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Article: Without a Drop of Irony

ללא טיפת אירוניה

Without a Drop of Irony

Hezi Amiur

Numerous photographs were taken on the day that the Old City of Jerusalem was liberated during the Six-Day War. The caricaturist Kariel Gardosh (1921–2000), better known as Dosh, accompanied General Uzi Narkiss, commander of the IDF units on the Jerusalem front, throughout the war. His cartoons, many featuring his protagonist, Srulik, appeared in Maariv, the most widely circulated newspaper at the time, and attempted to boost public morale in the build-up to the war. During and after the war, the cartoons echoed the feelings of victory and elation that swept across the nation.

Dosh’s illustrations from June 7, 1967, are not caricatures; they are devoid of satire or irony. Rather, they are quick sketches documenting the third day of the war in Jerusalem and comprising an illustrated personal diary of Dosh, the human being, an individual Jew moved by the seismic shift in history taking place before his very eyes. Dosh scribbled his illustrations on any scrap of paper he could get hold of at the time; some are sketched on medical prescriptions belonging to the Jordanian Army. At 2:15 p.m., Dosh arrived at Lions’ Gate; fifteen minutes later, he was on the Temple Mount; after another fifteen minutes, he was by the Western Wall. Dosh’s captions scribbled on the illustrations reflect his emotions: the entrance through Lions’ Gate is labeled “History 1967,” the Temple Mount is “the site of the Temple,” and in the front of the Western Wall is “the synagogue.” Dosh concluded the day by illustrating Mount Zion and the walls of the Old City from the southwest, at the descent to the Valley of Hinnom (Gehenna) — a vantage point from which so many artists have captured Jerusalem over the centuries.