Disney's new Israeli superhero film hits a raw nerve with Arabs

9/14/2022 10:30:00 PM

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Middleeast, Why Disney's Israeli Superhero İs Causing Concern - Cnn

A new interpretation of an old Marvel character has created an uproar among those who fear that reviving the character would spread offensive stereotypes about Arabs and the dehumanization of Palestinians in cinema.

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Jerusalem and Abu Dhabi (CNN)The classic 1981 Marvel comic page shows the giant green Hulk, tears streaming down his face as he yells at Sabra, an Israeli superhero and agent of the country's Mossad spy agency. The corpse of a young Palestinian boy, killed in an explosion by apparently Arab"terrorists" at his feet.

"Boy died because boy's people and yours both want to own land! Boy died because you wouldn't share!" the Hulk says. A few panels later, the woman in the white and blue costume with a Star of David on her chest kneels next to the boy. "It has taken the Hulk to make her see this dead Arab boy as a human being," the comic says."It has taken a monster to awaken her own sense of humanity." Sabra, the Israeli superhero, made numerous appearances in Marvel's comics over the years, starring alongside top icons such as the Incredible Hulk, Iron Man and the X-Men. Read MoreMore than forty years after Sabra was introduced, Disney's Marvel plans to bring her to film in"Captain America: New World Order," set to be released in 2024. That has created an uproar among those who fear that reviving Sabra's character would spread offensive stereotypes about Arabs and the dehumanization of Palestinians in cinema. Critics say many of the Arab characters she interacted with in the comics are shown as misogynistic, antisemitic and violent, and are questioning whether the troubling portrayals of Arabs will play out differently in the film. "That comic doesn't suggest anything positive about how this film will play out," said Yousef Munayyer, a Palestinian-American writer and analyst based in Washington, D.C."The whole concept" of turning Israeli spies into heroes"is insensitive and disgraceful." "The glorification of violence against Palestinians specifically and Arabs and Muslims more broadly in mass media has a long and ugly history in the West and it has remarkable staying power," he added. Waleed F. Mahdi, author of"Arab Americans in Film: From Hollywood and Egyptian Stereotypes to Self-Representation," said the"US-Israeli alliance" in cinematic narrative since the 1960s has celebrated American and Israeli law enforcement and intelligence agencies as good forces"committed to deterring violence that has been chiefly linked to Arabs and Muslims." "Marvel's announcement of adapting the comic character of Sabra is a reflection of this legacy," he told CNN. A Marvel Studios spokesperson told CNN that"filmmakers are taking a new approach with the character Sabra who was first introduced in the comics over 40 years ago," adding that characters in Marvel Cinematic Universe"are always freshly imagined for the screen and today's audience." Even some Israelis say Sabra may not be a superhero for our times. Etgar Keret, an Israeli author, scriptwriter and graphic novelist, told CNN that the original Sabra character was created in a different era with a"simple and clear story". "This Sabra was created before two [Palestinian] Intifadas [uprisings], it was created before the failing of the Oslo Accords -- it was created in a totally different reality and state of mind," he said."And now... it's tough to keep this kind of icon of simplicity." The superhero's name is a nickname for a Jewish person born in Israel or the occupied territories, and stems from the Hebrew term for the fruit of a prickly pear. It has been in widespread use since the 1930s, before Israel was established. But the word is spelled the same way in English as one of two Palestinian communities in Lebanon where a massacre of more than 1,000 Palestinian and Lebanese Shiite civilians was carried out by Lebanese Christian militiamen allied to Israel during the 1982 Lebanon-Israel war -- known as the Sabra and Shatila Massacre, named after the places in which it occurred. In 1983 the Israeli government released The Kahan Commission of Inquiry into the events that occurred at the refugee camps and found the Israeli army indirectly responsible. It concluded that the army approved the militiamen's entry into the area and didn't take appropriate measures to prevent the killings. Ariel Sharon, then defense minister, was forced to resign as a result of the inquiry's findings. Muslims are 25% of the world population. But in 200 shows researchers studied, they were just 1% of speaking charactersMarvel's Sabra character was created before the Sabra and Shatila massacre and has no relation to it, but the announcement to bring her to cinemas just a week before the massacre's 40th anniversary has touched a raw nerve with Arabs, who accuse the film studio of being insensitive to one of the most tragic events in the history of the Palestinian people. "It's not just in the timing or the name but also in the fact that the massacre itself was led by a Mossad-linked [militia] in territory under Israeli military control," said Munayyer."Given all of this, it is hard not to conclude that the people at Marvel are either abjectly ignorant about the region, its history and the Palestinian experience, or that they deliberately aimed to kick a people living under apartheid while they were down." Although Sabra would not be the first time Israel's intelligence agency has been given the Hollywood treatment, it is the first time the Mossad has been given a supernatural status to the level of a mega, blockbuster superhero. Experts say that's a public relations win for the agency. Avner Avraham, a former Mossad officer and founder of the Spy Legends Agency which consults for film and TV shows portraying Israeli spies, said the new portrayal will help a younger generation learn about the Mossad. "This is the 'TikTok' way, the cartoon way to talk to the new generation, and they will learn about the word Mossad," Avraham said."It helps the branding. It will add a different audience." Such exposure can even help Mossad recruit sources and assistance in other countries, he added. "The fact that they decided to take a Mossad agent, a Sabra, and they didn't take an Egyptian agent or Italian agent, it shows Mossad is a big name," Avraham said. Uri Fink, an Israeli cartoonist who says he came up with a similar Israeli superhero character first in 1978, fears however that the"progressives" working at Marvel may turn the Israeli agent into a negative character."They are not well updated, they don't have an exact description of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict," he told CNN. Avraham echoed that concern, speculating that she may be portrayed as a character that does good for Israel but"bad things to other people." CNN's Michael Schwartz, Abeer Salman and Mohammed Abdelbary contributed to this article The digest Armed woman demanding access to deposits takes hostages at bank in Beirut 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, state news agency NNA reported. A woman carrying a handgun entered the bank,"doused herself in petrol and threatened to set herself on fire if she was prevented from withdrawing funds to treat her sick sister," NNA said. She was able to withdraw about $20,000 from her account before leaving the bank. Lebanon's Directorate of General Security said on Twitter that the woman wasn't arrested. She said in an interview with a local TV channel that the gun was"a toy" that belonged to her nephew. Iran says it has developed new long-range drones for attacks on Israeli cities Iran has developed an advanced long-range drone to target Israeli cities, Brigadier General Kioomars Heidari told state TV on Monday. Israeli officer and two Palestinians killed in exchange of fire at West Bank fence An Israel Defense Forces (IDF) officer and two Palestinians were killed in an exchange of fire early on Wednesday along the fence that separates the West Bank and Israel, not far from Jenin. Around the regionالقوة الخاصة لأمن المسجد الحرام :

