Lurie's new art form
The UNITING PAINTING: The World Is Its Canvas
The UNITING PAINTING will surround the globe and bind it by art and goodwill.
The UNITING PAINTING is alive and curious by nature.
The UNITING PAINTING integrates into the environments it travels through.
The UNITING PAINTING uses the synergy of art & environment as a survival tool.
The UNITING PAINTING enjoys being looked at, but insists on looking back at us.
As we go to museums to look at art, this painting goes to the world to watch us. The globe is its canvas, and we the people are the art that it observes. As it ventures farther out, it begins to see the beauty of our varied cultures and landscapes, and its excitement cannot be contained. It encircles the world and stops off at varied cities to see the splendor and rich life that civilization has created.
The painting's journey may begin on a canvas attached to the ceiling, and from there glide down the wall over more canvases; from there it will escape the confines of the traditional arty canvas material. Once the motif reaches the floor, it will weave its way into carpet, be carved into wood, or be chiseled in marble, depending on the ground's character. From now on anyone can walk or even dance on it.
The UNITING PAINTING may now wish to explore the outdoors.
There it may become a form of colorful mosaic embedded in cement, capable of braving the elements. If it seeksl to travel to the big city by using the asphalt road, the artist will implant multihued cobblestones continuing its original motif. Even cars can run on it. From the metropolis, the art will flow via colorful pebbles to the local waterway, which will carry the now-virtual-painting through the ocean to another city, in a remote country, placed in a faraway continent.
After resetting its motif, colors and thematic shape in its new destination, it will make a U-turn back to the ocean, and proceed to yet another distant capital. The UNITING PAINTING, which may have started 10,000 miles away and begun to germinate thirty-five years ago, will continue and adjust to the environment, which in return will assure the painting's physical well-being and persistence.
Thus it will continue to deliver from cities to country, from mountains to continents, its baton of unity and goodwill among people.
About the artist:
Ranan R. Lurie appears twice in the same 1999 Guinness Book of World Records, representing two very different categories.
He holds for 20 consecutive years the title of “The most widely syndicated political cartoonist in the world,” as well as being a scion to the oldest recorded living family today: "His family is directly descended from the royal house of the biblical King David and can trace its genealogy back to the 10th century BC."
So far he drew 10 art albums and cartoon books, and wrote one novel.
He won 22 national and international awards, had 19 one man shows, sculpted 28 statues, painted more than 2000 oil and acrylic paintings, wrote about 3000 articles, and created more than 11,000 political cartoons.
He was invited (between 1968-2003) by 16 major media conglomerates based in the U.S., Japan, Great Britain, Germany, Switzerland, Israel and Egypt to launch their first regular political cartoon and continue drawing it for them, using them as his changing home bases throughout the years.
He and his wife Tamar live now in Manhattan, New York, and Greenwich, Connecticut.
1815: The family, headed by the nabob Jonas-Joseph Lurie, Tsar Alexander's former Senior Economic Advisor, arrives in Jerusalem. The Lurie family must leave Russia after the clan's head turned coat and started to support a new chosen Royal: Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte, who declares equality to all minorities under his rule. In 1812 Napoleon retreats from Moscow to Paris, but not before he grants the Lurie patriarch, on a blistering, snowy December night, his coat "So that your offspring will remember that Napoleon was their friend." The Emperor's gorgeous outfit was covered with pure-gold buttons and braids, ornamented over a beautiful green velvet material (see cover of book above.) This Lurie Napoleonic family heirloom now hangs at the Haifa Museum, after a grand unveiling ceremony conducted in the presence of Government officials, the mayor of Haifa, Ambassadors, dignitaries and thousands of people in Haifa on October 2, 2004. It was combined with the opening of Ranan Lurie's art exhibition at the same Museum, at the same time, followed by a retrospective show of the artist's life. The city's philharmonic orchestra set the background for the entire event, concluding (appropriately) with Tchaikovsky's "1812" followed by fireworks.
While the French Emperor was traveling to Paris, Jonas-Joseph Lurie started his long Journey to Jerusalem, where, upon arrival, he became there the head of the Jewish community.
1898: His mother's side came from the Ukraine, where they made their living as ranchers. In their new country they recreated their ranch in Kastina, not far from Gaza. They were also the pioneers who started the first towns in upper Galilee. During a fight his grandfather had with Bedouins, who tried to take over his newly built house, he killed two of them with his bare hands.
1910: The grandparents migrated almost immediately (for fear of blood vengeance,) to Perth, Australia, with their 4 year old girl, Ranan's mother.
1932: His parents (the father a young "Shell" executive and his mother, an English teacher) arrive from Tel Aviv to the convenience of the grandfather's villa in Egypt, to give birth, and return to Tel Aviv with the baby, four days later.
1938: "Herzlia" elementary & high school, Tel Aviv.
1946: At 14 he joins the "Irgun" underground and lies about his age so that he can join a combat unit ... At school he is the Hand Ball Team's captain, and the youngest member of the national Hand Ball youth team.
1948: At 16, he's wounded in the battle for the defense of Tel Aviv. Immediately after recuperating, he's sent to officer school's entrance exams, and is placed as a cadet in Israel's first pilot's course.
1949: After a full year of flight training, he's washed out just before graduation because of unauthorized (very) low flying. Nevertheless, he's appointed the Israeli Air Force's spokesman at the ripe age of 18. He's now Israel's youngest officer.
