Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Middle East Reporting

Dry Bones cartoon: the Western Media has been Compromised.
The Western media has been compromised.

Tomorrow will be Holocaust Remembrance day and the idea that the Jewish State is so often compared to the Nazi fiends who tormented us, and the idea that Palestinians are now undergoing some kind of holocaust is simply beyond outrageous.

The fact that the media is, so often a party to this libel is sad for us and for Western civilization.

For more info on accuracy or lack of in the media ... check out my friends at CAMERA.

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Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Golan Promise (1981)

1981 Dry Bones cartoon - Reagan is surprised by a previous U.S. Presidential commitment to Israel on the Golan Heights..
With all the talk about Israel giving the Golan Heights back to Syria "in exchange for peace" I decided to search the Dry Bones archives for cartoons about the Golan and about Israeli "concessions for peace".

I was shocked to discover a fact that everyone (your faithful servant included) has forgotten. Following the 1973 Egyptian Yom Kippur War surprise attack on Israel, the Israelis pushed the Egyptian invading force out of Sinai.

In the ensuing "search for peace", America put heavy pressure on Israel to withdraw from the Egyptian Oil fields in Sinai.

What I (in 2008), and apparently President Ronald Reagan (in 1981) forgot was that Israel had received something tangible from the Americans in return for the unilateral withdrawal from the oil fields:

"the tangible benefit for Israel from its agreement to a unilateral withdrawal from the Egyptian oil fields was a presidential letter from President Ford concerning the vital importance of Israel holding on to the Golan Heights, which Israel had taken from Syria in 1967 following 19 years of Syrian shelling on Israel’s northern communities from the towering Golan Heights, and Syria’s incessant attacks from the Golan on the Sea of the Galilee – Israel’s only fresh water resource, from where Israel’s National Water Carrier pumps water to the whole country." -more
In the letter, Gerald Ford, 38th President of the U.S. gave an assurance that
"The U.S. will support the position that an overall settlement with Syria in the framework of a peace agreement must assure Israel's security from attack from the Golan Heights. The U.S. further supports the position that a just and lasting peace, which remains our objective, must be acceptable to both sides. The U.S. has not developed a final position on the borders. Should it do so it will give great weight to Israel's position that any peace agreement with Syria must be predicated on Israel remaining on the Golan Heights." -more

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Monday, April 28, 2008

Our Master Politician

Dry Bones cartoon: Olmert proves himself to be a master politician.
Yes, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has proven himself to be a master politician. First he secured his position as Prime Minister with coalition deals in the Knesset, and now he's beginning to win grudging support from the Israeli public with headline-grabbing leaks and rumors.

It's clear now that Olmert is a captain who is willing to go down with the ship. The question is whether he's in the process of sinking the ship, in order to remain its captain.

And your answer would be? ...

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Friday, April 25, 2008

A Second Pollard ?

Dry Bones cartoon: A Second Pollard?
Pollard and Rafi Eitan:
"Over the 18-month period that Pollard worked for Israel, he provided suitcases of documents to his handlers on a regular basis. Rafi Eitan, Israel's master spy who served as Pollard's chief handler from his position as head of the Office for Information Cooperation at the Israeli Embassy, told him that his information was discussed at cabinet meetings and Pollard understood that his main contractor was then Maj.-Gen. Ehud Barak, who then served as Commander of Military Intelligence. Yet, when Pollard was arrested, Israel did whatever it could to deny its connection to him. From the moment then prime minister Shimon Peres ordered embassy security officers to physically eject Pollard and his wife-at-the-time Anne from the embassy, Israel has done everything in its power to distance itself from Pollard." -more from Caroline Glick

Kadish, Pollard, and Rafi Eitan:

"The link between Pollard and Kadish is a now-defunct Israeli intelligence agency enigmatically known as the Scientific Relations Office. The office was run by Rafi Eitan, a former officer of the Mossad spy agency who is now an octogenarian Israeli Cabinet minister in charge of pensioners' affairs." -more from the AP

Speculation (from the same AP piece):

"Shlomo Slonim, an expert on U.S.-Israel relations at Hebrew University in Jerusalem, said the documents Kadish allegedly supplied were not top secret and could be found in a library.

"Apparently somebody is trying to trump up something relatively minor and make it into a scandal of some sort," he said.

Alon Pinkas, Israel's former New York consul, went further, saying "anti-Israeli" elements in the CIA and Pentagon might have decided to release the charges to torpedo any possible release of Pollard." - more

So is anti-Semitism and/or anti-Zionist politics behind the timing of the arrest? Your thoughts?

