Ira Ginzburg | CityKat Stories


By Ira Ginzburg

This illustration depicts my personal reflection on the situation in our beloved country, created during one of Israel’s most difficult and challenging times.

The image is set in the shuk at the end of the day, where the unsold fruit lies near the garbage. Three of Israel’s founding leaders are searching among the scattered leftover Jaffa oranges.

Jaffa oranges are a symbol of a vision not only of a flourishing and prosperous Land of Israel, but also of the proud new Jew who works the land. The three former prime ministers in the illustration—David Ben-Gurion, Golda Meir, and Menachem Begin—were the leaders who shaped the vision and blueprint for how our country was supposed to look today.

Their actions as prime ministers are also at the center of many of the conflicts we are talking about today. The Yom Kippur War happened on Golda’s watch; Begin was the one to make peace with Egypt; and Ben-Gurion agreed that ultra-Orthodox men would not be conscripted into military service in the early years of the state.

All of these milestones are controversial in today’s Israeli society. (The Haredi draft law is today tearing Israeli society apart.) Some of the values they engaged with are being reevaluated, like the meaning of peace and the price we pay for it.

These three leaders—now much older—are forced to sort out these values and clear away the “rotten,” leaving just those that are still relevant and that can carry Israel through the next 25 years or (God willing) forever.

A personal anecdote: I illustrated this image while flying from New York to Paris. I sat next to an American child of Chinese descent with a cute little dog on her lap. I’m used to people asking me questions, like what I do or what I illustrate. This time was no different. The girl complimented the illustration but also asked why I was illustrating such a strange scene. She had no background on Israel other than knowing it wasn’t in the USA and that there are protests at Columbia University on Israeli topics, among other things. Explaining the illustration made me think and confirm everything I wrote above and understand for myself why I chose this direction.

Artwork by Ira Ginzburg

Ira Ginzburg is the Founder & Creative Director of CityKat Stories.

תחנות יסוד קשורות בתחום החינוך לישראל

Related Building Blocks of Israel Education