1949: Lurie studies at the Art Academy in Jerusalem, and is taught by the country's leading masters: Joseph Zaritsky, Reuben Rubin, Mordechai Ardon and Myron Sima. While making his living as a portrait painter, he also dwells in political cartooning (In 1981, Britain's PUNCH magazine will describe him, perhaps cynically: "He's like a van Gogh with a sense of humor…" PUNCH also mentions that "unlike most Israelis, Ranan Lurie's family is not a 'Johnny comes lately' to the Holy Land, but made of the true Israeli 'Mayflower' stock...")
1951: Keeps body and soul together by working as a magazine cover artist, correspondent and a cartoonist for "MA'ARIV" daily and "BAMACHANE" weekly.
1952: His first best-selling cartoon book appears (with nine more to follow throughout the years.) The international media, from the NEW YORK TIMES to THE LONDON SUNDAY TIMES and LE FIGARO start to reprint his work. He starts building his name as an international political cartoonist.
1953: He participates, as a military correspondent, in several commando-raids conducted behind enemy lines. His articles are distributed around the world. He also worked as the art director and cartoonist for "HA'OLAM HA'ZEH" magazine.
1953: He's appointed deputy editor of "Ha'dor" daily, the smallest of Israel's 3 evening tabloids, the organ of the country's biggest party, led by Prime Minister Ben Gurion.
1954: He's appointed editor-in-chief of the privately owned weekly news magazine, "Tevel".
1954: While never serving in the professional army, he is assigned to a reserve unit of Special Forces skydivers, reaching the rank of major. He's sent abroad to train and jump with the paratroopers of the French Foreign Legion, the 16th Independent Parachute Regiment of Great Britain, and the famous U.S. 101st Airborne Division ("Screaming Eagles").
1954: He infiltrates the flag ship of the enemy's fleet, wins the country's highest journalism award "For unprecedented bravery," as the judges announced.
1955: Aba Eban opens his first fine art show in Jerusalem.
1956: YEDIOTH AHARONOT, Israel's leading newspaper, hires him to serve as its chief political cartoonist.
1957: Guest-lecturer of the U.S. Air force and paratroopers in Edwards Base, California, where he arrives right after the 1956 Sinai Campaign. Lurie was invited to talk about and analyze said campaign.
1957: Once in the USA, he meets with the legendary Clare Luce Booth, the wife of Henry Luce, owner and publisher of TIME-LIFE. LIFE publishes a several page spread of his cartoons. Once his art appears in the International edition of LIFE, his cartoons gain global momentum.
1958: He marries the beautiful Tamar Fletcher, whom he met on the cruise ship that took them to London two years ago.
1962: Rod, their first son, is born. He'll graduate from West Point, serve in a combat unit in West Germany and become a movie director-writer-producer. He'll create "DETERRENCE" (With Timothy Hutton & Kevin Pollack), "THE CONTENDER", (With Joan Allen and Jeff Bridges, both nominated for the Oscar for their performance in said movie), "THE LAST CASTLE" (starring Robert Redford), ABC's "Commander-in-Chief" (With Gina Davis and Donald Sutherland).
1962: His second cartoon album, "Lurie's Best Cartoons from Israel," is published. Aba Eban writes the forward.
1963: He completes a combat company commanders' course conducted under the supervision of Colonel Ariel Sharon.
1963: His major fine art exhibition is opened by Prime Minister Levi Eshkol, in Tel Aviv.
1963: His parachute burns out at 800 feet, during a sky- diving jumping exercise. His reserve chute saves his life at the last second.
1963: Barak, the family's second son, lands too. (He'll graduate from Stanford; become a lawyer and an inventor of the special software system that identifies the right lawyer for the searching client).
1965: Daphne, the family's first daughter, joins the clan (she'll graduate from Williams College, to become a Clinical Psychologist in San Diego, Calif.)
1966: Montreal's leading gallery, the "Dominion," sponsors a one-man's fine art exhibit of his oils.
1967: May 23. The President of Israel, the Honorable Zalman Shazar, unveils Ranan's oil portraits exhibit at "EXPO '67" in Montreal, including the one that he sat for.
1967: May 26. Reservist Lurie flies back to the Middle East, knowing that war is imminent. As soon as he arrives, he becomes in charge of the famous spot known as "The bottleneck of Israel", between Natanya and Tul-Karem. "You'd better dig in deep, said the general - from here, you have no place to retreat to, unless you're terrific swimmers."
1967: The escapades of Major Lurie behind enemy lines draw the attention of the main-stream international media. At the end of that short war, many long stories are published about his ventures- adventures.
1967: AP: "ARAB EXPULSION ENDED BY CARTOONIST."
1967: Major Lurie refuses to obey an order to expel 7000 Palestinians from their home town of Anabta, on the West Bank, and finds himself on a verge of a court martial. He reports about the expulsion order to Prime Minister Eshkol, an old friend, painting the political and moral results in dire colors to Israel's leader. The Premier supports his assessment, instructs General Dayan to return all the Arabs that were expelled so far to their homes. Later, Dayan comes to the artist's studio to sit for his portrait.
A Lurie oil painting portrait, circa 1970.
A Lurie oil painting portrait, circa 1967.
The artist's wife, circa 1966.
Lurie finds no conflict between his cartooning and painting.
1991: Draws his animated cartoon for ABC's EARLY MORNING NEWS.
1992: He becomes a MENSA member.
1993: Lurie and President Mikhail Gorbachev collaborate by producing a joint column: The former Soviet president writes it, and Lurie draws, in principal, an opposing view. The column is syndicated internationally by the NEW YORK TIMES for several years.
1994: TIME Int. invites Lurie to start a weekly page of political cartoons. It appears, week after week for several years, until the magazine's H.Q. are moved abroad.
