Wednesday, October 11, 2023

More disturbing details about pseudo-creators who've supported anti-Israelism

Some more clues have turned up as to the vile conduct of at least a few of the comics writers previously mentioned here, such as past posts on X/Twitter by Saladin Ahmed. For example, as discovered through here, here and here, and seen in the following screencap:
There's also a bit more involving Nadia Shammus, which appears to be from more recently, before she shut her page, and it even includes people who interacted on the same thread:
This is some of the most truly repulsive stuff I've ever seen littering social media, and again beggars the queries how much longer the Big Two, along with any indies employing these 2, in example, will continue to associate with them. Already, Playboy parted ways with a Lebanese-American "media influencer" named Mia Khalifa, and Marvel would do well to follow their example by parting ways with Ahmed. Lest we forget, all other comics creators who recognize the seriousness of the issues here must also end any and all contact they've had with Ahmed and Shammus until now. In view of the savagery the Hamas committed, this is exactly why no self-respecting comics creator should ever associate with people like them again. Also, lest we forget, Ahmed injected some bad stereotypes into Daredevil.

Barbarism against infancy

One of the most horrifying things the Hamas did when they invaded the southern border towns in Israel was murdering infants:
I24NEWS Correspondent Nicole Zedek reported that when security forces retook the town of Kfar Aza from the Hamas terrorists who massacred over a thousand Israelis on Saturday, they found the bodies of 40 babies throughout the town.

Some of the infants were decapitated

Maj. Gen. Itai Veruv described the scene to i24NEWS: "It’s not a war, it’s not a battlefield. You see the babies, the mother, the father, in their bedrooms, in their protection rooms, and how the terrorists killed them. It's a massacre."

As many as 200 victims were found in Kfar Aza
, where Zedek said the air was full of the "smells of death."
Those who refuse to condemn such graphic barbarism should be utterly ashamed of themselves.

Update: here's more on the subject.

Tuesday, October 10, 2023

Saladin Ahmed's Daredevil story builds on antisemitic tropes

There've been at least a few other cases of antisemitic imagery turning up in Marvel's stories in recent years, with at least one other example in X-Men produced by a Muslim adherent, Ardian Syaf, and now author Saladin Ahmed, on the week when Israel was struck by a horrific massacre by Hamas terrorists in Gaza, turned out another example, as reported by Religion News Service:
“Daredevil,” the popular Marvel Comics series, was relaunched this month with a new creative team and several innovations, including a new adversary for its swashbuckling blind superhero that has drawn fire from interfaith scholars.

Starting with a new issue #1, Daredevil, whose civilian identity is Matthew Murdock, is now a Catholic priest in New York City. The nameless new villain, meanwhile, has long horns, a long white beard and a hooked nose — imagery straight out of anti-Jewish Nazi propaganda, the commentators say.

“This illustration draws from an ancient tradition of demonizing Jews in literature and art to portray a clash between good and evil,” said Malka Simkovich, director of Catholic-Jewish studies at Catholic Theological Union in Chicago.

“The hooked nose and the beard, as well as the weathered and wrinkled forehead, suggest that the antagonist in question is a demonic rabbi.” It doesn’t help, Simkovich added, that Daredevil is shown fending his enemy off with a cross.

Rabbi A. James Rudin, who recently became the first rabbi granted a knighthood by Pope Francis, called it “repulsive.”

“When I first saw the illustration of Daredevil’s opponent in this new iteration of the comic book hero, I was immediately struck by his resemblance to posters advertising a Nazi propaganda film called “Der Ewige Jude” (“The Eternal Jew”),” said Philip A. Cunningham, director of the Institute for Jewish-Catholic Relations at Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia. “One might have hoped that the comic’s creators would have been wary of playing with such hateful imagery in these days of unabashed antisemitic rhetoric.”
Clearly, this guy hasn't paid much attention to Ahmed's own past rhetoric, but what's also offensive here is editor C.B. Cebulski's failure to prevent this. Something tells me Joe Quesada and Axel Alonso wouldn't have taken proper action against Ahmed either, the dismissal of Syaf for his own offenses notwithstanding. Speaking of which, even the artist for this DD tale has blame to shoulder, and, when contacted, defended his approach:
When reached by email on Thursday (Oct. 5), “Daredevil” artist Aaron Kuder vigorously objected to any reading of his art as antisemitic. “If you’re comparing my art to that of Nazi propaganda … Well, that’s just insane. Completely laughably insane. Also extremely and utterly insulting,” he wrote in an email.

