Yisrael Medad: My Right Word
There are times and incidents in everyone’s lives when the term coincidence can’t adequately describe an experience. Over the last month or so I’ve been searching the house and attic for a copy of a newspaper that published a drawing I’d done while in Lebanon in 1982. The drawing has to do with my experience with Syrian intelligence and military, that I want to include in a response (coming soon) to Tom Spurgeon’s coverage of the recent beating by Syrian authority thugs, and aftermath, of political cartoonist Ali Ferzat. The search has been to no avail and I’ve been resigned to the notion that I won’t have that art to use in the foreseeable future.
But last week I met by chance an old friend, Yisrael Medad, from the neighboring settlement Shilo, as I came out of the local supermarket. He was tending his grandchildren and we had a few moments to exchange some words. He asked if I was still drawing, we talked a little about comics, and then each went our way.
A few days later Yisrael posted a few words about me on his blog and included some scans of my early Israel art, one of which was the one I’ve been looking for this last month. I didn’t think to ask him if he had a copy of this issue, though he was one of the paper’s editors – and even though I should have, it turned out to be quite unnecessary. Something in the totality of the universe was apparently looking out for my need in this particular case, and wanted me to know that it didn’t need my intervention to get this scan.
I met Yisrael Medad around 1984 while living in the Jerusalem suburb settlement of Kfar Etzion (we both sported a much darker shade of gray then). He was associate editor of the English language newspaper, Counterpoint. I became an active contributor after its founder, Rachel Katzman (now Ginsburg, at Mishpacha Magazine) profiled me in one of the issues. I went on to produce a satire strip “Milk and Honey” while also drawing a series of covers. It was a time of much more involvement in the local political scene, long before it gave way to an active return to the comics arena in the early 2000′s. I’d however always intuitively tried to bridge the gap between the two worlds, and it’s now made easier with this recent article on Yisrael’s blog.
Yisrael Medad moved to Israel from the US with his wife in 1970. He’s served as a political aide to Knesset members and a government Minister; director of Israel’s Media Watch; guest columnist at the Jerusalem Post; and hosted a weekly show on Arutz 7 Radio. He’s been a lecturer at the Academy for National Studies and an op-ed contributor to various local journals. He’s currently associated with the Menachem Begin Heritage Center in Jerusalem. In short, Yisrael has nourished a strong presence in the public eye and is often called upon to be the English language spokesman representing the settlement bloc to foreign media.
Many thanks for the kind words in the blogpost, Yisrael, and likewise for having read my mind about needing a scan of that Syrian checkpoint drawing. Below are a few more images from that early Israel art era (click for larger).