1995: He starts the preparations for an old idea he had: Teaching current events through political cartoons, knowing that current events is perhaps the only profession that can not be taught at school in real ("Current") time, at it should. Comes the wise, immediate cartoon and helps the student understand worldly events from graphic pundits, who bribe you with a smile. About sixty cartoonists, world wide, will be appearing in "CARTOON NEWS" regularly.
1996: "CARTOON NEWS, The current Events Educational Magazine", appears, reaches more than six hundred thousand school children within four years.
1996: Lurie invents a special rear-brake light for cars, "HAVING VARIABLE INTENSITY LIGHT AND SOUND WARNING", and is granted a United States patent number 5,481,243 for it.
1997: Egypt's President Hosni Mubarak, U.S. Ambassador to Egypt, Ned S. Walker, Jr., help Ranan Lurie bring his political cartoons to the front pages of AL-AHRAM, the biggest and most prestigious Arab publication in the world.
The cover of an Egyptian magazine, 1997
"THE PEOPLE THAT PRESIDENT MUBARAK IS INTERESTED IN THEIR OPINIONS" (from bottom, clockwise: Secretary Madeleine Albright, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the late P.L.O.'s boss Yasser Arafat, Libya's strongman Omar Khadafi, Syria's late dictator Assad, President Bill Clinton, Iranian leader Rafsanjani, and Ranan Lurie
On February 25, 1997, Mubarak, Egypt's all-powerful president, devotes two important hours of his time to a private meeting at his palace with Tamar and Ranan. This is his third meeting over the years with the artist-journalist. Mubarak, who received Ranan as an “inheritance” from president Anwar Sadat, listens to him. The clever Egyptian president has good reason to accept the advice of the American ambassador to Egypt, Ned S. Walker Jr., to “adopt” Ranan's cartoons. Thus, Mubarak strongly supports the campaign of bringing Ranan's political cartoons to the front pages of the most important newspaper in the Arab world, “Al-Ahram”. He sees this as a highly sigSenificant move toward clearing Egypt's reputation as a media-controlling state. Inviting an independent political cartoonist to appear on the front pages of “Al-Ahram”, an American, not to mention a former Israeli, would be a gesture of defiance towards his Western critics.
Left to right: Tamar and Ranan Lurie, President Mubarak; the presidential palace in Cairo. February 25, 1997
Throughout March 1997 “Al-Ahram” publishes his daily cartoons on its main editorial pages, and the Arab public is beginning to follow with great interest the new style of opinion. The Middle East finds itself facing another viewpoint.
The campaign fails abruptly, because of a detail that sophisticated politicians, both in the United States and in Egypt, did not take into consideration: The Egyptian cartoonists' association and the extremist Islamic zealots “rebel” against the “Jewish cartoonist”. Rumors circulate that the fanatics even threatened Mubarak's life if he did not cancel Al-Ahram's contract with Ranan. Ruz al-Yusuf , the sensationalist Egyptian magazine, publishes a photograph of Ranan with a large orange “Star of David” superimposed on his face, accompanied by a venomous article against Lurie. They publish a photograph of Ranan on the cover of the magazine together with a semi-naked belly-dancer, and print a full-page cartoon showing Ranan, as an Israeli Major, descending by parachute and sub-machine gun on the Egyptian pyramids, and … crushing them. Inflamed Egyptians react angrily toward Al-Ahram.
"RUS-IL-YOUSUF" magazine "warns" Egypt about the international cartoonist, by emphasizing his religion... (On the left, publisher and editor in chief of the respected "AL-AHRAM" who invited Lurie to the pages of the most prestigious Arab publication in the world)
Al-Ahram tries to counter-attack, and publishes – to the respected paper's credit it should be said – a leading editorial criticizing Ruz al-Yusuf's unbridled attack. The editor-in-chief invites Ranan Lurie to present his position and his strong refutation to the sensationalist weekly's slander, and publishes Lurie's article in full on a prominent page. But to the newspaper's great regret it is forced to cancel its contract with Lurie due to the Egyptian cartoonists' pressure.
1998: His syndicate, CARTOONEWS INT., brings him to the ultimate on-going exposure in more than 1,100 papers, with a loyal readership of 104 million on a daily basis. No political cartoon has ever reached these dimensions before.
2000: The United Nations establishes its annual world wide political cartoon competition award, carrying his name. 13 awards are established, the top one will grant the winner $10,000.
2002: Nominated by the Republic of Cyprus for the 2002 Nobel Peace Prize: "Mr. Lurie has contributed greatly, through his publications in the United States and in many other countries of the world, to the creation of a great spirit of understanding between the people of many races, and has helped in the effort to defuse hot political conflicts worldwide." President of the Republic of Cyprus, H.E. Glafcos Clerides.)
2002-3: He's invited by the LOS ANGELES TIMES to write a series of 19 political analyses for its Op-Ed pages.
2003: Working full time on and at the UNITING PAINTING, simultaneously with writing his novel.
2004: Working full time on and at the UNITING PAINTING, simultaneously with writing his novel.
2004: Lurie publishes "The Cartoonist's Mask," a novel, written in his native Hebrew. (A super spy plot, involving both the "Mossad" and the CIA.
Both spy agencies collaborate in training a young kid to become a topnotch political cartoonist, so that he can reach any leader, all over the world, intrview and check him out …
2005: His "UNITING PAINTING", originating from the United Nations, is unveiled on the 1st of November, 2005, at the United Nations Head Quarters in New York.
2006: The small cell-phone screen gives him an opportunity to develop an invention that may elevate phone companies' profits considerably.