“I will point out that in the Nazi propaganda that I’m aware of (I’m no expert) dark hair is also a key component. Also, being short in height is a key visual component. Neither of which are components in the villain design … literally any kind of person can have large facial features and long hair. There is no correlation here.”

Explaining that he never comments on ongoing stories, Kuder said he made an exception because he could not stand by and “be even passively lumped in” with other artists previously disciplined by Marvel who “slipped messages of hate past their editors.”
He may be of Jewish descent himself, but that doesn't make it impossible to be a self-hater who'd rely on vulgar stereotypes, and it doesn't help he's admitting to lack of expertise on the subjects, nor that he didn't make the villain short or have black hair. Even half the details can be pretty bad, to say nothing of subtle.
In 2017, fans discovered antisemitic and anti-Christian messages in the pages of “X-Men Gold” #1, inserted by Indonesian artist Ardian Syaf. The company removed the images from subsequent printings, digital versions and trade paperbacks. In 2021, Marvel removed antisemitic imagery from print and digital editions of its “Immortal Hulk” comic after fans noticed a panel with a jewelry store whose name was rendered as “Cronemberg Jewery” with a reverse Star of David in the window.
Regarding the issue of a Jewish-owned jewelry store in the Hulk, that might've been an overreaction, even if the idea's an easy one. But Syaf's stealthings, that's another matter, and based on his vindictive reactions, that's one more reason why it was offensive, and he thus confirmed something was wrong. Notice, however, that this article makes no serious attempt to ask if Muslim anti-semitism played any part here, nor is there any exploration of how Marvel allowed for anti-white metaphors into the pages of the Hulk, or anti-conservative ones into the pages of X-Men (or even accompanying misogynist allusions).
Some see an irony in Marvel’s history, as the superhero comic book industry was founded by Jewish creators almost a century ago out of necessity, when they were discriminated against from working in the mainstream publishing world.
What's really sad is how Jewish creations and productions were devoured by a mainstream conglomeracy with no genuine respect for their publishers and creators. One that's highly unlikely, even today, to hire right-wing Jews any more than non-Jews of the same political bent.
Gerry Gladston, chief marketing and legal officer for Midtown Comics, the industry’s leading retailer of comic books and graphic novels based in New York City, said this week he was unaware of any complaints about the “Daredevil” issue until contacted by Religion News Service but saw it as an educational opportunity.

Simkovich, meanwhile, expressed concern that without response from Marvel, the antisemitic message will continue to be promoted under the reader’s radar.

“Readers who scan these pages will become inculcated and inured to antisemitic tropes without even knowing that it’s happening,” she said. “They will become desensitized to situations in which such demonization presents an immediate danger to the health and wellbeing of Jewish people.”
At a time when Israel's under attack in many ways, Ahmed's story is practically a gift to antisemites, subtly or otherwise. It remains to be seen if Marvel will take disciplinary action against him for doing something that couldn't have come at a worse time. But back to the main article, they even made sure to inject some kind of moral equivalence:
Not everyone sees the “Daredevil” images as only antisemitic. “The image also seems to pull on anti-Arab imagery,” said Hussein Rashid, an independent scholar whose focus is religion and comics.

“The use of symbols against an adversary or The Adversary is quite common in comics,” said Rashid, adding that “comics, not just Marvel, are replete with images and storylines that continue to reinforce narratives of marginalization.”
This sounds more like somebody trying to imply Ahmed doesn't speak for him, not very convincingly, and simultaneously, he must be alluding to Bill Willingham's Fables, which had a leading villain called The Adversary years before. This strongly suggests the interviewee hated the pro-Israel metaphors in Fables, ditto any pro-conservative ones. Just what's RNS trying to prove here anyway? Also again, no mention of Islam, curiously enough, nor any effort made to explain that Arabic background has nothing to do with this, only the Religion of Peace.

