

I read these two news items this morning and thought to myself "well things don't seem to be going according to plan." The kind of dumb observation appropriate for the two... So I put it into their mouths.

Here's the Boycott story.

And this quote:

"Meanwhile, Afghanistan is on the brink of becoming a narco-state with drug cartels now posing a greater threat to the country's future than Taliban insurgents, NATO's top military commander in Europe said yesterday."
is from this Afghanistan story.

If you ask me, things are not going according to plan.

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Friday, May 19, 2006

Shavuot Cheese

Dry Bones cartoon - Shavuot Cheese
Jews are commanded to count the days from the Passover celebration.
“ You shall count fifty days…” Leviticus 23:15.

After 49 days have passed... i.e. after a week of weeks (49 = 7 X 7) on the fiftieth day, we celebrate the holiday called "Weeks". In Hebrew the word for weeks is Shavuot. In Yiddish-accented Hebrew the word (and holiday) is Shavuos.
Christians count the week of weeks from Easter and call the day the Pentecost, from the Greek word for 50th; Pentékosté.
For an understanding of Pentecost/Shavuot check out Bridges for Peace, a Christian group and friends of mine.

Shavuot marks the giving to us, at Mount Sinai, of the law.
So why do we eat cheese(?!) on this holiday?

"The Jewish people after receiving the Torah could not eat meat products immediately, since the meat that they had was not prepared in accordance with the newly-given laws of the ritual of animal slaughter and the dietary laws. Hence they ate only dairy products on the day of revelation, the holiday of Shavuot." - Rabbi Berel Wein

Stilton cheese is one of my favorites!
The story about the smelly perfume is here.

This year Shavuot will be celebrated on June 2 2006.

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Thursday, May 18, 2006

Kurt Waldheim, Nazi (1986)

1986 Dry Bones cartoon - Kurt Waldheim
Twenty years ago this month, in May 1986, a Nazi ran for President of Austria.

Here are a few interesting facts about it:
1) He'd already been Secretary General of the UN
2) He denied being a Nazi Stormtrooper Officer until a photo turned up.
3) He won the election and became President of Austria

Read about it and see the photo at this previous posting.


Wednesday, May 17, 2006

The Ticking Iranian Time Bomb

Dry Bones cartoon - The Ticking Iranian Time Bomb
Prior to Israeli Prime Minister Olmert's trip to Washington, rumors are surfacing about this supposed difference of opinion. Check out the report at Debkafile.

Will the time bomb will blow up in our faces in two years or in four years?!
I didn't understand the significance of the disagreement until after I had asked myself the question "What is scheduled to happen three years from now?".
I then drew the cartoon.

I had the wife see as obvious what to me (and to her newspaper-reading hubby) had not been so "obvious".
The husband's shock at being enlightened by his wife should bring a laugh or at least a smile. The problem is that the punch line makes the reader think, which stiffles the laugh response.


Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Land for Peace (1991)

1991 Dry Bones cartoon - Land for Peace
Fifteen years ago this month. May 1991. Notice that Mr. Shuldig is wearing what used to be the standard dress code for Israeli gents. A jacket, shirt with open collar and no tie. These days our politicians, newscasters, and businessmen wear Italian suits and silk ties.

Of course some things never change.
Like the obscene idea that "Peace" is something that Israelis need to "buy". Peace, real peace, is like love. A mutual blessing for both parties.

Land for Peace is like Money for Love.
Sure you can pay for it...
But what you get is short-term, empty, and just not the real thing.

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Monday, May 15, 2006

Spycraft & The Telephone System

Dry Bones cartoon - White House Phone Snooping
America is Israel's lone ally and perhaps only real friend among the nations.
It is only natural that Israel look to Uncle Sam as a kind of role-model for democracy. How to maintain a balance between individual privacy and public safety during time of war is a question that both democracies must face.
It will be interesting to see how this Bush administration telephone story develops.

My problem in doing this cartoon was how the guy should refer to his particular telephone carrier.
In the end I used "The Phone Company".

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Friday, May 12, 2006

On the (Israeli) Beach

Dry Bones cartoon - Iranian anti-Israel Threats
"On the Beach" was the 1959 movie of the best-selling novel by Nevil Shute. The premise is that a nuclear conflict has taken place and all humans are dead with the exception of those living in Australia, which was far from the action.