2006: He now contemplates a connection between South & North Korea via the "Uniting Painting", The first part of the painting to be created in South Korea, and its second part to be completed in North Korea. On may 15, in Seoul, he shares dinner with U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan, South Korea's foreign Minister Ban ki-Moon and several Ambassadors at the Foreign Minister's mansion. On the 16 and 17 of May he holds meetings again with Mr. Ban, to discuss the connection via the "Uniting Painting" between North and South. He meets with him again, in New York, on July 1, for the fourth time. On July 23rd Foreign Minister Ban gives a private dinner in Lurie's honor when he arrives in Seoul.
2006: On August 22 the Honorable Kim, Moon-soo, Governor of GyeongGi-Do, the biggest province of Korea, that borders with North Korea, signes a contract with Lurie to create a huge "Uniting Painting DMZ". It will approach North Korea, Russia, China and Japan through four artistic arms the four countries.
2006: On September 21 the first leg of his art was unveiled at the pagoda near Imjingak, where thousands of baloons and hundreds of white doves soared into the air, in the direction of North Korea, exposing the first steel canvases of Lurie's "Uniting Painting DMZ", colored with the U.N.'s White and Blue.
2007: He's invited to serve as Chief Judge of Greece's National Political Cartoon Competition in Athens. While he was there, the Prime Minister of Greece, The Honorable Kostas Karamanlis invited Lurie to consider presenting the "Uniting Painting" in the new National Museum of Greece being completed just under the Parthenon. The Greek Minister of Culture, The Honorable Michalis Liapis added his blessings and delivered the mission and its execution to his General-Secretary Christos Zachopoulos. Lurie gets a driver and photographer and starts to work on his new epic mission - but then, unfortunately, the General-Secretary (weighing 325 pounds) was accused of corruption charges, jumps from the window of his fourth floor apartment. The Minister of Culture is finger-pointed for supporting his General-Secretary. Sooner or later a new Prime Minister is elected and the installation of the "Uniting Painting" together with other projects are put on the back burner which is fueled by the country's economic disasters.
2008: Ranan and Tamar are invited to Kathmandu, Nepal to plan the hoisting of the "Uniting Painting" on top of Mount Everest during the spring of 2011. The exciting venture is in progress right now.
2008: Meeting with Jean Plantu, France's leading political cartoonist of Le Monde and the head of "Cartoonists for Peace" who comes to Lurie's studios at the Time Warner building to invite him to join the new association which Lurie gladly accepts.
2008: As the "Cartoonists for Peace" Exhibition is unveiled in the Ministry of Culture in Paris, Lurie is met by the Minister of Culture, The Honorable Renaud Donnedieu de Vabres.
2009: The Uniting Painting is invited to participate in the launch of the ultra-modern satellite dubbed "Ofek 9", by lending its image to the satellite's space travel. This mission fits well with the philosophy of the "Uniting Painting" which is to "hug" the world.
2010: June 22nd, at 10:15 p.m., U.S. Eastern Standard Time, the "Uniting Painting" becomes the first and only fine art entity in space.
2010: He completes his brand new "Uniting Painting" project now in his new studio on Central Park West, New York.
A full page cartoon in RUS-IL-YOUSUF "warning Egypt" against Lurie,
Prime Minister of Greece, The Honorable Kostas Karamanlis,
"Best French Friend," "Le Monde"
With Renaud Donnedieu de Vabres,
"Uniting Painting" becomes the first and only fine art entity in space.
* "Ranan R. Lurie is the most widely syndicated political cartoonist in the world. As of July 1998, his work was published in 103 countries in 1,105 newspapers with a total circulation of 104 million copies." (The Guinness Book of World Records, 1999)
* "In January 1997, Chief Rabbi Lau of Israel and the Jerusalem Institute of Jewish Genealogy concluded that the Lurie (or Luria) family is directly descended from the royal house of the biblical King David and can trace its genealogy back to the 10th century BC. The Lurie family tree includes such distinguished members as the prophet Isaiah (8th century BC), the Rashi (1040-1105), Hillel Hanasi ("the Elder"; 30 BC-1st century AD), Felix Mendelssohn, Karl Marx, Sigmund Freud, Salvador Luria, Yehudi Menuhin, Sir Immanuel Jakobovitz, and Ranan Lurie." (The Guinness Book of World Records, 1999)
The Lurie home and studio in Greenwich, Connecticut, with his team of assistants
His cartoons, sculptures and oil paintings ... serve as historical documentation of the decade," THE NEW YORK TIMES quotes his exhibition curator.
America's leading anchorman, Ted Koppel, writes, "I am in awe of Lurie's talent."
Italy's LA STAMPA anoints him "the king of American political cartoonists."
Interviewing President Sadat of Egypt (December, 1977)
An Analysis of Lurie's work in one of Denmark's leading newspapers
LONDON TIMES Editor Charles Douglas-Home states in his forward to one of Lurie's books: "I remember feeling somewhat startled by his arrival, because THE TIMES had not been accustomed to the presence of a resident cartoonist and certainly not one who appeared to have such a precise and perfectionist idea of his role. My fears were unfounded as it turned out. Although he had not inhabited the culture of a British newspaper before, he quickly fit in with us. He attended our daily editorial conferences, made shrewd contributions from the back of the room, with a courtesy and insight borne of his wide international experience."
One of the most honored cartoonists in the world, Lurie's work has been recognized by prizes from the MONTREAL SALON OF CARTOONISTS, the FRONT PAGE AWARD from the Newspaper Guild of New York (three times), the ART DESIGNER'S AWARD, the CITATION FOR EXCELLENCE from the Overseas Press Club, the German GOLDEN PLATE AWARD, two JOHN FISCHETTI AWARDS and the HEADLINER'S AWARD. He was voted by his peers in the NATIONAL CARTOONISTS SOCIETY OF AMERICA as one of the three best editorial cartoonists in the United States for eight consecutive years.
