Wonder Woman banned in Lebanon over Gal Gadot's Israeli origins

Wonder Woman banned in Lebanon over Gal Gadot's Israeli origins

A campaign to ban the film began a few days before the film was set to be screened
Updated 01 Jun, 2017

Lebanon's Interior Ministry banned the new Wonder Woman film from cinemas on Wednesday because an Israeli actress plays the lead role, a ministry source and a security official said.

Lebanon considers Israel an enemy country and the Ministry of Economy and Trade oversees a boycott of any business transactions concerning Israel.

The movie was set to premiere in most of Beirut's major cinemas on Wednesday night, after private showings had been held the day before. The distributor for Warner Brothers in the region said the public release screenings were canceled a few hours in advance.

The ministry source said they had issued an order to ban the movie, which stars former Israeli army soldier Gal Gadot, based on a recommendation from the General Security directorate.

"It's very frustrating," said Tony Chacra, managing director of the distributor Joseph Chacra and Sons. "The movie has nothing to do with Israel."

They had already gained permission to show it in Lebanon, he said. "It cost money and advertising ... Everything was going normally until a few days ago when a campaign began."

Chacra said various Arab countries, including the UAE, Kuwait, and Oman, would screen the movie.

"They are not harming anyone by banning it ... except the distributor," he added. "They are making the movie theaters lose, the employees, the Lebanese economy ... What did they get out of this?"

The Israeli actress also appeared in the movie Batman v Superman and in sequels of Fast and Furious, all of which played in Lebanese theaters.

"Thank God the film was banned, and we pledge to work on banning any similar films," said Samah Idriss, a founder of the Campaign to Boycott Supporters of Israel-Lebanon that lobbied for barring the movie. The campaigners denounced Gadot on Facebook for serving in the Israeli military.

Idriss, whose group had unsuccessfully campaigned to stop Batman v Superman last year, described the ban as "a victory".

Israel fought a month-long war with its Lebanese foe Hezbollah in 2006, and has targeted the Shi'ite armed group with strikes in Syria in recent years, but there has been no major direct confrontation.

The 2006 war killed around 160 Israelis, most of them troops fighting inside Lebanon, while 1,200 people in Lebanon, mostly civilians, died in Israel's military barrages.

A U.N.-monitored ceasefire has largely held since the 2006 war, which also displaced a million people in Lebanon and nearly 500,000 in Israel.

The Iranian-backed Hezbollah movement played a major role in ending Israel's 1982-2000 occupation of Lebanon.


Danish Jun 01, 2017 07:10pm
I dont understand why these super hero movies have associations with places like Afghanistan , Lebenon . Isreal...these comics always had their own villains . Why make them political? Iron Man , Transformers ..all of these had some link to these places in their latest movies.
jaanmarri Jun 02, 2017 03:30am
what do you say about satellite technology, I phones ,, they all have been invented by Jews, ban them in Arab & muslim countries.,,
Akil Akhtar Jun 02, 2017 04:26am
Well Done Lebanon
white noise Jun 02, 2017 08:50am
does Lebanon know that many people on world bank and IMF panel are Jews as well? but that don't stop them from taking $ from these orgs now now does it? why we fear a woman so much? this is plain stupid.
bkt Jun 02, 2017 11:03am
Now everyone in Lebanon will be lining up to get the pirated version of the film. The purpose is point scoring and getting publicity for a cause, but it will not help as the people themselves will find a way to see the film and be charmed by the beautiful Gadot.
Alanore Jun 02, 2017 11:51am
I dont get it. Lots of actors are Jewish in Hollywood. Natali Portman, Scarlet Johanson and Sandra Bullock and many more. So what if the new Wonder Woman is played by a jewish actress. I do agree she is not good looking like Linda Carter (previous wonder woman).
Vikram dwaj Jun 02, 2017 01:37pm
Will Lebanon ban the medicines and diagnostic test s invented by Isrealis? This is called Hypocrisy. People the world over will make fun of Lebanese people
Javed Jun 02, 2017 05:30pm
@Akil Akhtar the laptop or iPhone used by are invented by Jews even settalite technology also hope from onwards you don't comment.on internet other wise you to antimuslims
SATT Jun 03, 2017 12:09pm
This is called love for your country.Palestine is not like other countries which watches films of their enemies.