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Thursday, April 24, 2008

Dumb Leadership (1988)

1988 Dry Bones cartoon - Their leadership is even dumber than ours.
I didn't feel like dealing with today's news so I simply searched my archives for a Dry Bones cartoon from twenty years ago this month to use as a Golden Oldie.

But the 1988 cartoon raises an interesting question for us today.

In the ensuing twenty years, "their" leadership has managed to hoodwink the world and to destroy public support for Israel in the West ...and our bumbling Prime Minister Olmert is now offering to give the Golan Heights to the criminal, oppressive, and terror-exporting government of the Syrian dictatorship.

At the same time, the Palestinians have never been worse off, their economy decimated, their culture perverted by an Islamic "death cult" of martyrdom, and a growing sense of hopelessness, despair, and victimization.

So the question is: "Is the cartoon still true today? Is their leadership still dumber than ours? Or has Olmert pushed us ahead in the Dumb and Dumber competition?"

So what do you think?

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Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Jimmy Carter's Mideast Mission

Dry Bones cartoon: Is Carter on a secret mission from Obama?
Everyone seems to be trying to figure out what Jimmy One Term is up to and why he is meeting with the Islamic/Palestinian terrorists at this time. Most experts figure it's Carter just "doing it again". Here's a rundown of opinion from CAMERA.
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But hey! There's a major political battle going on in the Democrat Party. Clearly a Palestinian "flare-up" at this moment would put support of Israel and the War On Terror front and center in the U.S. primary battle. And that, one could argue, would put Obama on the hot seat. Could it be that the former President is actually on a diplomatic mission on behalf of the Obama candidacy? Sort of "cooperate now and we'll take care of you later" deal?

So is the off screen voice in today's cartoon being astute or "completely paranoid"?
What do you think?

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Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Passover Week (1987)

1987 Dry Bones cartoon - Passover Week.
Here in Israel, it's now Passover week.

In America, nothing gets done between Christmas and New Years Day. Here in Israel the week of Pessah is our "time out" time.

Today's cartoon is a Golden Oldie from an Israeli Passover week 21 years ago.

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Friday, April 18, 2008

The Wise Son

Dry Bones cartoon: Afikoman negotiations in time of economic crisis.
Tomorrow evening is the first night of Passover, and I'll be the grandpa at a Seder, locked at some point in tense Afikoman negotiations with one of my grandchildren. Just like Mr. Shuldig in today's cartoon. It'll be life imitating art.

The next Dry Bones cartoon and posting will be on Tuesday April 22.

Happy Pessah to us all!!

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Thursday, April 17, 2008

The Soviet Union and the Haggadah (1992)

1992 Dry Bones cartoon - The Soviet Union has Fallen, Pessah 1992 sees us Free of the USSR.
Today's Golden Oldie was published on April 17, 1992, exactly 16 years ago today. We had seen another repressive empire go down.

We Jews have survived and maintained our unique civilization and identity through thousands of years of history ...much of it dominated by anti-Semitic and anti-Zionist ideologies, empires, and mass movements. We have watched these great and powerful empires rise, each in turn bringing its own, twisted rewriting of the past.

To survive, however, we must remember. And so each year at Pessah, we sit together, in families, in Seders, around the world, linked with generations stretching back through time, and together we read the Haggadah, a manual of instruction on how to remember who and what we are.

Happy Pessah to us all!

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Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The "Secret" Marilyn Film

Dry Bones cartoon: Word of a secret Porn film of Marilyn Monroe surfaces.

When I first wrote this cartoon I referred, in the first panel, to the "Zapruder Film". When I showed the sketch to the LSW (Long Suffering Wife) she said "your audience won't know what you're talking about. To most of them, the Kennedy assassination and the various conspiracy theories about it are ancient history. Like the assassination of Abraham Lincoln."

So, grumbling, I rewrote the text in panel one.

By the way, how long do you think it'll be before the secret porn film of Marilyn (and maybe JFK) appears on line?

My guess is that as we speak, some talented pervert is Photoshopping some "stills" to post online.

What's your guess?

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Tuesday, April 15, 2008

The Pope vs American Jews (1987)

1987 Dry Bones cartoon - Confrontation with American Jewry during the 1987 Papal visit to America.
There was a confrontation between the Pope and American Jewry during the 1987 Papal visit to America? Yes, indeed there was.

