The cartoon shows two Jewish boys, wearing yarmulkes, looking at a chart of Jewish history. On the left of the chart is a map of Israel. The main part of the chart is a list of sad or tragic events that have happened in Jewish history and their dates. The event noted for 1967 is called the "Nasserism Crisis," the name used for the Six Day War immediately after the war. Hanging next to the chart is a calendar showing the year 1988, twenty-one years hence, implying that this is the year in which the two boys are looking at the chart. At the bottom of the cartoon is the punchline, “…yep, and we still survived,” conveying the sense that no matter how big the challenge or disastrous the event, the Jewish people have always survived, and it seems, by the use of the future here, always will.
This cartoon was published in the Chicago Jewish weekly newspaper, The Sentinel, on June 15, 1967, five days after the end of the Six Day War. It was created by the cartoonist Henry Leonard, praising the ability of the Jewish people to overcome all challenges placed in front of them and survive all efforts to destroy them. The cartoon reflects the Jewish community’s pride in this resilience. The Six Day War had finished five days before this cartoon was published. With the IDF having achieved an unexpected military victory and gaining Jewish control over the Old City of Jerusalem for the first time in nearly 2,000 years, Jewish pride around the world was at an all-time high. The cartoon conveys the feelings that prevailed in many Diaspora Jewish communities at the time.
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Six Day War - Since May 1967 there had been tension along the borders of Israel. Egypt moved troops into Sinai and unilaterally closed the Straits of Tiran, which blocked off Israel’s supply route with Asia. Likewise, Syria deployed troops in the Golan Heights. After months of threats and aggression, the Israeli cabinet approved a pre-emptive attack on Egypt. On June 5, 1967, Israel’s air force bombed Egyptian airfields and destroyed their entire fleet of airplanes while still on the ground. The Syrian, Jordanian, and Iraqi air forces were also attacked, and over the next few days battles took place on the Egyptian, Syrian, and Jordanian fronts. On June 6 fighting began in the divided city of Jerusalem at Ammunition Hill. The Old City of Jerusalem was liberated the following day, June 7, by forces led by Colonel Motta Gur who radioed the message: “The Temple Mount is in our hands and our forces are by the [Western] Wall.” At the Western Wall, the IDF chaplain, Rabbi Shlomo Goren, blew a shofar to celebrate the event, which was broadcast live on Kol Yisrael, the Israeli radio station. The fighting was over after six days. Despite the many casualties, there was also a sense of euphoria. Jerusalem was reunified, and Israel had captured the Golan Heights and the Sinai Peninsula along with the West Bank and Gaza Strip. While much has changed in the area in the ensuing years, the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and the Golan Heights (Israel disengaged from the Gaza Strip in 2005) remains a matter of controversy both in Israel and around the world.
The Chicago Sentinel - The Chicago Sentinel, a weekly newspaper for the Chicago Jewish community, was one of the longest continuously published Jewish weeklies in the United States. The first issue of The Sentinel was published on February 4, 1911. The newspaper focused on cultural events and included many eye-catching illustrations and photographs. It also published short stories and reports about events in the various Jewish communities. The Sentinel differed from many other English-language, often highbrow, Jewish weeklies, because it reached out to the Zionist immigrants who preferred to read in English and not Yiddish. The Sentinel is a treasure trove for social, cultural, and religious historians who are interested in American Jewish life outside of New York during the twentieth century.