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Thursday, January 20, 2011

Not your ordinary Superhero comic book


I don't usually review comic books, but when this one landed in my Inbox from a friend in the UK, I couldn't resist it.

"Captain Israel" is a new Superhero comic book for youth produced by Los Angeles-based StandWithUs. According to its mission statement StandWithUs is "an international education organization that ensures that Israel's side of the story is told in communities, campuses, libraries, the media and churches through brochures, speakers, conferences, missions to Israel, and thousands of pages of Internet resources." Produced for youth "Captain Israel" is one of their efforts. I did not find it amusing ... or heroic. I found it appalling.

Though peace in the Middle East is one of its objectives, none of the images or text in "Captain Israel" are peaceful. Quite the contrary. The message is simple: What we say is the truth. People who disagree with us are anti-Semitic liars and Jew-haters who are trying to destroy us. Follow us and you will participate in greatness. The images, text (which is all in CAPS) and tone mirror the propaganda produced by totalitarian regimes around the world: Don't think, follow us, be a hero. The message talks peace and prosperity, but the images are aggressive and violent. The message is scripted, point by point, from the Israeli propaganda (hasbara) playbook.

Anti-Semitism is a major preoccupation of StandWithUs and their Captain Israel comic book (the one reviewed here is the first of a series). I think the book is anti-Semitic. If you're wondering why, the answer is obvious: "Captain Israel" presents Jews as narrow-minded, clannish, bitterly antagonistic towards their neighbors, and dismissive of people who -- like Palestine's Arab population -- get in their way. If I were Jewish, I'd be offended. Jewish or not, I am offended and sickened by this Taliban-like screed.

CAPTAIN ISRAEL, A SUPERHERO for OUR TIME? I don't think so.

If you want to check it out for yourself, click here.





1 comment:

Anonymous said...

clever insights there