Thursday, May 31, 2007

(1998) Bombs Away!

(1998) Dry Bones cartoon: Nuclear Proliferation.
I am writing this on May 31, 2007.

Back on May 28, 1998, Pakistan exploded five underground nuclear devices in response to India's nuclear tests two weeks earlier. Today's "Golden Oldie" was published four days after that nuclear test of Pakistan's "Islamic Bomb".

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I was trying to step back and take an overview of what was happening globally in the struggle to deal with the spread of nuclear weapons. I could think of no better way to show this overview than by drawing the cartoon from a safe "off-planet" vantage point.

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Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Labor Party Primaries

Dry Bones cartoon: Israel's Labor Party Primaries (May 2007).
In yesterday’s first round of voting in the Israeli Labor Party’s primaries no candidate received the necessary 40% of the vote. A second round will be held on June 11th between the top two candidates... Ehud Barak and Ami Ayalon.

To say that the Labor Party Primaries were a disappointment would be an understatement.

Here's what Jerusalem Post columnist Caroline Glick had to say about them:

The frontrunners, former prime minister and IDF chief of staff Ehud Barak, and former Navy commandant and Shin Bet chief MK Ami Ayalon, had no positions to speak of on the issues of the day. They had nothing to say about the Iranian nuclear program. They had nothing to say about Syria's daily threats of war. They had nothing to say about Gaza's post-withdrawal transformation into a mini-Taliban ruled Afghanistan replete with training bases for all the major global terror networks.

Rather than relate to the threats that Israel faces, they showed Israel their faces. They preened before the Labor voters, regaling them with tales of their glory and wisdom. And then each assembled a star-studded array of retired generals and party intellectuals and reporters to tell us how wonderful each of them are and how shallow and corrupt all of the other candidates are. -more

And maybe you'd like to check out the final results as reported in the Shanghai Daily?

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Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Sun, Sea, and Sand (1995)

(1995) Dry Bones cartoon: Sun, Sea, and Sand. Israel's Spring.
I live about a twelve-minute walk from the Mediterranean beach. There's an interesting Israeli saying that goes "Tel Aviv is a city that was built with it's back to the sea." We've got some of the most incredibly beautiful beaches in the world, but Tel Aviv just does not "feel" like a beach side town. It was built to be our bustling Jewish Metropolis.

These days I've been having meals at a beachfront bar several times a week. Opposite us, on the northern shores of the Mediterranean Sea lie the resort towns of Europe. Torremolinos, the French Riviera... they can't touch our Mediterranean beaches for gorgeous fine white sand, beautiful blue sea, and sky.

SHHH! Don't tell anyone. It's our national secret.

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Monday, May 28, 2007

Study Buddies

Dry Bones cartoon: Olmert and Peretz are getting a make-up exam in Sderot... unfortunately they're not doing very well.
I drew our incompetent leadership as kids who are failing their make-up test. The truth is that neither Prime Minister Olmert nor our bumbling Defense Minister Peretz had the experience to handle the positions they now hold. What to do about the ongoing war being waged against us from Gaza and currently focused on the Negev city of Sderot seems to have stumped them.

Today, in Israel, the Labor Party is holding primary elections to choose a new Party Chairman. There are five candidates: Former Prime Minister Ehud Barak, Defense Minister Amir Peretz, MKs Ami Ayalon and Ophir Pines-Paz. Barak is running on the basis of being the only one with the experience to lead the country in time of war. As the news headline on YNet puts it: "Barak: I'd lead Israel best in war"

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Sunday, May 27, 2007

Sunday Mail

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 the first edition of 'Sunday Mail: Letters from Dry Bones', a new Dry Bones feature.

Letters Fron Dry Bones
Item One: The Dry Bones Blog was just voted the Best Overall Jewish Blog of 2007 in this year's Jewish/Israeli Blogosphere (JIB) Award Competition.

We also "took the gold" for Best Jewish Humor Blog, Best Political/Current Events Blog, Best Jewish Culture Blog, and Best Pro-Israel Advocacy Blog. So a big hug and a thank you to all of you who voted for us. I suggest that you look at the list of JIB winners, there are some really neat blogs that you would enjoy, so check 'em out.