Just to understand the mood at the time, here's a NY Times report from back then.

THE PAPAL VISIT; Pope Defends Vatican's Response To Holocaust in Talks With Jews

"In a public encounter with American Jewish leaders, Pope John Paul II defended the conduct of Pope Pius XII today against assertions that he failed to publicly condemn the persecution and extermination of Jews by the Nazis.

The Pope also used what was anticipated as a ceremonial exchange to assert that the Palestinian people have a right to a homeland.

For their part, the Jewish leaders expressed their ''pain and distress'' at the Pope's meeting last June with President Kurt Waldheim of Austria. And Rabbi Mordecai Waxman, honorary president of the Synagogue Council of America, told the Pope that the Holocaust was ''the culmination of centuries of anti-Semitism in European culture for which Christian teachings bear a heavy responsibility.''Impressive Candor Noted The themes sounded at the meeting today in a small, gray Miami auditorium filled with 200 representatives of American Jewish organizations, were not themselves new to the Pope or to Catholic and Jewish conversations: The Vatican's response to the Nazi Holocaust remains, 40 years later, one of the most contentious issues separating Jews and Catholics.

But Jewish and Catholic spokesmen agreed that the fact that such touchy matters were confronted at a papal ceremony in front of the international press indicated that an impressive level of candor had been reached since the Church began formal conversations with Jews after the Second Vatican Council in 1965.

Nevertheless, it was unclear why the Pope chose to make such provocative comments directly to his Jewish hosts." -more

If you'd like to read Waxman's address to the Pope on behalf of American Jewry and the Papal response. click here.

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Monday, April 14, 2008

Good News, Bad News from the Gulf

Dry Bones cartoon: Good News, Bad News from the Gulf.

People always ask cartoonists "Where do you get your ideas from?". The question that they should be asking is "How do you get your head into gear so that you can think up those cartoons?".
* * *
One of the tricks that gag cartoonists use to stimulate idea-production is a time-honored warm-up exercise. The exercise is based on the fact that there are three classic cartoon situations that are easy and which always work. The first is the guy or guys marooned on a tiny desert island. The second is the guy standing on a corner selling little wind-up mechanical men. The third is the two guys hanging on the wall of a dungeon.

What the cartoonist does is to start knocking out captions. After your juices are flowing you go on to something more original. It's simpler than it sounds.

Here's a scribbled sketch of the two guys in the dungeon scene with the first caption that came to my mind:

* * *
When I switched from being a gag cartoonist to a strip artist I decided that I needed to devise a warm-up exercise for a comic strip. One that works is the Good News, Bad News format. But when I read this morning's news about our foreign minister in Qatar I didn't have to "warm up". Clearly a Good News Bad News cartoon jumped out at me.

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Sunday, April 13, 2008

Sunday Mail: April 13, 2008

Letters From Dry Bones Posting a cartoon every weekday leaves no room for me to simply share news, ideas, and other stuff with you, so here's a Dry Bones feature called: 'Sunday Mail: Letters from Dry Bones'.

Letters From Dry Bones

Dry Bones Celebrates "Israel at 60"
The festivities commemorating Israel's 60th year of Independence will begin on May 18, 2008.

For the occasion I have created the Official Dry Bones Commemorative Mug. These large (and dare I say attractive ?) souvenirs are a limited edition and will only be available until the end of 2008. After that, you'll have to go to eBay and pay some outrageously inflated collector's price. Being a terrible businessman, I've priced these mugs at an embarrassingly low $19.95 each. They are large (a hefty, 15 oz.) ceramic mugs with big, comfortable easy-grip handles. They are dishwasher and microwave safe. If you don't get one now, you'll be kicking yourself next year. Click on the photo below for more info, to take a peek at the other side (which is even prettier), and perhaps to buy one.

Only $19.95 for this Dry Bones Commemorative Mug?

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Friday, April 11, 2008

Flaming China

Dry Bones cartoon: Flaming China.
In the early days of the Internet, sending nasty or abusive messages was called "flaming". That's why I titled this cartoon "Flaming China".

Does anyone use the term "Flaming" any more?

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Thursday, April 10, 2008

China's Olympics Problem (1976)

1976 Dry Bones cartoon - China's Olympic Problem.
Today's Golden Oldie is from the run-up to the 1976 Olympics. With all the furore over Tibet, I haven't heard anything about the Nationalist Chinese team this time.
* * *
The purpose of the modern Olympic Games is to focus the world's attention on the host country and its culture. In 2008 the Tibetans are helping to do just that.

