One of Israel’s Greatest Caricaturists Tackles the European Jewish Past

In three recent “shorts,” the Israeli cartoonist Shay Charka turns his gaze to Europe and the Ashkenazi Jewish past. Michael Weingrad, who has translated the pieces into English, introduces the artist and his work:

Shay Charka is one of Israel’s most talented comic-book artists and political cartoonists. Dara Horn . . . called From Foe to Friend, Charka’s pictorial versions of stories by the Nobel prize-winning author S.Y. Agnon, “miraculous” and “so breathtaking that I almost thought I dreamed it.” Born in 1967, Charka has published twenty graphic novels and cartoon collections, his work drawing playfully and profoundly on Jewish sources such as the Bible and Talmud. His Jewdyssey, a graphic-novel retelling of Homer’s “Odyssey” as a Holocaust story, has recently been prepared in English translation. He is the political cartoonist for the Israeli paper Makor Rishon, where his deft and brilliant visual commentary on current events is relished by thousands.

Weingrad’s translations can be read here, here, and here. Below, a panel of Charka’s retelling of a classic ḥasidic story.

Half a loaf of bread in exchange for water.

Read more at Jewish Journal

More about: Hasidism, Holocaust, Israeli culture, Israeli literature


Hamas’s Hostage Diplomacy

Ron Ben-Yishai explains Hamas’s current calculations:

Strategically speaking, Hamas is hoping to add more and more days to the pause currently in effect, setting a new reality in stone, one which will convince the United States to get Israel to end the war. At the same time, they still have most of the hostages hidden in every underground crevice they could find, and hope to exchange those with as many Hamas and Islamic Jihad prisoners currently in Israeli prisons, planning on “revitalizing” their terrorist inclinations to even the odds against the seemingly unstoppable Israeli war machine.

Chances are that if pressured to do so by Qatar and Egypt, they will release men over 60 with the same “three-for-one” deal they’ve had in place so far, but when Israeli soldiers are all they have left to exchange, they are unlikely to extend the arrangement, instead insisting that for every IDF soldier released, thousands of their people would be set free.

In one of his last speeches prior to October 7, the Gaza-based Hamas chief Yahya Sinwar said, “remember the number one, one, one, one.” While he did not elaborate, it is believed he meant he wants 1,111 Hamas terrorists held in Israel released for every Israeli soldier, and those words came out of his mouth before he could even believe he would be able to abduct Israelis in the hundreds. This added leverage is likely to get him to aim for the release for all prisoners from Israeli facilities, not just some or even most.

Read more at Ynet

More about: Gaza War 2023, Hamas, Israeli Security