Srulik Returns

Srulik, a beloved cartoon character crafted by Dosh (Kariel Gardosh), has emerged as an enduring symbol of Israel. Portrayed as a youthful Israeli pioneer donning a dunce cap (kova tembel) reminiscent of early Zionist imagery, Srulik made his debut in Israeli media during the 1950s. Since then, he has graced various platforms, from political cartoons to educational materials and advertising campaigns. Srulik embodies the archetypal “Sabra,” epitomizing traits like resilience, chutzpah, and ingenuity.

Dosh, the mastermind behind Srulik, utilized the character to convey a spectrum of perspectives on Israeli society, politics, and culture. For years, he contributed a daily political cartoon to the newspaper Ma’ariv, effectively providing visual commentary.

Following the events of October 7 and the subsequent war, Srulik, envisioned by Dosh, has resurfaced as a cherished national emblem. He’s made a comeback with a contemporary depiction, complete with a new Facebook page and car stickers bearing his image.

In his current iteration (seen on the left), Srulik sports military attire, is wrapped in the Israeli flag, and retains his iconic dunce cap, accompanied by the rallying cry, “We will overcome this as well.” The redesign, orchestrated by cartoonist Shay Charka in collaboration with the Gardosh family, signals Srulik’s renewed presence.

The slogan “We will overcome this as well” draws inspiration from a popular saying and a song by Meir Ariel: “We overcame Pharaoh, we will overcome this as well.”

According to Dr. Michael Gardosh and Daniela Gardosh-Santo, Dosh’s children, “Srulik still embodies the quintessential Israeli spirit—determined, brave, and popular (though a bit untidy), continuously evolving alongside the nation. He has been a cherished symbol for many years, bringing smiles even during tough times. Since the recent conflicts began, we’ve keenly felt his absence and believed it unthinkable that during such challenging times for Israel, he wouldn’t be by our side. Srulik embodies qualities integral to our national identity—honesty, determination, solidarity, patriotism, and love for our country.”


1. Who does Srulik represent?

2. How has he evolved over the years?

3. What does his ongoing relevance mean?

4. How does Srulik compare to other national characters?

– Consider Handala (Palestine), Uncle Sam (US), John Bull (UK), etc.


Created by Israeli cartoonist Uri Fink, Z’beng! (!זבנג) is a humorous weekly Israeli comic series geared towards Israeli teenagers that has been published for over three decades. The characters depicted in the comics are a wide range of teenagers, ranging from ‘typical’ teens, to feminists, Ethiopians, Russians, bullies, snobs, LGBTQ, goth, homeless, and many more. 

Z’beng!’s success has largely been attributed to the author’s willingness to make changes throughout the years in response to reader feedback—for example, altering characters’ appearances to reflect the latest fashions and trends. 

Remarking on a recent Z’beng! cover depicting Srulik, Fink stated, “Within this piece, the characters dramatically emerge from the iconic figure of Srulik. Z’beng! itself is deeply rooted in the cultural heritage symbolized by Srulik. Since Israel’s founding, Srulik has stood as a quintessential cartoon representation, becoming an integral part of the nation’s visual vocabulary and identity. I am particularly gratified by the approval (by the Gardosh family) to incorporate this image, recognizing the importance of fostering Israeli pride during these challenging times.”

Look at the teen characters featured in Uri Fink’s cartoon:

1. Describe what you see.

– Who are the characters?

– In your opinion, is anyone missing?

– Do the other characters resemble Srulik?

2. What do these characters say about Israel?

3. Is there such a thing as a “typical Israeli”?



1. These images were created to convey a message. What message do you see?

2. Are these images relevant today?

Dosh, Exhibition Catalog, Eretz Israel Museum, 2007, P. 84

Image 1

Srulik and his shadow are split into two, engaged in heated arguments. The image is meant to serve as a commentary on the deep divide within Israeli society among different factions, a division which continues until today, between left and right, hawks and doves, and the political disputes over religious and secular matters.

Dosh, Exhibition Catalog, Eretz Israel Museum, 2007, P. 85

Image 2

Srulik knocking on a door of Tzedek—Justice—צדק.

Srulik is depicted knocking on the door of “justice.” The door stands alone, unattached to a building, in the middle of nothing. Dosh created the image as a commentary on the unjust treatment and judgment by Israel from the international community.

Dosh, Exhibition Catalog, Eretz Israel Museum, 2007, P. 19

Image 3

Srulik and his reflection in the mirror (1988)

Dosh said he would have liked to preserve Srulik as a small boy, innocent and mischievous. However, Srulik was inevitably destined to grow up, undergoing a process of maturation that brings disillusionment, seriousness, and a departure from his carefree innocence. This image depicts the harsh realities of the world which Srulik will face as he matures. Dosh also used the reflection in the mirror, a recurring motif, as a reminder of antisemitic representation of Jews. 

Srulik Yom Kippur war—1973

Image 4

In this image, Dosh shows Srulik shaking the hand of a fallen soldier. The soldier represents himself, and all those who gave their lives during the war. 

Image by Shay Charka

Image 5

April 2018, Makor Rishon Magazine

Shay Charka writes a “letter” to Dosh. Makor Rishon April 2018. The letter opens with these words:

“I wanted to share with you my optimistic assessment of Srulik’s condition. In the mid-90s I thought he was dying, maybe even in a state of brain death, but it seems to me that he’s out of danger, he’s already joking with cartoonists!”

Shay Charka is a cartoonist, caricaturist, illustrator and comic artist. He works for Makor Rishon, which publishes weekly his drawings and caricatures. He has published 15 comics albums, and also illustrated many books. His most recent graphic novel is about Herzl (Tziporim Barosh Shel Herzl).

Image by Nusko

Image 6

Nusko depicts Srulik following South Africa’s accusation of Israel committing genocide to the International Criminal Court in 2024. This image is also a reference to the Dreyfus Affair and trial in 1894 during which French writer Emil Zola wrote an open letter to the French president in defense of Alfred Dreyfus where he said, “J’Accuse…!” “I Accuse!”

Image by Dudu Geva

Image 7

Middle Aged Srulik By Dudu Geva

In this watercolor illustration, we witness a contemporary and forlorn rendition of Srulik, complete with a protruding belly, a cigarette dangling from his lips, a firm grip on a TV remote, and a measly curl.


For more information about the creation and evolution of Srulik, check out this article by Unpacked.

Dosh’s Works Homepage

The Daily Political Cartoon

Srulik Facebook Page (in Hebrew)

Israeli Cartoon Museum (in Hebrew)

Design Duty

תחנות יסוד קשורות בתחום החינוך לישראל

Related Building Blocks of Israel Education