The United States Senate invitation to Ranan Lurie's Exhibition.
Sketching Prime Minister of Israel David Ben Gurion
His first foreign assignment: becoming the front page cartoonist of the "TIMES OF CYPRUS"
Cyprus , still ruled by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth of Britain , was the first foreign country where the author spent time as the staff political cartoonist of a local paper, the "Times of Cyprus”. These were exciting times: The sizeable island served already as a huge military base to the British and French armies preparing themselves for the invasion of Egypt , as a response to the nationalization of the Suez Canal by Abdul Nasser.
This new job was the author's first international experience, one of many to come: holding a full-time journalistic position in a leading local publication, while living in a foreign capital. At the same time that his cartoons were published lavishly on the front pages of his Cypriot newspaper, he won background interviews with Archbishop Makarious and members of the “Eoka” underground. His exclusive interview with the Queen's representative, the High Commissioner of Cyprus, Field Marshal Sir John Harding, gained international acclaim.
Guest-lecturer of the U.S. Air force and paratroopers in Edwards Base, California , right after the Sinai Campaign in 1956. Lurie was invited to discuss and analyze said campaign. In the picture: Lurie is invited to participate in an Air force fighter plane exercise.
Before coming to the U.S., he served as the staff political cartoonist for Israel's largest paper, YEDIOTH AHARONOTH, for 11 years (1956-1967), and won Israel's highest journalism award. At the age of 20 he published the first of his 10 cartoon books. He served as a police reporter, a military correspondent, an editorial page editor, a managing editor and finally, at the ripe old age of 22, he was appointed the editor in chief of an Israeli news magazine. Lurie studied at the school of fine art in Jerusalem, as well as benefiting from private tutoring by Meiron Sima, Yosef Zaritsky, and Re'uven Rubin, Israel's leading artists at the time. His first major fine art exhibition opened in 1963, in Tel-Aviv, in which Prime Minister Levi Eshkol and Yosef Zaritsky unveiled the show.
He served as a reserve combat major in Israel's armed forces. He was sent to train and jump with the U.S.101st Airborne Division in Fort Campbell, Kentucky; with the paratroopers of the French Foreign Legion in Pau, southwest France; with the British 16th Independent Parachute Regiment in Aldershot, England; and with the Israeli special military skydivers unit.
The summer of 1963 presented the author with an unusual experience. While training Ghanaian paratroopers in Israel, during his reserve duty, he bailed out from ten thousand feet to demonstrate a sky diving jump. At two thousand feet he pulled his cable and unleashed his parachute. One of the cords hit the canopy of the chute causing friction, which in turn created a spark that ignited the entire canopy and burned it down. He thought that his Ghanaian trainees were performing some kind of a war dance in his honor until he heard them shouting in panic. When their shrieks combined with the meteor-like speed of his descent, he looked up and saw his parachute in flames. He pulled his reserve chute’s cord instantly and it managed to open by three-quarters before his feet were buried in the sands. The two husky Ghanaians paratroopers had to work hard to pry him from the sands, but he emerged from the ordeal, all parts intact. As a result of the accident, all parachute folding procedures had to be changed in the paratroopers brigade.
Arab Expulsion Ended by Cartoonist
By Dafna Linzer
Jerusalem (AP)- Syndicated cartoonist Ranan Lurie, a (reserve) major in the Israeli army during the 1967 Mideast War, said Friday that he persuaded then- Prime Minister Levi Eshkol to stop generals from expelling thousands of West Bank Palestinians to Jordan.
Historians lent credence to his claims and said that while there was no government expulsion policy, several commanders tried to force Palestinians out during the chaos of the six-day war.
Lurie, who served as a field commander, refused to carry out orders by superiors to load Arab families onto buses and send them across the Jordan River. Instead, he appealed to Eshkol, a friend.
“I told Eshkol, ‘We are doing something very bad here and it will affect our children and grandchildren. You can’t uproot people who have lived here for 2,000 years and dump them,’” Lurie said in a telephone interview with the Associated Press from his Manhattan home.
Meir Pa’il, an Israeli military historian and former lawmaker, said Lurie’s story is consistent with events known to have taken place elsewhere in the West Bank. “It wasn’t government policy to expel anyone but there were generals who wanted it done,” he said.
Lurie said Eshkol blamed his defense minister, Gen. Moshe Dayan, for the expulsions, and that the prime minister later thanked Lurie for raising the issue with him.
Pa’il, the historian, said Palestinians were being rounded up in the city of Qalqilya and deported. But on the fourth day of fighting, Pa’il said, an order came in to halt deportations and allow those forced out to return.
“I don’t know why,” he said.
(This abbreviated AP news wire followed a cover story and exposé in "HA'ARETZ" magazine of June 5, 1998, by Gideon Levy. Its title: "Major Lurie Refused To Obey an Order.")
A short time prior to the folding of “LIFE" magazine, Lurie was invited to Washington at the initiative of the State Department, to meet with Secretary of State William Rogers. He told him point-blank that "he had a most important message to pass to Prime Minister Golda Meir, and that he had a problem with Ambassador Yitzhak Rabin and Foreign Minister Abba Eban, since he felt they were in a conflict. Would he be willing to deliver his personal words—above their heads—to the Prime Minister?”
Lurie flew the next day to Jerusalem for a meeting with Golda Meir. She and two of her assistants were present in the Prime Minister's chambers. Lurie spread before her in forty-five minutes the worries of the American Secretary of State: The information that William Rogers gave him had concluded with his personal recommendation to accept President Sadat's request, of allowing the three hundred Egyptian policemen already permitted to cross to the eastern bank of the Suez Canal, to carry, in addition to their pistols, also sub machines and machineguns. “Otherwise,“ warned Rogers , “the Egyptians are liable to start a total war—in order to conquer the entire East Bank—and I don't think that they will stop there!", concluded William Rogers with sincere concern.