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More appropriate Coba renungkan...seorang dokter saat menolong seseorang apakah diperlukan identitas kewarganeraannya..agamanya..ras..dan warna kulit?...sementara tokoh hero imajinasi berlebihan menempelkan berbagai identitas..🤣🤣🤣 Well their Jewish hatred since Israel got its freedom, that also manifest itself as Israelophobia is what behinds it. I hope CNN finds a way to also tell that ugly story

Arabs offended about something again. What has the Arab and Palestinian communities said about the out Gay characters?

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Sign up here. Jerusalem and Abu Dhabi (CNN)The classic 1981 Marvel comic page shows the giant green Hulk, tears streaming down his face as he yells at Sabra, an Israeli superhero and agent of the country's Mossad spy agency. She has been ambassador to Armenia since 2019. The corpse of a young Palestinian boy, killed in an explosion by apparently Arab"terrorists" at his feet. "Boy died because boy's people and yours both want to own land! Boy died because you wouldn't share!" the Hulk says. The timing of her arrival and official nomination will depend on Russia agreeing to accept her as ambassador at a time of huge tension between Washington and Moscow as the war in Ukraine continues. A few panels later, the woman in the white and blue costume with a Star of David on her chest kneels next to the boy. (David Joles/Star Tribune via AP) David Joles/Star Tribune/AP.

