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‘Wonder Woman’ Sparks Debate About Jewish Identity

The superhero blockbuster “Wonder Woman” has opened up familiar Jewish debates about race and nationality, the Washington Post reported Tuesday, drawing on several Forward articles to do so.

The debate was sparked by a post on comicbook.com where the author Matthew Mueller argued that the star of the film, Gal Gadot, was a woman of color — because she was an Israeli Jew.

“Gal Gadot is not actually Caucasian, but is in fact Israeli,” Mueller wrote. The piece prompted a string of impassioned responses across platforms and publications.

“Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman Is White — Let’s Not Pretend Otherwise,” Noah Berlatksy wrote. “Are Gal Gadot And Other Ashkenazi Jews White? The Answer Is Complicated…And Insidious,” Joe Finkelstein responded.

“’Wonder Woman’ Hurts People Of Color? That’s ‘Patronizing Stupidity,’” Chloe Valdary wrote. And Berlatksy responded again: “Why Do White People Get Mad When We Call ‘Wonder Woman’ White?”

Meanwhile ahead of the movie’s international release, Lebanon banned the film because Gadot is Israeli, with Jordan considering a ban for the same reason. “Everyone who has preconceived views about Israelis will project them onto the film,” the journalist Yair Rosenberg told the Post. “People will use this to hang their hat on certain issues.”

Email Sam Kestenbaum at kestenbaum@forward.com and follow him on Twitter at @skestenbaum

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