I think Kurt Busiek was once a supporter of Ahmed. It'll remain to be seen if left-wing Busiek's still willing to associate in any with him after this atrocious scandal (I was able to find a result on search engines that gave a clue to Busiek's interactions with Ahmed, seen in the screencap on the side). The same goes for many other comics contributors the industry over. And once again, Marvel's proven they're not honoring the memory of Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, Joe Simon, or anybody else who did far more for comicdom than people like Ahmed ever will.

Comics creators showing solidarity with Israel after Hamas bloodbath on October 7

The Hamas jihadist organization in the Gaza strip launched a horrifying attack on southern Israel this weekend, murdering hundreds and even taking women and children hostage. Following this, it's good to find there are comics creators who're showing their support for Israel in such an awful time. For example, Billy Tucci:
Update: Tucci seems to have erased his post on X, but did provide one on Instagram.

And there's also Bryan Hill and Mark Sable on Instagram:
Sable, however, runs the atrocious gauntlet of moral equations, and visiting the Old City of Jerusalem isn't going to alleviate the problem. It sounds like he's buying into the same propaganda "journalist" Heidi MacDonald does. Let's not forget Sable once penned Graveyard of Empires, which was pretty fishy.

While I appreciate if liberal creators are voicing solidarity, this begs a vital question as to whether they'll continue to support the Democrats, seeing how their policies appeasing Iran with billions of dollars played a part in leading to this catastrophe. Seriously, anybody who continues to support such a movement after all the trouble they caused, which'll have a most traumatizing effect for years to come, and damage that'll take epochs to clean up, isn't making a very convincing effort to prove they're willing to defend Israel properly.

It now remains to be seen if more in the comics industry proper will be willing to not just support Stan Lee, Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster's Israeli brethren, but also shun those who've voiced hostility, like Saladin Ahmed, who no longer seems to be on social media, as the following indicates: And per this screencap, look who else appears to have fled X/Twitter lately:
G. Willow Wilson, the writer who developed what became Marvel's form of Islamic propaganda in the past decade, the Muslim Ms. Marvel, is no longer using the platform. And that's good. The less such people involved in comics writing using these social media outlets, the better. But surely even more vital a query is whether the industry as a whole will shun them now, after all the harm they caused over the years, along with another writer named Sana Amanat. And better still, is the comics industry as we know it now willin to combat the issue of Islamic terrorism in the pages of four-color press?

Update: one more cartoonist who's voiced solidarity with Israel is Bosch Fawstin: And that's a very vital point the left-wing creators in comicdom would do well to consider, if they really want to prove they respect the memories of Siegel, Shuster, Lee and Kirby.

Update 2: one more left-wing, anti-Israel comics writer who appears to have fled X is the following:
Nadia Shammas, who even had the gall to put a PLO flag on her account. It'll be very fortunate if she no longer posts on X any more than Ahmed and Wilson.

Update 3: here's one more by Bill Willingham: While I've had my disagreements with Willingham in the past, I do appreciate this.

UN thinks transsexual men are more important a focus than the many Israeli women murdered by Hamas

Once again, the UN makes clear they're not on actual women's side, and in this case, they turn their backs on Israeli/Jewish women murdered by the Hamas, as they instead chose to celebrate transsexual men, the citation of lesbians notwithstanding:
The United Nations Women Twitter account posted about International Lesbian Day on the very day Israeli. women in the UN were kidnapped, raped, and slaughtered by Hamas. The Daily Wire’s Matt Walsh bashed the mixed morals.

On Oct 8, UN Women posted the following:

Remember, trans lesbians are lesbians too.

Let's uplift and honour EVERY expression of love and identity!

Happy International #LesbianDay! @free_equal

The post received close to 20,000 likes and counting after just 24 hours of being published. At around the same time the post had more than 17,000 comments but a large majority of them were in opposition of the celebration of “human rights” on the same day where hundreds of women were mercilessly attacked.

