Why is Disney’s Israeli superhero so worried

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Jerusalem and Abu Dhabi

The classic 1981 Marvel comic page shows the giant green hulk, tears streaming down his face as he screams at Sabra, an Israeli superhero and an Israeli intelligence agency agent. The body of a Palestinian child killed in an explosion apparently carried out by Arab “terrorists” at his feet.

“The boy died because the boys of the boys and your people both want the land! The boy died because you won’t share it!” says the Temple.

After several paintings, the woman in a white and blue outfit with a Star of David on her chest kneels beside the boy.

“It took Hulk to make her see this dead Arab boy as a human,” says the comic book. “It took a monster to awaken her sense of humanity.”

Sabra, the Israeli superhero, has appeared in several Marvel comics over the years, starring alongside such iconic characters as the Incredible Hulk, Iron Man, and X-Men.

More than forty years after the introduction of Sabra, Disney’s Marvel plans to bring her in for the filming of “Captain America: New World Order,” slated for release in 2024. That has caused an uproar among those who fear the revival of Sabra will lead to an offensive spread. Stereotypes about Arabs and dehumanization of Palestinians in cinema.

Critics say many of the Arab characters she’s interacted with in the comics appear to be misogynistic, anti-Semitic and violent, and question whether disturbing depictions of Arabs would have appeared differently in the film.

“This comic doesn’t suggest anything positive about how this movie was presented,” said Youssef Munir, a Palestinian-American writer and analyst based in Washington, DC. The whole concept of turning Israeli spies into heroes is “insensitive and shameful.”

He added that “the glorification of violence against Palestinians in particular and Arabs and Muslims more broadly in the media has a long and ugly history in the West and has remarkable staying power.”

Marvel Comics

Walid F. said: Mahdi, author of “Arab Americans in Film: From Hollywood and Egyptian Stereotypes to Self-Representation,” the “American-Israeli alliance” in cinematic narratives since the 1960s has celebrated American and Israeli law enforcement and intelligence agencies as good forces “committed to deterring violence that has been associated primarily with Arabs.” and Muslims.”

“Marvel’s announcement of the comic adaptation of Sabra is a reflection of that legacy,” he told CNN.

A Marvel Studios spokesperson told CNN that “filmmakers are taking a fresh approach with the character Sabra first introduced in the comics over 40 years ago,” adding that characters in the Marvel Cinematic Universe are “always imagined on screen and audiences today.”

Some Israelis even say that Sabra may not be the superhero of our time. Itgar Keret, an Israeli illustrated writer, screenwriter and novelist, told CNN that the original character of Sabra grew up in a different era with “a simple and clear story.”

Sabra, this one was created two years ago [Palestinian] uprisings [uprisings]It was created before the failure of the Oslo Accords – it was created in a completely different reality and state of mind. “And now… this kind of simplicity symbol is hard to keep.”

The name Superhero is a nickname for a Jewish person born in Israel or the Occupied Territories, and is derived from the Hebrew term for the fruit of the prickly pear. It has been in widespread use since the 1930s, before the establishment of the State of Israel.

But the word is spelled the same way in English as one of two Palestinian communities in Lebanon where Lebanese Christian militiamen allied with Israel massacred more than 1,000 Palestinian and Lebanese Shiite civilians during the 1982 Lebanon-Israel War – known as the Sabra and Shatila massacre, named after the places where it occurred In which.

In 1983 the Israeli government released the Kahan Commission to investigate the events that took place in the refugee camps and found the Israeli army indirectly responsible. It concluded that the army approved the entry of militias into the area and did not take appropriate measures to prevent the killing. Ariel Sharon, then defense minister, was forced to resign as a result of the investigation’s findings.

The Marvel character Sabra was created before the Sabra and Shatila massacre and has nothing to do with it, but the announcement that it would be brought to cinemas just one week before the fortieth anniversary of the massacre has struck a chord with Arabs, who accuse the film studio of being insensitive. For one of the most tragic events in the history of the Palestinian people.

“It is not only related to the timing or the name but also to the fact that the massacre itself was led by an element linked to the Mossad [militia] “In the territories under Israeli military control,” Munir said. “Given all of this, it’s hard not to conclude that the people at Marvel are either completely ignorant of the region, its history, and the Palestinian experience, or that they are deliberately aiming to kick a people living under apartheid as it falls.”

Although Sabra won’t be the first time the Israeli intelligence agency has received Hollywood treatment, it is the first time that Mossad has been given supernatural status on the scale of a mega-superhero. Experts say this is a PR win for the agency.

Avner Avraham, a former Mossad officer and founder of Spy Legends, a agency that advises films and TV shows depicting Israeli spies, said the new filming would help the younger generation learn about Mossad.

“This is the ‘TikTok’ way, the animation’s way of talking to the new generation, and they will learn about the Mossad word,” Avraham said. “It helps the brand. It will add a different audience.”

He added that such disclosure could help the Mossad in recruiting sources and assistance in other countries.

