Palestinians dub Marvel's new Israeli superhero Sabra 'Captain Apartheid', reminding of 'offensive' new comic strip

Palestinians dub Marvel's new Israeli superhero Sabra 'Captain Apartheid', reminding of 'offensive' new comic strip
Not only is the character an agent of Israeli secret service Mossad, but her name is also a dark reminder of the gruesome 1982 massacre in the Palestinian camp of the same name.
3 min read
13 September, 2022
Sabra will be played by Israeli actress Shira Haas [Getty]

Palestinians have condemned Marvel's latest Israeli superheroine character, as human rights groups across the world dub the country an "apartheid state".

Israeli actress Shira Haas will play the Israeli superhero Sabra in the forthcoming new Marvel movie, after the cast was revealed at Disney’s D23 Expo on Saturday.

Sabra, the pseudonym of Ruth Bat-Seraph, first appeared in the Incredible Hulk comic books in 1980.

Sabra is the informal name for Jews born in Israel. Social media users have pointed out that it is also the name of a Palestinian refugee camp in Beirut, where hundreds or thousands of civilians were massacred by Lebanese militias under the watch of the Israeli army who controlled the area at the time.

Live Story

The American Muslims for Palestine organisation launched a petition calling on Marvel Studios to axe the character from the company’s new 'Captain America: New World Order' film.

"Say NO to Marvel's Israeli Mossad Agent Superhero," read the petition, adding: "Let Marvel Studios know that whitewashing Israeli apartheid is not okay."

It has a goal of reaching 5,000 signatures.

Live Story

Sabra, who uses mutant powers to aid the Israeli state, was the first superhero in the Marvel canon to work with security agency Mossad.

According to Marvel lore, she was raised on an "Israeli-government" run kibbutz to "nurture" her abilities. She describes herself in cartoons as the "superheroine of the state of Israel!"

Social media users have continued to condemn Marvel's move. People also highlighted an alleged comic from decades earlier where Sabra is convinced by another character to mourn the death of an "Arab child". The New Arab cannot verify this comic strip.

"This is how Arabs are presented in her first appearance in the Marvel comics. The word Palestinian is never used. Arab child who is an illiterate liar and thief is killed by black veiled bombers so Sabra can cry over them," one person wrote.