Most prominently, Walsh rebuked the sentiment.

“Women were just kidnapped, raped, murdered and paraded around on camera as trophies. UN Women has said nothing at all about it. Instead they’re tweeting their support for pervert men with autogynephilic fetishes,” he wrote on Twitter.

He’s not wrong. A member of the UN, Israel, just had a bloody massacre and some people are more worried that transgender women, aka men, get to be in relationships with other fake women.
Even actual lesbian women are frequent targets of these Religion of Peace worshipers, and this is whom the UN's so-called women's division considers worthy of promotion? Utterly offensive. And what they wrote couldn't have come at a worse time. No sane women should support this awful entity.

Update: besides the UN turning its back on actual women in distress, there's also other "women's rights movements" that aren't responding convincingly either. And nobody sane should contribute to those who turn their backs.

Monday, October 09, 2023

Complete failure of intel has responsibility for leading to this situation

Lilach Shoval looks at the issue of how Israeli intelligence services failed to see this tragedy of the Hamas assault coming:
The Simchat Torah attack is the 2023 version of the 1973 Yom Kippur war. The complete surprise – the governing paradigm, the collapse of the lines of defense – is very reminiscent of what happened here exactly 50 years ago.

In a well-synchronized and orchestrated move, Hamas managed to surprise even the best and brightest in Israeli intelligence and completely toppled the Gaza Division's doctrine, which relied in recent years on the security barrier that gave a false sense of security.

A similar scenario, involving infiltration, kidnapping, and a killing spree carried out under the auspices of massive rocket fire, has been discussed in recent years by the top brass in the IDF, only in regard to the northern border, after Hassan Nasrallah publicly announced in that he intends to "conquer the Galilee" – that is, to cross the border, enter residential towns and villages and kidnap civilians and soldiers. But no one expected that the evil would start from the south, and without any intelligence warning.

Ten hours after the start of the events – these are several of the difficult questions that someone will be forced to give answers at the investigative committees that will be established when the disaster is over.

Q: Where was the intelligence?

This is the first question that cries out to the sky. Just like 50 years ago, even if the intelligence had real signs of such an operation, these were not converted into actionable intelligence, and this complacency blew up in our faces with a colossal intelligence failure.

In the last few weeks, and even in the last few days, senior army officials have been heard talking about the fact that Hamas is not interested in escalating its relations with Israel and emphasized that the fact that thousands of workers enter Israel every day restrains the organization's leaders that are controlling Gaza, which wants to ensure the welfare of its residents.

Even though Hamas carried out a live drill of a crisis on the fence in the last two weeks, the intelligence assessment did not change
. As part of that exercise, Hamas sent hundreds of rioters to violent demonstrations, similar to the violent Friday protests held in the months before the COVID-19 pandemic. A few days ago, and after several pinpointed signal attacks, the IDF believed that the problem had been solved when the minister of defense gave the order to continue permitting the entrance of workers into Israeli territory.

Not only that but according to a military assessment of the situation, the IDF, the strongest army in the Middle East, which prides itself on good intelligence in our region and perhaps in the entire world, reduced its forces in the Gaza Strip in recent months and transferred them to Judea and Samaria in order to deal with the wave of murderous terrorism. And when the intelligence did not give any warning, even not a hint, the IDF top brass did not train the troops, did not order the deployment of Iron Domes, and this most serious incident caught most of the senior IDF commanders at home.

Like in the Yom Kippur War, the entire political and security leadership is accountable for the failure. The dire result is that even hours after the start of the attack, which erupted at 6:30 AM, there were still besieged towns, terrorists barricading themselves in houses, and a significant number of civilians and soldiers who had been kidnapped and taken into Gaza.
There's more to ponder, but for now, this is very grave, right down to how the army themselves don't seem to have been present at the Gaza perimeter, or seen the enemy approaching it. A really responsible intel service would've recognized and even made publicly clear that letting down our guard anywhere and everywhere could lead to such a situation. Instead, they downplayed the seriousness of the issue. Those responsible will have to resign and apologize. The IDF may have cleared all towns of vermin. But this fiasco is going to have a terrible after-effect for years to come.

