Disney Under Fire For Israeli Superhero In New Captain America Movie

Disney is being criticized for including Israeli superhero Sabra in Captain America: New World Order.

By Chad Langen | Published

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According to CNN, Disney is taking heat once again following the announcement that an Israeli superhero will be appearing in the next Captain America movie. The company, which owns Marvel Studios, recently came under fire after an alleged insider revealed the studio’s recent push for diversity in its movies and TV shows wasn’t about representation, but an attempt by the company to create new markets for revenue. Disney has struggled to get its films released in China, so naturally, the studio is looking for alternative ways to maximize its profits.

In the Marvel Comics, Sabra (aka Ruth Bat-Seraph) is a Mossad agent and police offer with superhuman strength and stamina. The character’s costume features the blue Star of David which is displayed on Israel’s national flag. After Disney announced the character would appear in New World Order, which is the fourth entry in the Captain America film series, some folks in the Arab world were left infuriated.

Sabra, who was introduced in the comics over 40 years ago, will be played by Israeli actress Shira Hass in the next Captain America movie. Many have attacked Disney, stating that the character’s name is associated with the Sabra and Chatila masscare that took place in Beirut in 1982. Israel’s invasion of Lebanon left thousands of refugees dead.

Sabra in Marvel Comics

Although Arabs fear that the introduction of an Israeli superhero by Disney in the next Captain America installment will fortify negative stereotypes amongst movie-goers, others have praised the inclusion of a Jewish hero. Sabra has appeared in dozens of comic book issues between 190 and 2019, however, the character marks the first Israeli superhero in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Filmmakers are said to be taking a new approach to the character.

At this time, it’s unknown how significant Sabra will be in the new Captain America film. In the comics, the character appears in issues of Incredible Hulk, Amazing Spider-Man, and X-Men. She’s interacted with seemingly countless heroes and villains in the Marvel comics, thus it wouldn’t be surprising to see the character cameo in other MCU projects in addition to New World Order.

Disney will release the fourth Captain America picture in 2024. Although plot details are being kept heavily under wraps at this time, several cast members have been confirmed including Anthony Mackie as Sam Wilson/Captain America, Danny Ramirez as Joaquin Torres/Falcon, and Carl Lumbly as Isaiah Bradley. It was also recently revealed that Tim Blake Nelson would reprise his as Samuel Sterns/The Leader from 2008’s The Incredible Hulk.

Prior to winning over Disney and landing the role of Sabra in the next Captain America installment, Shira Haas is best known for portraying Esther Shapiro on the Netflix series Unorthodox. She’s also appeared in the television show The Conductor as well as several features including Broken Mirrors, Asia, Foxtrot, A Tale of Love and Darkness, and The Zookeeper’s Wife. Playing a superhero is a far cry from her previous projects, but the actress seems to be more than ready to suit up for New World Order.