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Casting of Israeli actress as Cleopatra sparks outrage

The casting of Israeli actress as Cleopatra, an ancient Egyptian ruler, in a Hollywood movie spurs outrage on social media.

The casting of Israeli actress Gal Gadot as Cleopatra, the last ruler of Egypt's Ptolemaic Kingdom, in a new Hollywood movie has sparked outrage on social media.

Gadot on Sunday announced that she would play the role of Cleopatra in Patty Jenkins’ yet-to-be-titled flick. She is said to be behind the idea of the film, which is being written by Laeta Kalogridis.

Journalist Sameera Khan slammed the decision to “cast an Israeli actress as Cleopatra (a very bland looking one) instead of a stunning Arab actress like Nadine Njeim?”

“And shame on you, Gal Gadot,” she said, adding your Israeli regime steals Arab land and “you’re stealing their movie roles."

Twitter user @MoeDihani asked, "How about they cast someone with North African blood! someone like Sofia Boutella! I’m so sick of casting white actors and Israelis as pharaohs and Arab roles! Gal Gadot shouldn’t be Cleopatra."

"THE DISRESPECT!" he added.

Lexi Alexander, a Palestinian-German director, suggested the role should be given to a Black actress.

“I believe we should cast someone like the 3D image they created based on the coin they found with Cleopatra on it … which means the part should go to a Black actress,” she said on Twitter.

Other social media users referred to Gadot’s history of having served in the Israeli military, and her outspoken support for the Israeli war on the besieged Gaza Strip in 2014 that killed thousands of Palestinians.