Robot 6

Move over, Captain America: Meet Captain Israel

In the wake of broader worldwide acceptance of superheroes and comic books, a new hero has been introduced: Captain Israel. Published by the nonprofit pro-Israel education and advocacy organization StandWithUs, Captain Israel #1 debuted at the group’s annual Festival of Lights event in Los Angeles.

In an interview with The Jerusalem Post, StandWithUs CEO Roz Rothstein said the character was introduced because “as Israel’s Jewish connection to Israel and the land is always being challenged, we wanted to reestablish our Jewish roots and make sure that everyone understood the history, stuff we know and take for granted and that others try to chip away at.”

Rothstein goes further, saying the comic was devoted to “establishing a hero, establishing roots, [and] countering the venomous BDS [Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions] movement. We’re in the business of branding the movement so that it’s clear that the players that promote boycotting Israel are not well-intentioned.”

Captain Israel was created by Arlen Schumer, a longtime New York City art director and illustrator, who has produced superhero-themed illustrations for publications such as Wired and The Wall Street Journal. This new Israeli hero’s costume bears a strong resemblance to Marvel’s Captain America, and fittingly enough that character has Jewish roots as well; Marvel’s star-spangled hero  was created by two sons of Jewish immigrants: Joe Simon and Jack Kirby.

You can view an eight-page preview of Captain Israel #1 on StandWithUs’ website, as well as order the premiere issue.

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Comments

16 Comments

What about Sabra? Sexist….

I’m OK with the concept but … Does he have to look EXACTLY like Captain America, only with the Star of David everywhere? Given Israel’s long history, it’s quite possible to find some great elements here and there to create something unique.

Sean T. Collins

January 20, 2011 at 9:58 am

Perhaps one of his superpowers is telepathy, given that he can apparently read the minds of everyone involved in the divestment movement.

Who need Captain Israel when the greatest superhero of all time, Superman himself, is so obviously Jewish? And yeah, I’ve always thought Simon and Kirby definitely always meant for the world’s number Nazi-buster to be Jewish as well. I bet Steve Rogers’ real name was Chaim Rabinowitz.

Interesting that it opens with a quote from that famous raging anti-Semite Mark Twain. Someone hasn’t read Dave Sim’s Judenhas.

StandWithUs is a pretty cheap bunch of hacks. Captain Israel is basically an advertisement, similar to when your dentist creates a super-hero to fight plaque. I’m kind of shocked this has gotten the attention it has.

But anyways, just for the edification of others out there, you may be interested in a pro-BDS comic by yours truly (toot toot). I’m no less a hack, but nobody paid me for my efforts, I make them because I believe BDS is the best way to get justice for Israelis and Palestinians:
http://www.freedomfunnies.com/read.php?id=10

Or maybe you want a hilarious and vicious takedown of Captain Israel and the sort of Zionist appropriation of Aryan body image myths?
I strongly encourage everyone to read the comics of Eli Valley:
http://www.evcomics.com/2008/09/29/jews-and-american-comics/
http://www.evcomics.com/2008/05/29/israel-man-and-diaspora-boy/

Then of course there’s the rabidly racist fawning biography of rabid racist Meir Kahane, in comics form:
http://mondoweiss.net/2010/10/settler-network-promotes-racist-comics-to-bring-meir-kahane-to-a-new-generation-of-israelis.html

Did the Jewish people invent the lens flare? Oy gevalt!

@Stuart: “Raging anti-Semite” seems like a pretty broad overstatement of Twain, though I’ll admit to not having read Judenhas. Largely due to Sims being a raging misogynist.

http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/US-Israel/twain.html

Without wanting to open a whole political discussion here, it should be noted that StandWithUs is an *extremely* controversial group among Jewish people, one that occupies a specific position on the right. Referring to them as merely a “nonprofit pro-Israel education and advocacy organization” is as incomplete as it would be to call the Tea Party simply “a group of American constitutional scholars defending their country against the seeping poison of socialism that is Obamacare.” In each case, those who agree with the group’s views might find it an accurate description…but people who oppose that viewpoint would resent the insinuation.

Oops, Ethan posted his comment while I was writing mine.

So many lens flares, it’s hard to see the line art. Did the background need to have shiny bits, too?

Okay, he’s a political advocacy super-hero.

Let’s not forget that Captain America was controversial when he was first introduced, punching Hitler in the face. Simon and Kirby received harassment for that. (Technically, that makes him a political advocacy hero as well.)

That said, Captain Israel is probably not going to become so iconic simply because Israeli pop-culture is really not that into super-hero comics

‘Captain Imperialist’ is more like it. Can’t help noticing they included the occupied territories in the logo.

I’m just going to go out there and say it. This is a terrible piece of art, doesn’t matter what it’s about.

I think Captain Israel is awesome. I read the 8 page preview on the website, and it a good job going over the history of Jews is the Holy Land. This Captain Israel kept on saying “I was there” when he talked about the events that happened in the past like the Dreyfus affair or the founding of Tel Aviv. Maybe he’s like Uncle Sam in that he’s a spirit who watches over the Jewish people.

Sir Manley Johnson

January 20, 2011 at 6:29 pm

Before you go tossing around the term “anti-semite” perhaps you should do some reading Stuart. Samuel Clemens was an ardent defender of the Jewish people. http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/US-Israel/twain.html
While he did start out with a negative and stereotypical view he grew out of that.

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