Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Meet Captain Israel, the anti-BDS superhero

Creators of a new comic hope that they can counter the 'venomous' Israel boycott movement.

Mark LeVine

Saving Brand Israel

It turns out that Captain Israel has come - from where, no one knows (Brooklyn? Miami Beach? Petakh Tikva?) - to save Brand Israel from the evildoers behind the Boycott, Disinvestment and Sanctions movement. In my last column I interviewed Birzeit University sociologist Lisa Taraki, one of the founders of the movement, who explained that the BDS programme sought to raise awareness of how the Israeli government and its allies in the US spend millions of dollars to create a brand image of Israel that occludes the realities of the occupation and its treatment of Palestinians....

Comically revisionist history

Captain Israel could use his super brain power to help educate Israelis - actually, American Jews, since I can't imagine any Israeli wasting her time reading the comic - about the realities of decades of brutal occupation, the same way the great Jewish superheroes of old, the Prophets, took on the People of Israel when their actions contradicted biblical injunctions against oppression and exploitation.

Captain Israel could even show up at the next demonstration in Bil'in or Sheikh Jarrah and defend the Israeli and Palestinian peace activists who are routinely attacked by Israeli forces and settlers. (In fact, in working together non-violently against occupation, they are the true superheroes of today.)

Instead, Captain Israel seems to be reading from a very old (comic) book, one in which Israel can do no wrong and the Land of Israel is empty of Palestinians, who don't exist in his version except as "absentee landowners" 100 years ago and terrorists today.

Perhaps his super vision is such that he doesn't even have to see them. Why should he, when he tells us that nothing important happened for the last 400 years in the country, until Jews came back and took a desolate, barren, empty land and repopulated and restored it?...."

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