Hmmm... that sounds like a Dry Bones cartoon. I think I'll draw it up.

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Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Passing over Passover

Dry Bones cartoon: A Jerusalem judge rules against the Passover Law.
Passover will soon be here, and this year, apparently, we'll be chipping away some more at the Jewishness of the Jewish State.

Political Correctness is a Western concept which demands that we turn our brains off and accept a kind of "group thinking". In this case it leads us to turn on our roots and culture. A potential disaster for the Jewish State.

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Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Palestinian Leadership (1994)

(1994) Dry Bones cartoon: The Palestinian Leadership.
Today's Golden Oldie is from 18 years ago this month (April 1994).

Interestingly, I am convinced that the world understands that it is only the Israeli government that hungers for peace. The official Palestinian "leadership" spouts slogans that preach revenge, they demand an "end to occupation", glorify "martyrdom", and wallow in antiSemitism. Their kids are taught the ideology of victim-hood ...not a dream of Peace and an end to hatred and bloodshed. The Syrian dictator and the Saudi potentates, regularly dangle offers of "Peace" to Israel in return for Israeli concessions.

No one ever would ever ask what territories the Syrians are willing to offer in return for "Peace". No one ever asks what painful concessions the Palestinians will have to make for "Peace". This is because everyone knows the truth. When it comes to "Peace", as far as Arab leadership is concerned, they're not buying.

It's just not politically correct to say it.

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Monday, April 07, 2008

Slippery Slope

Dry Bones cartoon: The Passover Law.

A Jerusalem Municipal Court Judge, has squashed indictments against four restaurant owners who were charged with displaying and selling leavened bread on Passover and ruled that Israel's "Passover Law" is illegal.

The "Passover Law" does not relate to all leavened goods, but to those products that are most obviously leavened such as breads, rolls, cakes, etc.

The ruling states that, “the law deals mainly with the prohibition on displaying leavened goods during Passover, rather than eating or possessing such products. In other words, its intent is to prevent the display of leavened goods in public during the holiday rather than their sale.”

* * *
I am a secular Jew and I live in a non-religious suburb of Tel Aviv and I am outraged at this attempt to assault our culture and to wreck the Jewishness of the Jewish State. It is precisely the "public display" of leavened bread which I find most offensive.
* * *
Your thoughts?

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Sunday, April 06, 2008

Sunday Mail: April 6, 2008

Letters From Dry Bones Posting a cartoon every weekday leaves no room for me to simply share news, ideas, and other stuff with you, so here's a Dry Bones feature called: 'Sunday Mail: Letters from Dry Bones'.

Letters From Dry Bones

Are we living in the "End Times" ?
When I was a kid I heard that "our sages tell us" that the Messiah would come when Israel "had a government that was not a government", or that "our sages tell us" that the Messianic Age would dawn if/when one Shabbat were properly "observed by all Jews".

I don't remember where/when I first heard these statements, probably in some shul, long ago, in Brooklyn. As I grew up, I discovered the world of Bible Prophecy as presented by popular books. In English. By Christian theologians who had laboriously scrutinized the Bible for clues and hidden meanings.

Which brought me to ask what exactly do "our sages" tell us about the Bible texts? Well, thanks to two fabulous innovations, we can now find out.

The first innovation was a plan (concocted in 1923) for folks around the world to read the entire Talmud, page by page. one page each day. It was called "Daf Yomi". Daf is Hebrew for a sheet of paper, and Yomi is Hebrew for daily. Thousands of people around the world are currently following this Daf Yomi program.

The second innovation was the computer, which in theory, could free you from having to find a Yeshiva or study group to do the program.

And now, I just discovered the Wolfson Talmud. The Wolfson Talmud - Master Daf Project is an advanced electronic solution for studying Talmud. In an environment which most closely resembles the traditional methods of Talmud study. It's the perfect way to Learn and Review the Talmud, and a dream come true for Daf Yomi participants. you see the Daf... you hear Daf... you understand the Daf... as it is explained in simple, concise English. It's for anyone learning the Talmud, whether a beginner or scholar. Find out what the Jewish sages actually say about what the Bible means. Line by line. Word by word. I figure that there are also some Christian Theologians who should jump at this opportunity. Check it out by clicking on the words Wolfson Talmud - Master Daf Project.

