This is a cartoon created by Ze’ev (Yaakov Farkash) and sent to his friend Shlomo on the eve of Rosh Hashanah in 1993. In the cartoon Yasser Arafat and Yitzhak Rabin are each holding half of a torn banner that says, “Happy New Year 5754.” They are walking towards each other to fit the two halves of the banner together. There is a dove standing in front of them, directing them as they try to unite the banner. A Magen David sits on top of Rabin’s pole and the Muslim symbol of the crescent on top of Arafat’s pole. Underneath the cartoon is a handwritten note that Ze’ev, the artist, wrote to his friend Shlomo, expressing his wish that the coming year might actually be the year of the dove, in other words, the year of peace.
Would You Like to Know More?
Oslo I Accord – The Oslo I Accord was a framework intended to lead to a resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It was the first face-to-face agreement between the Israeli government and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). Secret negotiations between Israel and the PLO had been previously conducted in Oslo, Norway, and the Accord was subsequently signed on the lawn of the White House on September 13, 1993 in the presence of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat, and US President Bill Clinton. The Accord created an interim Palestinian government, the Palestinian Authority (PA), which would administer the territory under its control. The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) would accordingly withdraw from parts of the West Bank and Gaza. The PLO acknowledged the State of Israel and pledged to renounce violence; Israel recognized the PLO as the representative of the Palestinian people and agreed to negotiate with them. The Oslo I Accord was followed by Oslo II in 1995.
Ze’ev – Yaakov Farkash (1923–2002), known as Ze’ev, was an Israeli cartoonist and illustrator. Born in Budapest, Hungary, Farkash survived the Buchenwald and Dachau concentration camps. He then tried to enter Israel illegally during the British Mandate but was caught and sent by the British to an internment camp in Cyprus. Farkash finally arrived in Israel in 1947 and immediately fought in the War of Independence. When he began drawing political cartoons for newspapers, he signed them “Ze’ev” (wolf), which is a Hebrew translation of his Hungarian surname, Farkash. Ze’ev published cartoons in the Israeli newspapers Ha’aretz, Ma’ariv, and Davar Hashavua and the international newspapers The New York Times, Le Monde, and Der Spiegel. He had a great impact on Israeli caricaturists and is widely considered one of Israel’s greatest political cartoonists.
Shana Tova Cards - The earliest instance of a written “shana tova” greeting is a fourteenth-century letter written by the Ashkenazi rabbi known as the Maharil (Jacob ben Moses Moelin). This letter affirms the existence of this custom in German Jewish communities at the time. In the eighteenth century, the custom began spreading beyond the German-speaking realm to other large concentrations of Jews in Eastern Europe, especially Poland. By the end of the century, Shana Tova cards began to take on distinct characteristics, such as special writing paper, with the custom spreading throughout the entire Ashkenazi world during the nineteenth century. The postal service emerged around this time, and in the 1880s, Jewish entrepreneurs began to print commercial greeting Shana Tova cards. By this time, Shana Tova cards constituted the main body of postcards sent by Jews, and this would remain so for around 100 years.
Between the end of the nineteenth century and the end of First World War, a time known as the “Golden Age of Postcards,” the vast majority of the mail sent by Jews in Europe and America consisted of Shana Tova cards. Today, in the digital era, cards sent by post have given way to text messages and emails.