Shira Haas is set to play the Israeli superhero Sabra in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. But now Marvel seems to be caving to pressure brought by some groups that say that the character is somehow offensive to Arabs.
Emmy-nominated actress known for the popular Israeli television series “Shtisel” and the Emmy-nominated TV miniseries “Unorthodox” Shira Haas is still set to appear as the character, however, in the upcoming fourth Captain America Feature film titled, “Captain America: New World Order,” which is expected to be released in 2024.
The Sabra is a type of fruit, but in Israel, it is used to refer to native born Israelis, because like the fruit they are rough on the outside and sweet on the inside. And the 27 year old Shira Haas is herself a Sabra, having been born in Israel, so the casting is fitting.
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Sabra – in the comics – was born Ruth Bat-Seraph near Jerusalem, grew up on a kibbutz and was the first superhuman Mossad agent in history. Sabra once fought with the Hulk who thought she was a bad guy and has enhanced all of her physical abilities, such as strength, speed, agility, reflexes, endurance and stamina, and is also bullet proof like Superman. Her first appearance came in a Hulk comic book and then Sabra got her own spin off series starting with a story set in Israel titled “Incredible Hulk: Power in the Promised Land!”
But groups that hate Israel while masquerading as NGOS working for peace and in opposition to racism have come out and criticized the inclusion of the Sabra character. They have falsely claimed that the Sabra character is somehow anti-Arab.
One anti-Israel group even went so far as to declare, that “by glorifying the Israeli military and police, Marvel is encouraging Israel’s violence against Palestinians and allows the continued oppression of millions of Palestinians living under Israel’s authoritarian military regime.”
So, what did Marvel do? Marvel Studios “reassured” the critics that the Sabra character in their movies will not be the same as the one from the comic books and that she will not be an offense to Arabs.
“While our characters and stories are inspired by the comics,” Marvel Studios said in a statement, “they are always freshly imagined for the screen and today’s audience, and the filmmakers are taking a new approach with the character Sabra who was first introduced in the comics over 40 years ago.”