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Friday, April 04, 2008

Durban II

Dry Bones cartoon: Durban II.
The story from yesterday's Associated Press:
"Ad Calls on US to Skip UN Conference

- WASHINGTON (AP) - Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel, law professor Alan Dershowitz and former CIA Director James Woolsey are among 25 religious, academic and legal figures calling on the U.S. to skip next year's United Nations anti-racism conference in a full-page ad set to appear Thursday in four newspapers.

In the ad, a copy of which was obtained by The Associated Press Wednesday, the signers label the conference as anti-Semitic and urge Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to announce that the U.S. won't participate.

The ad is scheduled to run in the New York Sun and The Washington Times, as well as the political newspaper Politico and Capitol Hill newspaper Roll Call.

Next year's conference is known as Durban II, a reference to the South African city that hosted the World Conference Against Racism in 2001. At that meeting, criticism of Israel prompted the U.S. and Israel to walk out.

A few months later, Israel's then-deputy foreign minister, Michael Melchior, said the conference 'hosted the most racist speeches and proposals to be heard in an international forum since World War II.' He added that 'the conference became the mouthpiece for a new and venal form of anti-Semitism.'" -more

Your thoughts?

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Thursday, April 03, 2008

Jonathan Pollard (1998)

1998 Dry Bones cartoon: Jonathan Pollard.
Today's Golden Oldie is from April 1998, exactly ten years ago. Bill Clinton was President, and American Jewish "leaders" had shamefully distanced themselves from a letter from 81 U.S. senators which asked Clinton not to pressure Israel. You can read the text of that letter here.

Jonathan Pollard is now in his 23rd year of imprisonment... and American Jewish "leadership" remains shamefully silent on his cruel and unusual punishment. The median sentence for the offense Pollard committed - one count of passing classified information to an ally - is 2 to 4 years. Pollard was sentenced without benefit of trial, as a result of a plea bargain which he honored and which the U.S. government then violated.

If you don't understand my anger about the Pollard Affair, please educate yourself about this ongoing anti-Semitic outrage by visiting the Official Jonathan Pollard website.

For other Dry Bones postings about Jonathan Pollard click here.

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Wednesday, April 02, 2008

The Jewish Refugees

Dry Bones cartoon: U.S. Congress passes .
My deadline was a couple of hours away and I was frantically searching for a topic for today's cartoon when I got an email headlined Congress adopts first ever Jewish refugees bill. The email was dated April 1st. Yikes! Was it true or just another annoying April Fools' Day joke?

The story then started appearing on various news sites.

Here's the story as just published in Haaretz

"The U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday approved an unprecedented resolution recognizing Jewish refugees from Arab countries who were forced to flee their homes in the aftermath of the creation of the state of Israel.

According to the language of the resolution, U.S. officials involved in Middle East peace negotiations which also reference the Palestinian refugee question are to "also include a similarly explicit reference to the resolution of the issue of Jewish refugees from Arab countries."

"The world needs to understand that it is not just the Arabs and it's not just the Palestinians in the Middle East, but also Jewish people who themselves were dispossessed of their possessions and their homes, and were victims of terrorist acts," one of the bill's co-sponsors, Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-N.Y.) said.

"Jewish refugees outnumbered Palestinian refugees, and their forced exile from Arab lands must not be omitted from public discussion on the peace process," said Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY)." -more

I was at first so sure that it was an April Fools Day hoax that I went to the source of the original information and left a comment asking if it was a joke.

You can see the comment I left, and the info that they sent me by clicking on Point of No Return, a blog about the Middle East's forgotten Jewish refugees.

So how do you think Condi and Bush will handle this one?

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Tuesday, April 01, 2008

April Fools' Day (1982)

1982 Dry Bones cartoon - 'April Fool's Day'
Yup. The start of Spring makes folks feel light-hearted, optimistic, and ready for new beginnings, fun, and foolishness.

Many different cultures have days of silliness around the start of April. Across India (and in Indian communities around the world) they just celebrated Holi. And we Jews just had our Purim festival. The Persians, Zoroastrians, and Baha'is just celebrated Na Rooz as the start of their New Year. Apparently he Romans had a festival named Hilaria on March 25.

This year, here in Israel, I celebrated Holi, Na Rooz, and Purim. I wrote about it here.

Next year I'm planning to find a Hilaria celebration I can attend.

Okay, that last line was not funny, but it was hilarious.

So how about you?
Have you been feeling Spring silliness?


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