Letters Fron Dry Bones
Item Two: Are you interested in learning or improving your Hebrew? I found a neat "freebie" online. Take Uncle Shuldig's advice and hop over to and sign up for their absolutely free Hebrew word-a-day service. They'll mail you a new Hebrew word each day. Free.

On their website they also have a free "My Hebrew Dictionary" search engine. You use a drop-down menu to find words organized by categories and topics. I recently had to check the Medical-human body category to find the correct word for bladder. (Don't ask). The site also has lots of interesting products, from various Hebrew, Aramaic, and Yiddish dictionaries to "Learn to Read Hebrew" software for beginners. It's also got links to translators, live teachers, etc. Their latest and greatest, however, is a link to a free Hebrew pronunciation dictionary. You click on the Hebrew word and hear it properly spoken. Now you have no excuse. Enjoy. Here's the link again:

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Friday, May 25, 2007

Pollard's Big Mistake

Dry Bones cartoon: Jonathan Pollard.

For years I've been at a loss to understand the irrational rage against Jonathan Pollard, but American Ambassador to Israel, Richard H. Jones, has just explained why Pollard has been subjected to such cruel and unusual punishment.

"This is a very emotional issue in the United States," Jones said. "I know he was helping a friend but that's what makes it even more emotional for Americans, if a friend would cooperate in aiding and abetting someone who is committing treason against his own country."

The ambassador is saying that the anger is at the "friend" who "aided and abetted" Pollard. The "friend" Jones refers to is either "the Jews" or the Jewish State.

There's no need for Jones to apologize. We should be thankful to the ambassador for having set the record straight at last. Jonathan Pollard is not being punished. We are.

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For previous cartoons about the Pollard Affair click here.

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Thursday, May 24, 2007

Shavuot in Galut (1997)

(1997) Dry Bones cartoon: Shavuot is when Jews brought the 10 commandments to the world. And the world has never forgiven us!.
Today in Israel is a regular weekday.
In the Diaspora it's the second day of Shavuot.
...So to those "members of the tribe" out there in Galut, have a Happy Holiday! Hag Sameach!

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Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Gaza and Sderot

Dry Bones cartoon: Gaza and Sderot.
Israeli troops entered Gaza today.
Enough to cause an International stir?
Who knows?

Details of the Israeli action here.

Oh, and for details about the situation in Sderot... click to check out the posting at Mystical Paths.

This posting is going up late because today in Israel was the one-day Shavuot holiday. In the rest of the world it's a two-day holiday. So to those of you out there who are still celebrating...

Hag Sameah... Happy Holiday!

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Tuesday, May 22, 2007

The Shavuot Holiday (1997)

1997 Dry Bones cartoon: Shavuot.

Tonight (Tuesday May 22, 2007) is the eve of the Shavuot holiday, so I'm posting this Golden Oldie from 1997. When I was a kid growing up in America, the holiday was called Shavuos, but these days (I think) the Israeli Hebrew Shavuot has taken over.

There are many reasons given for the emphasis on eating cheese and other dairy products. I've never seen what is the most obvious one. At Passover time the baby calves, goats,and lambs were born. This, of course triggered the production of milk in their mothers. Now, seven weeks later, much of the milk has been saved as cheese.

I know that my explanation lacks all the intricate and beautiful Talmudic reasoning that illuminates and explains our customs.

For some previous Shavuot cartoons click here.

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Monday, May 21, 2007

Jimmy Carter Prize-Winner

Dry Bones cartoon: Jimmy Carter attacks George W.
The story of Carter's latest outburst is here

To see a selection of other Dry Bones cartoons about the one-term President click here.

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Friday, May 18, 2007

Fortieth Anniversary

Dry Bones cartoon: Remembering May'67... instead of June'67.
Typical media coverage of the "mid-east conflict" begins with reporting "an Israeli military action". The situation which brought the Israeli response is under-reported at best.

As I write this, the ongoing and cruel one-sided rocket war being launched from Gaza against us continues to be a non-story for the world's media. It will be, until we respond. This made me think about how we ourselves are often a party to these distortions of history. "Surely the events of May'67 were as important to remember, review, and understand as those of June'67", I thought. And I drew the above cartoon.