The Prime Minister listened to him intently, then informed Lurie that she was skeptical of the Egyptians and Rogers, and thus her answer is “No". A few months later the October war exploded with a massive Egyptian-Syrian surprise attack.
Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld looks at a cartoon that Lurie made of him, and printed in his then new book “PARDON ME MR. PRESIDENT”. It was he who suggested to Lurie to interview General Brown, probably thinking that such an interview in NEWSWEEK may help the chairman in a re-nomination for another term.
In April 1976, at the Pentagon, Lurie interviewed Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs-of-Staff, General George Brown for NEWSWEEK and his syndicate, KING FEATURES. It was a significant interview that made the General – a KKK candidate to the presidency - blow his top off. He managed to insult almost every U.S. ally in the world, and have him show his true ugly colors. Lurie's interview rocked America, and many said that it had influenced the election results which brought Jimmy Carter to The White House.
The General's people tried to black mail Lurie in an effort to have him bury his interview, but he fought back, with the help of the nation's biggest newspapers, from THE NEW YORK TIMES to TIME magazine, from the CHICAGO SUN TIMES to the BOSTON GLOBE, as well as THE SUNDAY LONDON TIMES to LE FIGARO.
Lurie helped bring the matter to Congress. The Pentagon had no choice but to confirm that it circulated to the media doctored transcripts of Lurie's interview, in an effort to salvage the General's fading image. The pentagon's written admission was recorded in the Congressional Record No. 136, of August 18 1977.
The verbal confrontation handled by Lurie flashed out some harsh comments by the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs-of-Staff against the Shah of Iran (“The bottom line is that he, the Shah, has visions of a Persian Empire”) and insinuated that he wants to take over Saudi Arabia . Other quotes by the general turned the British armed forces into a farce: “With the exception of admirals, generals and military bands, the Brits have nothing… they are pathetic!”. In that same interview the author asked the four-star general , “Is Israel an asset or a burden to the United States ?” and the general answered pointblank : “A burden!” The top American soldier, the leader of all its forces, even accused the United States itself of “not having the stomach to face the Soviets.”
The interview, published worldwide on the 18 th , 19 th & 20 th of October 1976, two weeks before the presidential elections in November, triggered stormy reactions. THE NEW YORK TIMES alone published two editorials attacking the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs-of-Staff and one could hardly find a paper devoid of the General's quotes in its headline, or a television station without the story's appearance at the top of the news. Barbara Walters and Harry Reasoner sent a helicopter to the author's home in Greenwich to bring him to their nightly interview on ABC . They asked Lurie on a live coast-to-coast broadcast: “ If you were the President of the United States , would you fire General Brown because of his anti-Semitism?”
“No, not because of anti-Semitism,” answered the author courteously, “because of his stupidity.”
The Democratic vice presidential candidate, Walter Mondale, declared on network television that “General Brown is not fit to be a sewage commissioner” . NEWSDAY , in a headline banner: “Brown Speaks, Washington Flinches. “ (Oct. 18, 1976). THE CHICAGO SUN TIMES , on its front page headline: “General Brown: U.S. hasn't stomach to face soviets. JCS head calls British ‘pathetic', Israel ‘burden'.” The article follows: “In an April interview with Ranan Lurie Brown expressed opinions that could be fatal for President Ford in the election campaign. The White House and the Pentagon held meetings at the highest level last Sunday to decide whether to fire Gen. George S. Brown. ” Writes THE NEW YORK TIMES in its editorial: “What emerges from his statements is a disenchantment with the ways of a democratic society. This is a dangerous frame of mind for an officer in so exalted a position.” Adds the BOSTON GLOBE in its editorial: “With all the tact of a Howitzer, Brown coated his commander-in-chief with fresh embarrassment at home just two weeks before the presidential election, and added to the burden of our diplomacy in the Middle East ”. ( October 19, 1976 ). On the same day, in a giant front-page headline, declares the New York DAILY NEWS: “GEN. BROWN IN ISRAEL FLAP”.
On the same day, the NEW YORK POST prints on its front page a dramatic headline : “Carter Raps Ford Over Gen. Brown. Calls the general's remarks ‘a great disservice to our country and to the world.” THE NEW YORK TIMES appears with its lead editorial on the 22 of October 1976, headed by a stunning declaration: “It is deplorable that the personal services of Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld were required to police a news conference at which Gen. George S. Brown ‘clarified' the ill-considered swings he had taken at a number of this country's allies and the wisdom of American military policies… In the end, this is a far more serious matter than the nuisance of a general who talks too much.”
President Gerald Ford, on the other hand, showed hesitation regarding firing him. While reprimanding his top general; he also said he saw the episode “as closed.”
Not so the voters.
A survey conducted by New York 's Channel 5 found that the “Big Mouth Affair”, and President Ford's miscalculation concerning firing the Chief-of-Staff caused, at least in the elections in New York , the collapse of the Republican Party. New York closes its polls among the first in the country due to time differentials between east and west coasts and the Republican defeat in New York received instant publicity, once the first votes were counted.
A most respected colleague, Herblock, lends support to Lurie in confronting General Brown
Lurie decides to go after him. And indeed, he discovers that not only during the April 1976 interview with him did the General run amok, but that on the 21 st of May 1976, during a closed and confidential lecture (everyone there was sworn to secrecy) that he gave to a group of about three hundred Generals, Admirals, top intelligence operators and senior State Department officials, at Fort McNair, at the National War College. After piecing together accounts from some of those present, Lurie obtained confirmation of Brown's most explosive remarks from the Defense Department transcript of the event.
