Marvel announced on Saturday that it will feature an Israeli "superhero" in its upcoming Captain America: New World Order film.
The Israeli superhero first debuted in the pages of Marvel Comics in 1980 in The Incredible Hulk and is called Sabra. She has several superhuman powers and is the first superhuman agent to serve Mossad, the Israeli Security Agency. According to the Direct, her powers range from superhuman strength, stamina, agility to regenerative healing factor.
However, the controversial announcement has drawn a wave of criticism as pro-Palestine advocates slammed the move as "disgusting".
Users online noted how the term "Sabra" was insensitive due to the massacre of Palestinians in Sabra and Shatila in 1982.
On 16 September 1982, following the Israeli invasion of Lebanon, the right-wing Christian Phalange militia stormed the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps in West Beirut and massacred hundreds, maybe thousands, of mostly Palestinian civilians. The Israeli army had surrounded the areas and are said to have provided the Phalangists with bulldozers to bury the corpses of dead Palestinians.
— Shareefa Energy (@ShareefaEnergy) September 12, 2022
This is how Arabs are presented in Sabra's first appearance in Marvel comics. The word Palestinian is never used. An Arab child in the comic who is an illiterate liar and thief is killed by black veiled bombers so Sabra can cry over them. Literally shoot and cry propaganda. pic.twitter.com/qh10S9VzsF
— Khaldoun Khelil 🥇Ennie 🇵🇸🇩🇿 #freePalestine (@kkhelil) September 11, 2022
Israel's Marvel superhero Sabra has many powers, including demolishing Palestinian homes with her mind and assassinating Palestinian children with her laser beam eyes pic.twitter.com/5mye32ZH7f
— Matthew (@MatthewJohn666) September 10, 2022
no the fact she's named sabra…and sabra is known for the sabra and shatila massacres were hundreds of palestinians specifically were kwlled…this is atrocious
— very normal (@mocnknights) September 10, 2022
Palestine news director at Mondoweiss wrote: "To say that Israeli superhero named Sabra is problematic and offensive to all Palestinians killed and dispossessed by Israeli colonialism is the understatement of the century."
"The character itself served in the Mossad, which has killed, imprisoned, and ruined the lives of too many Palestinians to count. Th premise of her hero arch also rests on her fighting "Arab terrorists operating on Israel"."
According to Marvel lore, the Israeli superhero was raised on a special Kibbutz run by the Israeli government to "nurture" her abilities and describes herself in cartoons as a "superheroine of the state of Israel!"