So what do you think?

Shouldn't we be viewing the 40th anniversary of tbe events leading up to June'67 with the same importance as the story of "an Israeli military action".


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Thursday, May 17, 2007

Heavy is the Load

Dry Bones cartoon: Worrying About Whom to Vote For..
This cartoon is from May 14, in the last year of the 1990's.

Clearly nothing has changed.

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Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Hamas Terror Mouse

Dry Bones cartoon: Keep your hands off our Mouse!!.
Palestinian Media Watch reports:
The force behind Hamas TV’s controversial Mickey Mouse clone said today that his children’s television program will continue to promote worldwide Islamic supremacy, for everyone's benefit, including Christians and Jews.

In a long interview on Hamas TV, Hazim Al-Sha’arawi, Deputy Director of Al-Aqsa TV and one of the creators of the Hamas children’s TV show Tomorrow’s Pioneers, said that using the program to promote Islamic rule over other religions is actually promoting “justice, goodness and world love.”

Al-Aqsa TV and the Palestinian Authority have been under fire since PMW reported last week that Tomorrow’s Pioneers was using a character named Farfur, a knockoff of Disney’s Mickey Mouse character, to convey messages about Islamic supremacy as well as hatred of Jews, Israel and the U.S. Despite public statements by PA Minister of Information Mustafa Barghouti that the show would be taken off the air until it could be reviewed and revised, a new episode of the program – featuring Al-Sha’arawi as one of the hosts – ran Friday.

Al-Sha’arawi said in yesterday’s interview that he wants to raise Palestinian children so that they can achieve "Islam's natural place" of world rule – in essence saying that although the Christians and Jews do not understand this yet, Islamic world rule is really best for them as well.-more

Click to see the Hamas Mouse on Palestinian TV
Click to see the Hamas Mouse on Palestinian TV

Or here to see the Hamas Mouse on YouTube

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Tuesday, May 15, 2007

No Confidence Vote (1979)

1979 Dry Bones cartoon - We were not happy with the government and we didn't like the opposition.
To understand this cartoon from November 1979 you need to understand our system of government.

At election time we get to vote for a political party of our choosing. It might be the Labor Party, or the legalize marijuana guys, or the National Religious Party, or the Likud, or the Retired People's Party, or... If a party wins 10% of the vote then they get to fill 10% of the seats in our parliament (the Knesset). If they win 30% of the vote, they get 30% of the Knesset seats.

After the elections, the newly-elected Knesset meets to vote for a group of Knesset members to become the new government. The Knesset, having been elected by the people, can dismiss a government by voting that it has no confidence in it any longer. I think it's a neat system.

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The system of voting in the JIB Awards is simple. It's totally based on a "Power to The People" approach, and you, as one of "The People" can vote... but just until May 16, 10PM, NY time. Please click on each of the links below to vote for The Dry Bones Blog in each of the 5 categories. Time is Running Out!!!

Vote Dry Bones for Best Overall Blog

Vote Dry Bones for Best Jewish Humor Blog

Vote Dry Bones for Best Jewish Culture Blog

Vote Dry Bones for Best News & Current Events Blog

Vote Dry Bones for Best Pro-Israel Advocacy Blog

Thank You,
Yaakov (Drybones) Kirschen

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Monday, May 14, 2007


Dry Bones cartoon: May 15. Nakba. Their Catastrophe Day.
May 15 is Nakba Day. May 15, 2007 is also the next-to-last day that you can vote in the Final Round of the Jewish/Israeli Blog awards. Have you voted for Dry Bones yet? You don't want to find yourself 59 years from now carrying signs and marching to protest the catastrophe brought about by your own inaction! Do you?

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Please click on each of the links below to vote for The Dry Bones Blog in each of the 5 categories. Time is Running Out!!!

Vote Dry Bones for Best Overall Blog

Vote Dry Bones for Best Jewish Humor Blog

Vote Dry Bones for Best Jewish Culture Blog

Vote Dry Bones for Best News & Current Events Blog

Vote Dry Bones for Best Pro-Israel Advocacy Blog

Thank You,
Yaakov (Drybones) Kirschen

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Friday, May 11, 2007

Rocket Bombardment

Dry Bones cartoon: Israel is under constant rocket attack.
I occasionally use these two angel characters.
In the beginning I had to decide on how to show them.
I.e. halos or not? Should they be carrying harps? Should they be flying? have wings? etc. etc.

