Dry Bones Comic Strip Creator Awarded Zion’s Builders Prize

The Dry Bones comic strip creator, Yaakov Kirschen, was awarded at the Knesset yesterday the Nefesh B’Nefesh Bonei Zion (“Zion’s builders”) Prize, which recognizes the achievements of outstanding Israeli immigrants from English-speaking countries and their contribution to the State of Israel.

Nefesh B’Nefesh said that Kisrchen’s strip “has provided a quintessentially Zionist, satirical and unique view of Israel to the world.”

Kirschen and his “Long Suffering Wife,” Sali Ariel, at the Knesset, after the award ceremony.

Hillary and the Hijab: Self-Degradation, or Just “House Rules”?

Last Friday’s Dry Bones is a belated attack on former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton for wearing a headscarf on a state visit to Islamic countries where women traditionally wear a ḥijāb.

Perhaps we have simply forgotten manners?

There is such a thing as “house rules”. When you are invited to someone’s home, you are a guest and you are expected to follow local rules and customs.

I don’t take off my shoes at home or at my synagogue. But some of my friends remove their shoes when they enter the front door, and I have no problem doing likewise. Similarly, the Tomb of the Patriarchs (The Cave of Machpelah) in Hebron can only be accessed via the Ibrahimi Mosque, so I remove my shoes for the occasion in deference to Muslim tradition.

When gentiles visit my synagogue, they don a yarmulkah in respect for our customs. This is simple politeness.

More after the jump.
Obviously, we keep our principles. When visiting a vegetarian home, I have no trouble adapting to their diet, but I will not eat treif meat to accommodate a non-kosher host. Eating meat is just a habit which I can adapt, but keeping kosher is a moral conviction which I would not compromise just out of politeness. Hopefully, my host would understand if I don’t eat and perhaps offer me a beverage or other acceptable alternative. In the end though the onus is on me to comply with the host’s rules, and if there is no mutually acceptable alternative then I should politely turn down the invitation.

In the case of a headscarf, it is not Hillary Clinton’s tradition to cover her head, but she probably does not have a moral conviction against ever having her head covered. Even if she would rather not — out of support for Islamic women who may be coerced into wearing the ḥijāb — it is not a pleasure trip. She comes at the plenipotentiary representative of the interests of the United States of America, so sometimes she has to “take one for the team” as it were.

Of course, when the favor is returned and foreign diplomats visit her on American soil, the visit is governed by our house rules so head coverings are optional for everyone, so Hillary chooses to not wear one.

It is simply a question of manners.

Cartoon reprinted courtesy of Yaakov (Dry Bones) Kirschen www.DryBonesBlog.blogspot.com.

Abbas Adopts Jesus as a Palestinian

(DEBKA) Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas sent this Christmas message to the world:

“In Bethlehem more than 2000 years ago, Jesus Christ was born, a Palestinian messenger who would become the guiding light for millions around the world.”

Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor said:

“Abbas should check his facts, read the New Testament before spouting such nonsense. But we forgive him, for he knows not what he does.”

Cartoons Courtesy of Yaakov “Dry Bones” Kirschen http://drybonesblog.blogspot.com/ and The Cartoon Kronicles @ http://cartoonkronicles.com

Staying the Course on Iran

Cartoon Courtesy of Yaakov “Dry Bones” Kirschen http://drybonesblog.blogspot.com/

— by Steve Sheffey

Iran continues its quest for nuclear weapons. Many red lines have been crossed, and it is easy to find past predictions that Iran would already have a nuclear weapon by now. At least part of the reason for the delay is increasingly tough sanctions, and “a series of covert actions including cyberwar or cyber-sabotage that included Stuxnet, Duqu, and Flame, assassinations of key scientists in the Iranian nuclear program, and unnatural explosions at key Iranian missile and steel plants.”

Iran has been slowed, but it continues to make progress. Some would accuse Israel of crying “wolf.” But as Graham Allison reminds us:

The children’s story about the boy who cried wolf is often cited to counsel against exaggeration of threat. We should remember how the story ends: The wolf actually arrives, and eats the boy.

Allison’s article on Iran is one of the best I have ever read on the subject. If you are looking for one article that explains where we are and what is going on with Iran, this is it.

What would you do?

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Dry Bones: Startup Nation

cartoon courtesy of Yaakov “Dry Bones” Kirschen

From the Associated Press:

Waze sale signals new growth for Israeli high-tech

Google’s acquisition of navigation software is not only among largest-ever purchase prices for Israeli startup; it also cements recent push by local high-tech industry into fast-growing consumer market

Google Inc.’s $1.03 billion purchase of Israeli navigation software maker Waze marks an important milestone for the country that affectionately calls itself “Startup Nation.”
The acquisition is not only among the largest-ever purchase prices for an Israeli startup. It also cements a recent push by the local high-tech industry into the fast-growing consumer market.


This Is Real: Lapid Gets 19 Knesset Seats

Election Day in Israel was declared a national holiday and the weather was gorgeous. The public voted and then most of us went to the beach, to cafes, or shopping for the rest of the “day off”. It was a delightful, very Israeli experience. Everyone seemed happy and up about being who and what we are.

In the morning we found that we’ve handed our politicians a classic Israeli post-election dilemma. It feels so very Israeli and nostalgic that I did today’s cartoon in Blue and White.

— by Amir Shoam

Update: after counting all votes, including all IDF soldeirs, Habait Hayehudi got another seat and went up to 12 on the expense of Raam-Taal, that went down to 4. See full table below.

After counting 99.8% of Israel general elections votes, Yesh Atid, former journalist Yair Lapid’s one-year-old party, gets 19 seats in the Knesset. The unification of HaLikud and Israel Beytenu gets 31. HaAvoda gets 15 seats, two less than expected in TV channel samples. Right party HaBait HaYehudi gets 11 seats, like orthodox party Shas. Religious party Yahaduth HaTorah gets 7 seats. Center-left party HaTnuah and left party Meretz get 6 seats each.

Ultra-left party Hadash gets 4 seats, while Arab parties Raam-Taal and Balad get 5 and 3 seats respectively.

Kadima, largest party in current Knesset that was eliminated in TV samples, eventually enters the Knesset with 2.09% of all votes (2% is required to enter), and 2 seats.

HaAvoda had announced that it will not join a coalition headed by HaLikud. Assuming Halikud leader and current Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will get to build a coalition, his partners are likely to be Yesh Atid, HaBait HaYehudi and Hatnuah (67 of 120 seats total). There is also a risky possibility of having a coalition with Shas, Habait HaYehudi and Yahaduth HaTorah (60 seats). Netanyahu will speak with the leaders of all mentioned parties trying to form a 85-seat coalition, but it is not likely to happen. If Netanyahu fails to form a coalition, Lapid will get the opportunity to do so, but only if he reaches agreements with all HaAvoda, Shas, Yahaduth Hatorah, Hatnuah and Meretz (64 seats total).

Cartoon courtesy of Yaakov “Dry Bones” Kirschen.