And Avraham said: “The fact that they decided to capture an agent of the Mossad, which is Sabra, and did not take an Egyptian agent or an Italian agent, this indicates that the Mossad is a big name.”

Ori Fink, an Israeli cartoonist says he first created a similar Israeli superhero in 1978, but fears Marvel’s “progressives” will turn the Israeli agent into a negative character. “They are not well updated, and they don’t have an accurate description of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,” he told CNN.

Avraham echoed this concern, speculating that she might be portrayed as a figure who benefits Israel but is “bad things to others.”

CNN’s Michael Schwartz, Abeer Salman and Mohamed Abdel Bari contributed to this article

An armed man demanding deposits and taking hostages in a bank in Beirut

The official National Media Agency reported that a group of people, at least one of whom was armed, took hostages at a bank in central Beirut on Wednesday, demanding access to deposits. The National News Agency said that a woman carrying a pistol entered the bank, “silenced herself with gasoline and threatened to set herself on fire if she was prevented from withdrawing money to treat her sick sister.” She was able to withdraw about $20,000 from her account before leaving the bank. Lebanon’s Public Security Directorate said on Twitter that the woman had not been arrested. She said in an interview with a local TV channel that the gun was a “toy” belonging to her nephew.

  • backgroundFacing an economic meltdown, Lebanon imposed strict limits on bank withdrawals in October 2019, preventing people from accessing their savings.
  • why does it matter: This is the second known hostage situation in a bank in the capital in about a month. Last month, a gunman stormed a bank in Beirut and threatened to kill the same hostages if he was not allowed to withdraw money from his frozen account. The man said he needed the money to help pay for his father’s medical expenses. The confrontation ended when the bank gave Hussein a portion of his savings. Experts warned of the possibility of a recurrence of such incidents in the heavily armed country.

Iran says it has developed new long-range drones to launch attacks on Israeli cities

Brigadier General Kiomars Heydari told state television on Monday that Iran has developed an advanced long-range drone to target Israeli cities.

  • backgroundHeidari said: The drone, called Arash-2, “has unique capabilities,” adding that Tehran “is considering using this unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) specifically to launch an attack on Haifa and Tel Aviv.” Separately, the director of Israel’s Mossad spy agency said on Monday that Israel would retaliate against Iran if Tehran used force “against Israel or the Israelis.”
  • why does it matterAs world powers try to revive the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran, Tehran’s regional opponents – Israel and Gulf Arab states – have been expressing concern about the prospect of Iran becoming emboldened once sanctions are lifted.

An Israeli officer and two Palestinians were killed in an exchange of fire at the border fence in the West Bank

An IDF officer and two Palestinians were killed in a shootout early Wednesday morning along the fence separating the West Bank and Israel, near Jenin.

  • backgroundThe IDF identified the slain officer as Major Bar Falah, 30, from Netanya, north of Tel Aviv. The Palestinian Ministry of Health confirmed the killing of two Palestinian men, and said they were Ahmed Ayman Ibrahim Abed, 23, and Abd al-Rahman Hani Subhi Abed, 22, both of whom are residents of Jenin. The Israeli military said they were carrying automatic weapons.
  • why does it matter: At least 97 Palestinians have been killed in near-night Israeli military raids this year, with a particular focus on the Jenin area. The Israeli army says most of the activists were killed during violent clashes with Israeli soldiers. But the uninvolved civilians fell into the cycle of violence. There has been a marked increase in attacks by Israeli settlers on Palestinians in the West Bank, according to B’Tselem, an Israeli human rights watchdog. Israel also says violent attacks against Israelis, especially soldiers, have peaked.

The Saudi authorities in Mecca arrested a man who said he was performing the Hajj pilgrimage to the soul of Queen Elizabeth II.

And the Mecca authorities tweeted late Monday evening that Security forces arrested a Yemeni A resident appeared in a video “violating the rules” in the Great Mosque of the Holy City, where Muslims perform Hajj, and the smaller pilgrimage is called Umrah.

Videos on social media showed a man holding a sign that read in both English and Arabic, “This umrah was performed for the soul of Queen Elizabeth II. We ask God to accept her in heaven as one of the righteous.”

The Makkah region posted on Twitter a video of the man with his face and the sign unclear. She did not say which rules the man had violated but said he had been referred to the Public Prosecution Office. Political signs are prohibited during Hajj.

Many reacted angrily to the man and demanded his arrest, while others mocked him and questioned his motives. Some of them said that supplication was forbidden to the soul of a non-Muslim. The Queen was at the head of the Church of England, a title now taken by her son, King Charles III.

The Queen, Britain’s longest-serving, died last week at the age of 96. Saudi Arabia sent its condolences to the UK last week, with King Salman referring to her as “a role model for leadership that will go down in history”.

By Nadeen Ebrahim

Orthodox Christian worshipers gather on a cliff around a lighted wooden cross to celebrate the glorification of the Holy Cross in the coastal town of Anfeh, about 70 kilometers (43 miles) north of the Lebanese capital, Beirut, on Tuesday.

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