Sunday, June 19, 2011

Magneto aka Menachem Begin

That's what they write.


The producer of the initial X-Men films, Avi Arad, himself an Israeli, said of Magneto: “I would look, ideologically, more to Jabotinsky and Begin… Magneto to me is not a villain. But he becomes more like Kahane the more frustrated he is with the way the world is approaching the ones who are different.” In Rabbi Simcha Weinstein’s book Up, Up ,and Oy Vey!,which traces the very real influence Judaism had on the creators of many comic book superheroes, he quotes writer Chris Clarement, who was responsible for creating Magneto’s holocaust back-story. “It allowed me to turn him into a tragic figure who wants to save his People… I then had the opportunity over 200 issues to attempt to redeem him, to see if he could start over, if he could evolve in the way that Menachem Begin had evolved from a guy that the British considered ‘shoot on sight’ in 1945… to a statesman who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1976.”

Looking to the life of Menachem Begin to try to understand Magneto, from his early life of opposing the Zionist leadership’s bowing to British colonialism (much as one could say Xavier does in X-Men), to fighting for independence through any means necessary with the Irgun, one can see the connection. But as Claremont himself said, over the course of decades Begin’s role changed. In 1977 Begin lead the Likud party to take control of the state’s government and allied himself with many smaller fractions of the multi-party system that makes up Israeli politics. Ultimately, peace between Israel and a neighboring Arab state was reached for the first time in 1978, under Begin’s control, when the Camp David accord was struck with Egypt.


1 comment:

Juniper in the Desert said...

Have you heard about this?