He opened his lecture by recommending that new limits be placed on certain civil liberties. He demanded: " If any citizen of this country is so concerned about his mail being read or is concerned about his presence in a meeting being noted, I'd say we ought to read his mail and we ought to know what the hell he has done. " Then Brown blasted U.S. Congress: " It (the Congress) is obstructionist and irresponsible in the areas of defense and foreign policy like the man who is kibitzing a chess game and occasionally reaches in and moves a piece and thereby screws it all up."
Lurie then decides to bring the matter to his friends in the United States Congress and Senate. He helps organize a respectable group of eighteen members of the House, led by Congressman Ed Koch, who brought up the whole matter in the house on August 18 1977 . Lurie's behavior is commended in the CONGRESSIONAL RECORD , Vol. 123, No. 136.
Following Lurie's new revelations, America's leading newspapers again publish major editorials attacking General Brown directly and Presidents Ford and Carter indirectly. All the media, almost without exception, was wondering why United States' top military man was not fired as yet. The CHICAGO SUN TIMES of March 27, 1977 , quotes Lurie in its front-page headline : “Gen. Brown calls Congress irresponsible… Gen. Brown is quoted as telling an audience of military officers that Congress ‘seems very much to me like the man who is kibitzing a chess game and occasionally reaches in and moves a piece and thereby screws it all up.' Meanwhile, former President Ford said Saturday that ‘inflexibility' in the Defense Department helped stall progress in strategic arms limitations negotiations during his last year in the Presidency.” Two days later, on March 29 1977, the distinguished newspaper already attacks President Carter aggressively for not firing General Brown and belittles, in its editorial, the new President for his impotence.
THE NEW YORK TIMES blasts the general again in another of its main editorials on March 29, 1977 , under the heading of "Quotations From General Brown, Again, " brings the general lurid history into despicable focus.
THE WASHINGTON POST prints on March 29, 1977, a nasty but brilliant Herblock cartoon, showing the General's headless body, where a small balloon sticks out from his collar, replacing the missing head… the DETROIT FREE PRESS writes in its lead editorial of April 18, 1977: "And somehow we figure that thus isn't the end; that somewhere, perhaps at this very moment, Gen. Brown is making some other stupid remark in front of Mr. Lurie…"
THE PHILADELPHIA DAILY NEWS asks on April 19, 1977 , in a headline, one simple question : "Should General Brown Be Court-Martialed?"
Jack Anderson's Syndicated Column warns its readers on the 7 th of May 1977, in the heading of the column describing how Lurie proved that the Pentagon doctored its own tapes and changed the meaning of the General's words upside down: "The General Came to Congress To Bury It, Not to Praise It."
Lurie was nominated for the "Pulitzer", and the number of his newspaper clients zooms up.
The only important news publication in the world that did not publish the Interview was NEWSWEEK , the magazine that originally commissioned Lurie to interview the General. There was a most disturbing and a stunning reason behind the magazine's decision, and then Congressman Ed Koch – to his credit - didn't hesitate to bring it to the House.
The press starts to investigate NEWSWEEK's puzzling cover-up of the General Brown affair.
When he arrived in Jerusalem , Mr. Aryeh Na'or, Secretary General of the Israeli government and a Begin protégé, greeted him.
The convicted Secretary General of the Government of Israel, Mr. Aryeh Na'or, in his efforts to “bribe” Lurie with top secret information, also informed him that “Prime Minister Begin is using drugs, and don’t be surprised if he will fall asleep during his interview with you.” In the picture: Prime Minister Begin sleeping during his interview with Mr. Lurie.
Na'or presented himself "As a person who has access to all of Israel's secret information, and that he would be able to grant the distinguished German newspaper an unparalleled scoop: A transcript of a transatlantic personal call made between President Jimmy Carter and German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt, in which the American President complained bitterly, in a nasty fashion, about America's Jews…The transcript of the conversation was obtained, of course, by 'us'," smiled Na'or as he winked at the author, who knew that this important official was hinting that the "Mossad" had taken over the Bonn-Washington transatlantic line. Ranan knew that Na'or, in his capacity as Secretary General, indeed had access to the most intimate information of each tentacle of the country's espionage apparatus. The author asked Na'or, during a breakfast meeting, to jot down the details of the conversation between Carter and Schmidt in his own handwriting, on his napkin of the Hilton Hotel. Na'or acquiesced.
Back in Bonn, to his editors' chagrin, the author refused to release the explosive material to "DIE WELT" until Mr. Na'or let him actually listen to the transatlantic tape. After several conversations between Bonn and Jerusalem , the government's Secretary General admitted that he "couldn't borrow the incriminating tape." The author naturally inferred that such a tape had never existed. Horrified by the dimension that the disaster would cause to The American President if it would be published days before the elections, and as result to Israel's relations with the United States and Germany , the author returned to Jerusalem and presented the case toIsrael's attorney-general. The state immediately prosecuted the Secretary General and brought him to trial before three judges. He lost his position and titles immediately, and was found guilty on most counts. The judges emphasize that he would have caused very serious damage to President Carter and, as a result, to Israeli-American relations.
During his meeting with President Marcos, Lurie suggests to the internationally-accused president to take a lie detector test, to prove his "innocence". Marcos supposedly agreed, but his top aids threatend Lurie to harm his family if he pursues his "degrading"idea
The truth is that the meeting with Marcos in Manila was quite melodramatic: Marcos, who was internationally accused of plotting the murder of Aquino (his political rival), agreed to Lurie's offer of taking him to a lie detector test, to prove his innocence. Lurie was at the point of trying to find a polygraph institution in the capital., when the information minister called Lurie's hotel and announced he was coming to see him "for a drink". Lurie waited for him as planned near the bar, from whence he saw four big black limousines approach the hotel entrance, and bodyguards assuming positions in several locations. The information minister, followed by two husky men, entered the hotel, and sat down next to him. "You're not going to 'polygraph' our president," warned the information minister.