"It has taken the Hulk to make her see this dead Arab boy as a human being," the comic says. The US has already given Tracy’s name to the Russians to begin that process, two sources said."It has taken a monster to awaken her own sense of humanity." Sabra, the Israeli superhero, made numerous appearances in Marvel's comics over the years, starring alongside top icons such as the Incredible Hulk, Iron Man and the X-Men. A State Department spokesperson declined to comment. Read MoreMore than forty years after Sabra was introduced, Disney's Marvel plans to bring her to film in"Captain America: New World Order," set to be released in 2024. That has created an uproar among those who fear that reviving Sabra's character would spread offensive stereotypes about Arabs and the dehumanization of Palestinians in cinema. Sullivan had not been present in Russia for most of the summer because he had been in the US with his wife who had been seriously ill and died last week.

Critics say many of the Arab characters she interacted with in the comics are shown as misogynistic, antisemitic and violent, and are questioning whether the troubling portrayals of Arabs will play out differently in the film. "That comic doesn't suggest anything positive about how this film will play out," said Yousef Munayyer, a Palestinian-American writer and analyst based in Washington, D. Rood has been nominated to the next US ambassador to Turkmenistan.C."The whole concept" of turning Israeli spies into heroes"is insensitive and disgraceful. “We see in this moment no indication from Russia that it would be prepared to seriously pursue such diplomacy, but if and when that time comes, Ukraine has to be in the strongest possible position,” Secretary of State Tony Blinken, said earlier this month in Brussels." "The glorification of violence against Palestinians specifically and Arabs and Muslims more broadly in mass media has a long and ugly history in the West and it has remarkable staying power," he added.

Waleed F. Sullivan was a key player in securing the release of Trevor Reed earlier this year. Mahdi, author of"Arab Americans in Film: From Hollywood and Egyptian Stereotypes to Self-Representation," said the"US-Israeli alliance" in cinematic narrative since the 1960s has celebrated American and Israeli law enforcement and intelligence agencies as good forces"committed to deterring violence that has been chiefly linked to Arabs and Muslims." "Marvel's announcement of adapting the comic character of Sabra is a reflection of this legacy," he told CNN. As CNN first reported, the US proposed a prison swap to secure the release of Griner and Whelan. A Marvel Studios spokesperson told CNN that"filmmakers are taking a new approach with the character Sabra who was first introduced in the comics over 40 years ago," adding that characters in Marvel Cinematic Universe"are always freshly imagined for the screen and today's audience." Even some Israelis say Sabra may not be a superhero for our times. A senior administration official told CNN the offer the US put on the table for the release of Griner and Whelan was proposed to the Russians “through the same channels we used for Trevor Reed.

Etgar Keret, an Israeli author, scriptwriter and graphic novelist, told CNN that the original Sabra character was created in a different era with a"simple and clear story". "This Sabra was created before two [Palestinian] Intifadas [uprisings], it was created before the failing of the Oslo Accords -- it was created in a totally different reality and state of mind," he said.” While Sullivan’s involvement waned in recent months, some US officials acknowledge that his loss will be felt."And now.. He also focused on Americans being held and trying to get them home was kept as his top priority,” said one senior US official..

it's tough to keep this kind of icon of simplicity. His departure was expected because he been in the role for about two and a half years, but the precise timing was also triggered by his wife’s illness." The superhero's name is a nickname for a Jewish person born in Israel or the occupied territories, and stems from the Hebrew term for the fruit of a prickly pear. It has been in widespread use since the 1930s, before Israel was established.. But the word is spelled the same way in English as one of two Palestinian communities in Lebanon where a massacre of more than 1,000 Palestinian and Lebanese Shiite civilians was carried out by Lebanese Christian militiamen allied to Israel during the 1982 Lebanon-Israel war -- known as the Sabra and Shatila Massacre, named after the places in which it occurred. In 1983 the Israeli government released The Kahan Commission of Inquiry into the events that occurred at the refugee camps and found the Israeli army indirectly responsible.

It concluded that the army approved the militiamen's entry into the area and didn't take appropriate measures to prevent the killings. Ariel Sharon, then defense minister, was forced to resign as a result of the inquiry's findings. Muslims are 25% of the world population. But in 200 shows researchers studied, they were just 1% of speaking charactersMarvel's Sabra character was created before the Sabra and Shatila massacre and has no relation to it, but the announcement to bring her to cinemas just a week before the massacre's 40th anniversary has touched a raw nerve with Arabs, who accuse the film studio of being insensitive to one of the most tragic events in the history of the Palestinian people. "It's not just in the timing or the name but also in the fact that the massacre itself was led by a Mossad-linked [militia] in territory under Israeli military control," said Munayyer.