The Hezbollah in Lebanon is just as dangerous as Hamas

Rick Moran reminds everyone that Hezbollah's bound to willing and ready to attack Israel, just like the Hamas did this weekend:
The Hamas invasion of Israel is the most significant military action against the Jewish state ever carried out by a terrorist group. The planning for this attack must have begun months ago in Tehran where the bulk of the funds used to arm and train fighters for the attack originated.

Anyone who refers to Hamas as “freedom fighters” should have their head examined. The terrorists kidnapped dozens of civilians — infants, old people, women — and are holding them somewhere in Gaza. As the IDF looks to turn back the terrorists who have invaded seven different areas in the South of Israel, they must contend with the eventuality of a Hezbollah attack in the North.

Already, Israel has exchanged artillery fire with Hezbollah, and the terrorist’s masters in Tehran have given fulsome praise to Hamas for the attack.

Might Hezbollah join Hamas and hit Israel in the North while the IDF is occupied in the South?

Sarit Zehavi, the founder of the Alma Center, which is a research center in Israel dedicated to understanding their national security situation, told the Washington Examiner that there’s a chance Hezbollah could soon attack Israel with the country’s attention focused on the south.

“It’s just a matter of decision for Hezbollah, whether it wants to join in or not. I believe this decision was not made yet, and that’s why we’re not there yet, but maybe we’re not that far from this place,” she said.“Here in Israel, we are preparing for the scenario of war also from the north because we understand it was within the interest of Iran and Hezbollah to escalate the Israeli-Lebanese border. We see what is happening in the south as a part of a bigger plan to attack Israel and weaken the state of Israel from multiple fronts, and I guess this is what the Iranians now are trying to create.”

Iran’s motives are clear. They want to disrupt the movement toward peace between Israel and their Arab neighbors, begun by Donald Trump. Tehran sees peace — quite rightly — as a massive loss of influence for Iran.
Obviously, they want to destroy chances of peace with Saudi Arabia (though lest we forget, even today, the House of Saud can still be very shady), along with quite possibly other such countries. But that's still nothing compared to the hostage crisis caused by the kidnappings of Israelis by Hamas that's now causing a serious issue. We must hope that won't deter the government from taking serious ground action in Gaza.

Update: Melanie Phillips addressed the crisis, and she makes some vital points:
How could this possibly have happened? Clearly, there has been a massive Israeli intelligence failure. It’s hard not to see a connection with the enormous anti-government protests over the past nine months, which saw Israelis trying to undermine the economy and even refusing to do army reservists’ duty.

Such a paralysing internal battle may have taken official eyes off the security ball. What’s undeniable is that the ferocity and length of these internal convulsions sent a signal that Israel was weakened. Many Israelis have been wondering over these past difficult months just when Israel’s mortal enemies would seize this opportunity to take advantage of this weakness. Now we have the dreadful answer.

And this barbarism has been paid for by the US and EU. What did they think all the money they were channelling into Gaza for “humanitarian” purposes would actually be used for? Now we have the answer.

What did the Biden administration think would be the result of appeasing, grovelling to and funding Iran, the paymasters of Hamas and Hezbollah? Now it has its answer.

America, the EU and Britain have consistently undermined Israel’s attempt to defend itself against attack. For the past century, the west has incentivised exterminatory Palestinian Arab terror against Israel by rewarding it with the promise of statehood — which the Palestinians always made plain they wanted only as a staging post towards Israel’s destruction — and punishing Israel for objecting to this existential threat.
The whole notion army reservists would refuse service over petty issues like judicial reform certainly damaged morale, and from a local perspective, also has to shoulder blame. Why, those would-be reservists should be fired by the army and not welcome to serve ever again, if that's their way of thinking.

Update 2: more news on the issue of kidnap victims.

Update 3: here's information on how the IDF smashed targets in Gaza. There's extra information here too.