Here in Israel, in 2006, on our beach, we are not "far from the action".
We are at ground zero, Iranian nuke threat-wise.

Below is the poster from the classic movie

The movie had Gregory Peck and Ava Gardner on the beach.
My cartoon has Mr. Shuldig and his dog Doobie on the beach.

The way I came up with the cartoon was like this: I had gone with a group of friends to a concert at Apollonia (remains of a Crusader fortress/city built on what had earlier been a Roman town, and before that had been an ancient Greek city) on Israel's Mediterranean beach.

The concert ended at sunset, and we watched in awe as the sun sank into the sea. As the red ball of the setting sun lit up the sky with streaks of fiery red, orange and purple, I blurted out "It's like a near-miss with an Iranian nuke!"
Everyone laughed... And then fell silent.

When I got back home I drew the cartoon.
The strip uses the technique of playing Mr. Shuldig's optimism against Doobie's cynicism. It's a technique I've used many times over the years.

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Thursday, May 11, 2006

Free Speech in Egypt (1978)

1978 Dry Bones cartoon - Free Speech in Egypt

In May 1978, Egyptian opposition to the search for peace with Israel led the Egyptian government to enact a law that branded "progressive" politicians and activists as "unbelievers" and "communists".
In the cartoon I showed Sadat as the Sphinx, raising his front paws to reveal Free Speech and then lowering his paws to snuff it out again.

I chose to show this Golden Oldie from 1978 because of what's happening to Free Speech in Egypt today. Let me explain.

For close to a year I've been regularly reading Egyptian and other Arab blogs. One of these brave, free, and informative blogs is called Egyptian SandMonkey.
But now the Egyptian government has moved against Egyptian bloggers in a clear attempt to squash Free Speech ...And to crush those bloggers who dare to speak freely. Below is a quote from SandMonkey's plea for help.

As you may have heard by now, Egyptian blogger Alaa Abdel Fatah has been arrested alongside 10 others while demonstrating in support of the independence of the Judiciary in Egypt and the release of previous demonstrators who were detained 2 weeks earlier. The Police entrapped them, cordoning off their peaceful protest and then proceeded to handpick the demonstrators that they wanted to detain, beat them, and then arrested them.
Alaa and those arrested with him are now arrested for 15 days "pending investigation", which could be renewed indefinitely if the state so wishes. He and the men were sent to the infamous Torah Prison and the girls to the Qanatir prison for the duration. This makes them hardly safe, because stuff that goes on in Egyptian prisons on the hands of the jailors: beatings, sexual assaults, torture of all kinds.
A campaign is now being mounted to demand the release of Alaa and the others. Demonstrations, email campaigns, petitions, etc. It's being run out of a special Free Alaa site. These people need our help! ...And we need to help them.

Please click to Visit the Free Alaa Site.

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Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Popularity Contest

Dry Bones cartoon - Bush Declares Support for Israel
I did this cartoon and was just posting it to the blog when I heard an item on the news saying that America's "approval rating" for the President has now fallen to thirty-one percent!!



Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Jimmy Carter, Southern Gentleman (1983)

1983 Dry Bones cartoon - Jimmy Carter, Southern Gentleman
Jimmy Carter was President from January 20, 1977 to January 20, 1981.
America had denied him a second term but Jimmy was still intent on changing the world.
In 1983 he came to visit us.

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Monday, May 08, 2006

Stumbling Ahead

Dry Bones cartoon - Olmert Becomes Prime Minister of Israel
Our new Prime Minister does not impress any of us very much.
It feels, somehow, as if we've been dealt this mediocre hand and now we're going to see how it plays out.

The myth is that Israelis wanted a center of the road party.
We wanted security, and for most of us that meant Sharon.
He was our top dog... And Kadima was just his tail.

So here we are, watching the debut of a new Prime Minister. The Prime Minister who wasn't meant to be.
So good luck to him and good luck to us and hold onto your seats! Here we go! I've got a hunch that this is going to be one wild ride!

