A new Israeli superhero, named Iron Dome and fashioned out of the blue and white and the star of David in the Israeli flag, has received massive backlash on the internet after being introduced by a pro-Israeli group called ‘StandWithUs.’
“Introducing, a new Israeli superhero: Iron Dome, the protector/defender of Israel. We love it! #irondome10,” the group tweeted from their verified account in the micro-blogging site Twitter on May 30 (Sunday). The tweet from the group also included a picture of the superhero with a smirking face.
Who is the new superhero?
StandWithUs credited the image to Sarai Givaty Luboschits, an Israeli artist, singer, song-writer and model. In an Instagram post, earlier in the week, Givaty had briefed the event that led to the creation of the cartoon of Iron Dome. She said that she used the idea of a superhero to explain to her children about the conflict between Israel and Hamas.
While Iron Dome, Israel’s multi-tiered missile defense system, was active in intercepting the rockets fired by the Hamas, she told her children that the loud noises actually came from the superhero smashing the missiles. She also said that the artwork was made by two illustrators and artists named Yehuda Devir and Maya Devir after she explained the story to them. She also hoped that Iron Dome would be a symbol of strength, victory and heroism for the children of Israel, in her Instagram post in Hebrew.
Iron Dome now has a private account in Instagram with more than 3,000 followers and 15 posts under the name irondome10.
When StandWithUs tweeted Givaty’s Instagram post, it received massive backlash from the users of the site, many of whom called it propaganda material. Amidst the ongoing tensions between Israel and Hamas, the cartoon attracted major flak from users who called out Israel for their military action in Palestine.
Some users also commented that the artwork is inappropriate and said that the character looks more villainous than heroic.
StandWithUs has more than 120,000 followers on Twitter that includes the likes of former US President Barack Obama, Human Rights Watch and Israel in India.