"But, when it comes out well," said Lurie, "your president will be vindicated as, for instance, in the case of William Casey, head of the CIA who did exactly the same thing not to long ago."
"And, what would happen if the polygraph doesn't come out so well?" asked the information man in a pessimistic tone.
"Then it will be T.S.," answered the artist.
The information minister cringed and said quietly, "There's a plane leaving for Tokyo at 8:00 in the morning and we have made reservations for you on it."
"But President Marcos was pleased for the opportunity and approved it. I'm supposed to see him at 10:00 tomorrow morning."
"You have two daughters in Tokyo, Mr. Lurie. You want to see them well and happy. You are taking off at 8:00 AM! "
In 1990, Ranan Lurie was invited to become an Adjunct Fellow at the CENTER FOR STRATEGIC & INTERNATIONAL STUDIES (CSIS), the Washington, D.C.-based leading think tank. In 1997 he became a Senior Adjunct Fellow, and in 2002 he was appointed a Senior Associate at the CSIS.
In the early '90s Mikhail Gorbachev and Ranan Lurie decided to start a mutual column (Gorbachev wrote, and Lurie drew an opposing view), and the monthly column was distributed worldwide by the the New York Times Syndicate for several years.
Interviewing President George Bush
The NEW YORK TIMES publishing house wrote that "(his book) is perhaps the best selling political cartoon book ever published in this country."
Interviewing President Gorbachev of the U.S.S.R.
As a result, Gorbachev and Lurie decide to start a mutual column (Gorby writes, Lurie draws the opposite "in principle") and the NEW YORK TIMES distributes the column all over the world for several years
With his sons Barak and Rod, Tel-Aviv, 1966
Bermuda, 2004: (From left to right) Danielle, Daphne, Tamar, Ranan, Barak and Rod
On Feb. 19, 1995, the UNITED NATIONS Society of Artists and Writers announced its plans for creating "The International Award for Political Cartooning", named after Ranan R. Lurie, to be presented annually to the best international political cartoons. Later the UNITED NATIONS CORRESPONDENTS ASSOCIATION, together with the moral support of the United Nations secretary general's offices, brought said idea to fruition for the purpose of encouraging political cartoonists worldwide to project the spirit of the United Nations ideals. Hence, the creation of
"THE UNITED NATIONS
RANAN LURIE POLITICAL CARTOON AWARD"
as officially announced on August 1999, at a special press conference at the U.N. Headquarters in New York, by the United Nations spokesman.
At the U.N. gala: the political cartoonist of Britain's "INDEPENDENT", wins the first
United Nations political cartoon grand prize named after Lurie
From left to right: United Nations Secretary-General, the Honorable Kofi Annan,
political cartoonist Ranan Lurie, after whom this major award is named, and
Mr. Peter Schrank, holding the award and speaking at the U.N. to a group of 300
ambassadors, movie stars and U.N. correspondents.
In mid 2004, he published The Cartoonist's Mask, a novel, written in his native language, Hebrew. It was published by Israel's leading publishing house, Yedioth Aharonot. The spy plot involves a 16 year old who shows some political cartoon talent, and the Mossad intends to invest in the youngster everything it has, so that eventually he will be planted in the leading publications abroad. From his important professional bases he gains access to any world leader the spy agency wishes him to get in touch with... The CIA learns about the project, and joins forces with the Mossad... The novel succeeded so well that at times Lurie was suspected of playing the role of a real super spy. The director general of the publishing house in the US/Canada praised the success of the novel, describing it as a best seller superceding The Da Vinci Code, Hillary Clinton's book, and all other books in the publishing company's arsenal except for Harry Potter...
"Among the Suns" is the first of his 10 cartoon albums published when he was 20 (1952). Efraim Kishon wrote the foreword.
Published by the New York Times, (1973)
Published by the New York Times, (1975)
Published by the University Press of Hawaii, foreword by the Honorable Clare Boothe Luce(1980)
Published by Secker & Warburg, London, (1982)
Published by Andrews and McMeel, (1983)
Published by the Shinchosha publishing house, Tokyo, (1984)
A war artist. Fallujah, Iraq, December 2004.
The Los Angeles Times page that resulted from his embedded time with the Marines in Fallujah
With the Marines in Fallujah, Iraq: Charlie Company, 1/3 USMC
At the end of December 2004, at the age of 72, he embeds himself with a first line marine company in Fallujah, Iraq. He goes with the marines on patrols, moves with them in combat, shares with them their dilapidated quarters, food, and lack of sleep. In 11 days he loses 10 pounds. His combat drawings appear on full pages in some of the countries major publications.
Sources and more biographical data: MacNeill/Lehrer News Hour, The International Who's Who, Who's Who in America, Who's Who in the World, The London Times, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, TIME Magazine, Newsweek Magazine.
| World Leaders
being interviewed by Ranan Lurie
(click on photographs for enlargements)
Some of Ranan Lurie's early works
(Throughout 1986 -1994, Lurie served as the News Cartoonist for The MacNEIL/LEHRER NEWSHOUR, ABC's NIGHTLINE, Germany's Z.D.F. national television, and later at ABC's early morning television News Hour).
|From 2000 to 2004 he served as the political cartoonist for FOREIGN AFFAIRS magazine,
where his full-page cartoon appeared regularly.