Ranan Lurie

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From the CSIS website

One of the most honored cartoonists in the world, Ranan Lurie's work has been recognized with 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 U.S. Senate granted him the unprecedented honor of a Senate exhibit of his political art, sponsored jointly by Republicans and Democrats. Lurie invented an animated cartoon technique, which has appeared on the leading television networks, including ABC and PBS. Lurie came to the United States from his native Israel in 1968 to work for Life Magazine, becoming its first and only political cartoonist and cover artist for five years. Later, he served for three years as political cartoonist and contributing editor for Newsweek and senior analyst and political cartoonist for U.S. News and World Report. In 1983, he was invited to become senior political analyst and cartoonist for Japan's Asahi Shimbun and was appointed Honorary Member of the Asahi Shimbun for Life. Prior to his position in Japan, he was political cartoonist for the Times of London (1981-1983). During 1980, he worked as both an interviewer and chief political cartoonist for West Germany's Die Welt. Since 1994, Lurie has produced a weekly cartoon page for Time International Magazine, entitled "Lurie's World," until he founded and became editor in chief of Cartoon News in September 1996. In 1997 he was invited by Europe's oldest paper, the Swiss Neue Zürcher Zeitung, to launch their first political cartoon in 221 years, and in September 2000, he joined Foreign Affairs, where he now serves as the regular political cartoonist. On March 14, 2002, the president of the Republic of Cyprus, Glfacos Clerides, nominated Mr. Lurie for the Nobel Peace Prize. The presidential nomination was based on the following: "Mr. Lurie has contributed greatly in creating a great spirit of understanding among the people of many races, and has helped in the effort to defuse political and other hot conflicts worldwide." [1]

Cartoonist and spy (or vice versa)?

  • Q: Did the Mossad bounce up the sale figures of your first book, published by Israel’s Ministry of Defense, to make it a best seller and give your career as a caricaturist a flying boost?
  • A: I don’t know.
  • Q: Did the Mossad buy the news magazine Tevel and make you editor in chief to build your reputation as a journalist?
  • A: I don’t know.
  • Q: Is it true that the Guinness Book of Records named you the world’s most popular caricaturist for 20 straight years and that it wrote in its 1999 edition that your work appears on a regular basis in 1,105 newspapers in 103 countries with a daily total circulation of 104 million?
  • A: Yes.
  • Q: In addition to the syndicate of 1,105 newspapers, in what other publications have your political cartoons appeared?
  • A: Yedioth Ahronoth, Life,Time, Newsweek, U.S. News and World Report, the Los Angeles Times, the Times of London, Die Welt, Asahi Shimbun, Neue Zurcher Zeitung, Foreign Affairs.
  • Q: Did you really infiltrate an Egyptian warship posing as an Australian journalist and interview and photograph Egyptian officers? And if so, why as an Australian?
  • A: Yes. My mother was Australian.
  • Q: In the novel coming out soon you describe the training underwent by its hero, “Eric Lurie”, as a paratroop and special forces commando. In the book, he commands an Anglo-French assault team. The same unit is tasked with carrying out an air drop over an Egyptian intelligence bunker in Sinai for the sake of procuring vital intelligence for the Israeli, French and British armies which fought in the Suez campaign. Were you actually in Cyprus in the weeks leading up to the war and were you in conversation about the coming campaign with the French paratroops commander in Cyprus?
  • A: Yes.
  • Q: Were you also in touch with Field Marshal Sir John Harding, the British governor of Cyprus and supreme commander of British forces in Cyprus before the invasion of Egypt?
  • A: Yes.
  • Q: You wrote in the novel that the information Eric and his unit gathered in the Sinai mission led to the shooting down of the Soviet-built Ilyushin aircraft carrying most of the Egyptian general staff. Is it true that these generals, admirals and air marshals were blown up in mid-flight shortly before the Suez campaign?
  • A: Yes, and for many years it was kept a close secret by the Israelis and the Egyptians too, who all that time suspected Israel was holding their generals prisoner.
  • Q: Did you train and perform parachute drops in the United States with the 101st Airborne Division at Fort Campbell, Kentucky? In other words, did you receive US Special Operations training?
  • A: Yes.
  • Q: Did you train and parachute with the French Foreign Legion in the French Pyranees?
  • A: Yes.
  • Q: Did you train and parachute with the British 16th Paratroop Regiment at Aldershot?
  • A: Yes.
  • Q: Did you participate in British submarine exercises?
  • A: Yes.
  • Q: Were you invited to lecture to senior officers at military bases in the United States after the Suez campaign? And did you?
  • A: Yes.
  • Q: Were you the lover of Claire Booth, the legendary and beautiful editor who opened the doors of Time-Life to you, as you described in detail in your book?
  • A: Yes. She even talked about it to my wife when she met her years later.
  • Q: Did President Glafcos Clerides of Cyprus put your name forward on behalf of his country for a Nobel peace prize?
  • A: Yes.
  • Q: Did you serve in the Mossad?
  • A: No.
  • Q: Did you serve in the CIA?
  • A: No.
  • Q: If you had served in either of those intelligence agencies, would you admit it.
  • A: I don’t suppose so.

Source: X Revealed as Ranan Lurie, DEBKAfile Exclusive interview, March 19, 2004.

Editor & Publisher write:

Kelly McBride, a member of the Poynter Institute's ethics faculty, said being a spy and an editorial cartoonist is obviously a conflict of interest. "It's the same conflict that would arise if a journalist was a snitch for the cops," she told E&P. "You have different duties. The journalist's duty is to tell the truth. The law-enforcement person's duty is to keep the peace. You can't do both jobs well. Ultimately, you compromise your journalistic integrity."
Lurie acknowledged that a spy may be guilty of "betraying his journalism profession," but, he added, "sometimes for a very honorable cause." He noted hypothetically that if a spy working as a New York Times journalist gathered information that prevented 9/11, "he's a hero."
— Dave Astor, "Ranan Lurie: Political Cartoonist… and Spy?, Editor & Publisher, April 16, 2004.

Al Ahram dumps Lurie

Campaign Contributions

  • George Bush, May 2004, $500
  • George Bush, March 2004, $1,000 [2]