The Marvel Cinematic Universe announced it was expanding with a new Israeli superhero and anti-Semites flooded social media with their hatred.
Actress Shira Haas, who soared to fame with her role on the award-winning Israeli series “Shtisel,” will star as former Mossad agent Ruth Bat-Seraph, aka “Sabra,” in the next Captain America movie, “Captain America: New World Order.”
Israeli actress Shira Haas joined the Marvel cast in the fourth “Captain America” film, in which she will play an Israeli superheroine ‘Sabra’. 👏👏👏 pic.twitter.com/wzSnYpVHuK
— Hananya Naftali (@HananyaNaftali) September 11, 2022
“Bat-Seraph” means daughter of an angel; the word “sabra” in Israel means a native-born Israeli as it refers to a cactus, which is tough on the outside but soft and sweet on the inside.
“Her powers include super strength and stamina, and her costume often incorporates the Israel flag and the Star of David,” The Times of Israel reported.
Sabra will be in CAPTAIN AMERICA: NEW WORLD ORDER.
We will be living in a world with a live action Sabra in the movies.
I never saw that coming. pic.twitter.com/4iLEBb06wT
— Dan Slott (@DanSlott) September 10, 2022
According to the comics featuring her, Ruth Bat-Seraph was born near Jerusalem and raised on a special kibbutz after her powers became apparent. She first fought the Hulk when she believed he was working with terrorists. After her son was murdered in a terrorist attack, she ignored orders and brought the terrorists to justice.
In the comics, she has the capacity to transfer her own life energy to others, and saved people who were dying twice.
Anti-Semites quickly jumped on the announcement by claiming the name “Sabra” was a reference to the killings of Palestinians in the Sabra and Chatilla refugee camps in 1982, but it was pointed out that the Marvel character “Sabra” was first introduced by Marvel in 1980, two years before the incidents.
Something I never thought I’d tweet, but Marvel calling an Israeli superhero “Sabra” is because Jews born in the region have been referred to as “Sabras” (a local fruit, prickly on the outside, soft on the inside) since the 30s. It’s not referencing the Sabra & Shatila massacre. pic.twitter.com/gryr7UIj03
— Daniel Sugarman (@Daniel_Sugarman) September 12, 2022
Other actors to appear in the movie include Anthony Mackie as Sam Wilson, who was formerly The Falcon before becoming Captain America, Carl Lumbly as Isaiah Bradley, Danny Ramirez as Joaquin Torrez, who becomes The Falcon, and Tim Blake Nelson as Dr. Samuel Sterns, the hyper intelligent Leader.
The original Captain America, Steve Rogers, handed his iconic shield to Sam Wilson at the end of the film “Avengers: Endgame.”
New World Order director Julias Onah said of the change in Captain Americas, “Well, look, he is a different human being and coming from a different set of experiences. Back in the Winter Soldier, we saw what it means for somebody like him to take the shield. But it is also a very different MCU. It’s a post-blip MCU. It’s a post-Thanos MCU. So, the world has changed a lot too. And the role of a hero has changed.”
Speaking on Saturday at D23 Expo 2022, Mackie praised the upcoming film, enthusing, “It’s going to be beautiful!”