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Sunday, May 07, 2006

The Dry Bones Gift Shop

Dry Bones Gift Shop We are proud to announce the opening of the Dry Bones Gift Shop!
Framed Dry Bones Print Framed Prints, Posters, Mugs, Trucker Hats, Mousepads... Even Genuine Dry Bones Wall Clocks!!

Guaranteed to become valuable collector's items (probably not until long after we're all dead... but still).

Click Here to browse our "shelves".

Friday, May 05, 2006

Occupied Moslem Territories ( in Europe )

Dry Bones cartoon - Occupied Moslem Territories ( in Europe )The topic of the once-Moslem areas of Europe was suggested to me by a friend at the American Jewish Congress. I immediately hit on the idea of using the phrase the "Occupied Moslem Territories in Europe"
It says it all.
The problem of finding pertinent maps (so that I could then list the correct territories in the cartoon) was a more daunting task.

The American Jewish Congress folks are allies in the good fight.
Thanks to them I learned about an incredible State Dept. rule that treats pre-1967 Israel as if it were a disputed territory!!

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Thursday, May 04, 2006

Spring (1997)

1997 Dry Bones cartoon - Spring
Sometimes I'm worried by the news I see on TV.
Sometimes I'm worried by the news that they're not showing on TV.
Sometimes I wish that we could ignore the world's problems and just enjoy the simple pleasures of life.
Spring is one of those times.

This cartoon is from Spring 1997.
As it was then, so it is now.


Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Yom HaAtzmaut

Dry Bones cartoon - Israeli Independence day
It's Israel's 58th Birthday!
A day of picnics, barbecues, family outings and parties!
The country is festooned with flags.
Big flags, little flags, flags that clip onto our car windows and hang from our balconies.
A few days ago we received with our morning papers, a string of little plastic flags that I've hung it over our front entrance.
The string of flags looks exactly like this:


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Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Memorial Day for Israel's Fallen (1976)

1976 Dry Bones cartoon - Peace
This cartoon, from 1976, was never published in a newspaper. It was drawn for the last page of a small Dry Bones book. The text that went with it read:
Every other cartoon in this book has appeared in the pages of The Jerusalem Post. It is the fervent prayer of the Dry Bones "staff" that the day will come when we will be able to print this one there as well. Peace...

The cartoon shows Mr. Shuldig (my alter ego) in his uniform with an olive branch in his mouth. The Hebrew letters on his shirt pocket are (from right to left) H G A and is pronounced Haga. Haga is the home guard reserve unit of old guys in outmoded uniforms and old-style helmets that, at the time, checked people's handbags at the entrances to movie houses, guarded public places, and trained for emergency operations.
My optimism led me to sign the cartoon with the date of 197?
Thirty years have gone by. And many more of our sons and daughters, friends, parents, and loved ones have fallen in uniform since then.

Today, May 2, 2006, is Memorial Day in Israel.
It is called (even in English) Yom HaZikaron.
The day is felt deeply by most Israelis and marked by visits to graves, special programs on TV, public ceremonies, candle lightings, and siren wails that bring traffic to a stop and the nation to stand at silent attention.

Today we remember and celebrate the lives of those who paid for our Independence with their lives. The somber, painful day ends when, at sundown we will mood-swing ourselves into the joy of Independence Day, barbecues, and hope for the future.
Meanwhile, we remember.

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Monday, May 01, 2006

Iran's Supreme Leader

Dry Bones cartoon - Iran's Supreme LeaderIran has had two "Supreme Leaders"
Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, 1979–1989,
and Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, 1989–present.
For further info on the Iranian Supremes click here.
Ahmadinejad and the Iranian Supremes

On the other hand if you'd like to learn something about the real Supremes (the most commercially successful female singing group of the Sixties, and among the top five pop/rock/soul acts of the decade) just click on the photo of the ladies.

Diana Ross and the Supremes

Some of the motown group's hit songs include:
Love Child
Love Is Like An Itching In My Heart
Baby Love
Where Did Our Love Go?
You Can't Hurry Love
Stoned Love
Love Is Here And Now You're Gone
In And Out Of Love
and, of course, their biggest hit: Stop! In The Name Of Love

Note that the songbook of the Iranian "Supremes" does not include much about love.

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