As you can see I decided on kipot (skullcaps), wings, no harps, no halos, and instead of flying... strolling around on clouds, able to watch the latest foibles of the Boss's Chosen People. Sometimes I remember to draw the rope belts of their robes. Sometimes I forget.

So do my angels fit your idea of what angels should look like?

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Thursday, May 10, 2007

Vote For Dry Bones!

The final round of voting in the Jewish and Israeli Blog awards has begun.
Dry Bones has made it to the finals in FIVE award categories!!!

Please vote for The Dry Bones Blog in each of the 5 categories.

How to vote:
Each link below will open the page for voting in that category.
At the page that opens, you'll first need to pass the I-Am-A-Human-Being test by copying stupid, hard-to-read letters and numbers into an entry form. If you are, indeed, a human being, a ballot page for that category will then open.

Then VOTE by clicking the button next to DryBones.

Then close that ballot page, come back to this page, and click on to the next link for the next category.

vote for Best Overall Blog

vote for Best Jewish Humor Blog

vote for Best Jewish Culture Blog

vote for Best News & Current Events Blog

vote for Best Pro-Israel Advocacy Blog

After you have voted in all five categories you can relax in the knowledge that you've made an old cartoonist happy.

Thank You,
Yaakov (Drybones) Kirschen

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1995 Dry Bones cartoon - moving the American embassy to Jerusalem? Mentioning the Arab boycott? Complaining about the PLO Charter? Yup. it's Israel being an Obstacle to Peace. Again.
The crossword puzzle was invented in 1913 by a guy named Arthur Wynne. His puzzle was published in the New York World. It was diamond-shaped, had no "blanks" (black squares). I never saw the fun in crossword puzzles. As a kid, when I got my hands on a newspaper I always went straight for the "funnies".

So for you intellectual types, here's Wynne's invention... the World's First Crossword:

For the clues (and the solution) click here.

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And for you non-intellectual types here's a personal favorite! It's a free and comprehensive online library of Superman Comic Books from when I was a kid! If that interests you, just click here!
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I'm curious. What's your preference? The challenge of of the crossword or the adventures of the last son of Krypton?


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Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Fort Dix Targeted

Dry Bones cartoon: Proof that the Bush-supporters are Wrong!.

Here's the story as reported in the Khaleej Times, an English language newspaper in Dubai:

6 men charged in plot to attack US Fort Dix
9 May 2007

FORT DIX, New Jersey - Six foreign-born Muslims were arrested and accused of plotting to attack an Army post in Fort Dix and slaughter scores of US soldiers a scheme the FBI says was foiled when the men asked a store clerk to copy a video of them firing assault weapons and screaming in Arabic about jihad, or holy war.

The defendants, all men in their 20s from the former Yugoslavia and the Middle East, include a pizza deliveryman suspected of using his job to scout out the military base.

The six were arrested Monday night trying to buy AK-47 assault weapons, M-16s and other weapons from an FBI informant, authorities said.

They appeared in federal court Tuesday in Camden, New Jersey, and were ordered held without bail for a hearing Friday. Five were charged with conspiracy to kill US military personnel; the sixth was charged with aiding and abetting illegal immigrants in obtaining weapons.

Their goal was to kill as many American soldiers as possible’ with mortars, rocket-propelled grenades and guns, prosecutors said. -more

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Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Jonathan Pollard (1993)

1993 Dry Bones cartoon - American Jewry abandons Jonathan Pollard.
I did this cartoon about our shocking abandonment of Jonathan Pollard back in May of 1993.

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One year later, in May of 1994, my daughter Jenny gave birth to a baby boy. This Thursday, May 10, we'll be at the Western Wall to celebrate his Bar Mitzvah. How time flies!... but not so quickly, I imagine, if you are still sitting in a jail cell, alone, betrayed, and forgotten by your people.


Monday, May 07, 2007

Israel's Troubles

Dry Bones cartoon: The Olmert crew refuses to resign, the public is frustrated, and so it goes..