"Given all of this, it is hard not to conclude that the people at Marvel are either abjectly ignorant about the region, its history and the Palestinian experience, or that they deliberately aimed to kick a people living under apartheid while they were down." Although Sabra would not be the first time Israel's intelligence agency has been given the Hollywood treatment, it is the first time the Mossad has been given a supernatural status to the level of a mega, blockbuster superhero. Experts say that's a public relations win for the agency. Avner Avraham, a former Mossad officer and founder of the Spy Legends Agency which consults for film and TV shows portraying Israeli spies, said the new portrayal will help a younger generation learn about the Mossad. "This is the 'TikTok' way, the cartoon way to talk to the new generation, and they will learn about the word Mossad," Avraham said.

"It helps the branding. It will add a different audience." Such exposure can even help Mossad recruit sources and assistance in other countries, he added. "The fact that they decided to take a Mossad agent, a Sabra, and they didn't take an Egyptian agent or Italian agent, it shows Mossad is a big name," Avraham said. Uri Fink, an Israeli cartoonist who says he came up with a similar Israeli superhero character first in 1978, fears however that the"progressives" working at Marvel may turn the Israeli agent into a negative character.

"They are not well updated, they don't have an exact description of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict," he told CNN. Avraham echoed that concern, speculating that she may be portrayed as a character that does good for Israel but"bad things to other people." CNN's Michael Schwartz, Abeer Salman and Mohammed Abdelbary contributed to this article The digest Armed woman demanding access to deposits takes hostages at bank in Beirut 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, state news agency NNA reported. A woman carrying a handgun entered the bank,"doused herself in petrol and threatened to set herself on fire if she was prevented from withdrawing funds to treat her sick sister," NNA said. She was able to withdraw about $20,000 from her account before leaving the bank.

Lebanon's Directorate of General Security said on Twitter that the woman wasn't arrested. She said in an interview with a local TV channel that the gun was"a toy" that belonged to her nephew. Iran says it has developed new long-range drones for attacks on Israeli cities Iran has developed an advanced long-range drone to target Israeli cities, Brigadier General Kioomars Heidari told state TV on Monday. Israeli officer and two Palestinians killed in exchange of fire at West Bank fence An Israel Defense Forces (IDF) officer and two Palestinians were killed in an exchange of fire early on Wednesday along the fence that separates the West Bank and Israel, not far from Jenin. Around the regionالقوة الخاصة لأمن المسجد الحرام : القبص على مقيم يمني ظهر في مقطع فيديو يحمل لافته داخل #المسجد_الحرام، مخالفاً أنظمة وتعليمات #العمرة.

pic.twitter.com/EycIUIXw12 — إمارة منطقة مكة المكرمة (@makkahregion) September 12, 2022 Saudi authorities in the holy city of Mecca have arrested a man who said he was performing the Islamic pilgrimage for the soul of the late Queen Elizabeth II. The Mecca authorities late on Monday tweeted that security forces apprehended a Yemeni resident who had appeared in a video"violating rules" in the holy city's Great Mosque, where Muslims perform the Hajj pilgrimage, and the lesser pilgrimage called Umrah. Videos on social media showed the man holding a placard reading, 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 people." The Mecca Region tweeted a video of the man with his face and the placard blurred. It didn't say which rules the man had flouted but said he was referred to public prosecution. Political signs are prohibited during the pilgrimage. Many responded in anger and called for the man's arrest, while others mocked him and questioned his motives.

Some said it was forbidden to pray for the soul of a non-Muslim. The Queen was head of the Church of England, a title now taken by her son King Charles III. The Queen, Britain's longest-serving monarch, died last week at the age of 96. Saudi Arabia sent condolences to the UK last week, with King Salman referring to her as"a role model for leadership that will be immortalized in history." By Nadeen Ebrahim Photo of the day Christian Greek Orthodox worshippers gather on a cliff around a lit wooden crucifix to celebrate the Exaltation of the Holy Cross in the coastal town of Anfeh, some 70 kilometers (43 miles) north of the Lebanese capital, Beirut, on Tuesday.

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