The world is in the grip of a great religious war. Their side is bursting with millions of true believers. Folks who believe in the reality and power of their god Allah, and who subject themselves to his commands and demands.

"Our" side, i.e. the West, has largely lost its way in this conflict because it has lost its belief system. Normative Jews and Christians find it uncomfortable to use terms like "chosen people" or "promised land". Most of us are ignorant of the body of both Jewish and Christian prophecy which seems to have predicted and described this period of turmoil in which we live. Yesterday I gave a lecture to a group of Jews visiting Israel, and after I explained some of the principles driving the Islamic Jihad, I was asked "What do we Jews believe?"

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Today's posting is called "Israel's Troubles" as a reference to "Jacob's Troubles".

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Friday, May 04, 2007

British Reporters Attack Israel !?

Dry Bones cartoon: telecommunications.
So is this call for UN sanctions and a boycott of Israeli products by the British journalists really just a bid to placate the Palestinians because of the kidnapping? Here's what the spokesman for the British Press Union itself has to say:

"Tim Gopsill, the union's press spokesman, said the move was partially a reward to Palestinian journalists for cooperating with a campaign to free Alan Johnston, a BBC reporter kidnapped by Palestinian terrorists in the Gaza Strip."

"The Palestinian journalists' union has given huge support to the campaign for his release -- holding demonstrations and strikes against the Palestinian Authority to demand more action from them," wrote Gopsill. "The boycott call was a gesture of support for the Palestinian people -- notably those suffering in the siege of Gaza, the community Alan Johnston has been so keen to help through his reporting."

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Thursday, May 03, 2007

Historic Times (1997)

1997 Dry Bones cartoon: Living in Historic Times.
Ten years ago, in this Dry Bones cartoon from 1997, I sort of quoted the "old Chinese curse" of "May you live in interesting times."

Well, here we are, ten years later, in 2007... Really living in Historic Times.

In the wake of the Winograd Report that our government is incompetent and our army being mismanaged, the Israeli public's has to do something!!

Later today there'll be a massive demonstration in Tel Aviv for the removal of the Olmert crowd. In a "banana republic", some army general would take over... but our army is a citizen army, and given the assessment of the Winograd Commission, we, the people, need to take control of our army from the generals who are now running it.

We Israelis are able to stand up against our cruel enemies... now we've got to stand up and confront our incompetent leadership. Interesting and historic times.

I'll be at the at the demonstration.

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Wednesday, May 02, 2007

The Winograd Report

Dry Bones cartoon: Winograd Commission confirms the Israeli public's assessment of Olmert's failures.

After the war, a furious Israeli public demanded a State Commission of Inquiry into what had happened. Prime Minister Olmert was able to avoid a State Inquiry by setting up a "governmental" investigation into the conduct of the war by his own government. The governmental commission of examination, chaired by retired judge Eliyahu Winograd, was set up “To look into the preparation and conduct of the political and the security levels concerning all the dimensions of the Northern Campaign which started on July 12th 2006”.

Incredibly, the commission empowered by the Olmert government has now confirmed the Israeli public's assessment of the Olmert government's disastrous failures!!

For excerpts from the Winograd Commission's report click here.

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Tuesday, May 01, 2007

CNN (1992)

1981 Dry Bones cartoon - trying to make it through the final hours of the year in one piece.
Today's Golden Oldie is a cartoon from May 1, 1992. Two days earlier, on April 29, a jury had acquited four L.A. cops in the beating of Rodney King. The verdict triggered six days of riots in L.A., which we in Israel were watching on CNN.
Thousands of people participated in the riots, and the violence and looting spread to other parts of Los Angeles County. Federal troops and the California National Guard were called in. According to the book, "The L.A. Riots -- What Really Happened" by James D. Delk, 54 people were killed, there were 2,383 reported injuries, and 13,212 people were arrested. More than 1,100 buildings were damaged or destroyed. There were also riots in several other cities; 300 people were arrested in Atlanta. Reginald Denny, a White truck driver, was pulled from his truck and attacked during the riots. He later testified that more than 90 bones in his face were broken during the beating.-more

One year earlier CNN was showing Tel Aviv being hit by Scud missiles in the First Gulf War.

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