Lebanon’s Government Wants To Ban “Wonder Woman” Because Lead Actress Gal Gadot Is Israeli

Oh look, just when you thought we couldn’t regress further as a country, some entity decides to take up the challenge. The latest is Lebanon’s Ministry of Economy deciding, at the very last minute, to start the procedure to ban this summer’s blockbuster movie “Wonder Woman” because its lead actress Gal Gadot is Israeli.

As per a source, Wonder Woman has already passed all forms of regulations for it to get a screen date in Lebanon, which is this coming Thursday, including a very strict censorship bureau and other apparatuses who are more than willing to ax movies than to let them through. And yet, as in typical Lebanese fashion and because we definitely have our priorities in order, Lebanon’s government decided to rise up from its slumber and resist, even though the movie has been announced for over 3 years now.

Resist what? A movie about an iconic superhero who’s been part of pop culture for over 70 years. A movie in which the lead actress happens to be Israeli or has served in the IDF or who is part of an apartheid state, but who’s not portraying ANYTHING related to her “country” in any way whatsoever. A movie that has absolutely nothing to do with Israel in any way, where Israel is not even mentioned or alluded to, and in which the lead actress does nothing to even propagate the idea of her homeland. And yet, her mere existence has some people triggered beyond belief.

You’d think if they want their ban to make the least of sense, they’d have done it a year ago when the movie’s first trailer was released, not in the week of its release after it’s been given a green light, handling massive financial losses to the Lebanese company that won its distribution rights.

In a statement issued today (link in Arabic), Lebanon’s Ministry of Economy – I don’t even know how it’s their job to decide some movies should be censored – said the following:

  • The ministry of Economy has already taken the necessary measures to make sure Gal Gadot’s previous movie, Batman v Superman, was not shown in Lebanese cinemas through a request to the General Directorate of Security dating 13/03/2016.
  • The ministry has also sent a request to the BDS office in Damascus to add Gal Gadot’s name to a blacklist for boycott.
  • On 21/04/2016, the Arab League issued a decree to ban any movie featuring Gal Gadot.
  • On 29/05/2017, the ministry has issued a decree to the General Directorate of Security to start the necessary procedures to ban the movie’s screening.

I don’t know where the people governing us have been living, but Batman v Superman was not banned. In fact, I watched it on a big fat Lebanese screen and many applauded when Gal Gadot’s character came on screen because her character, which also happens to be Wonder Woman in that movie, is badass and worthy of the applause.

Gal Gadot’s was also featured in the Fast and Furious series, multiple times, all of which were not banned as well. Probably because more than a few government official as well as some of those turned up about banning Wonder Woman wanted to see Vin Diesel make those cars roar.

Who knows, maybe their problem isn’t with Gal Gadot being Israeli and having served in the IDF, both of which have no bearing on the movie in question, but rather because the movie features strong independent female characters which our patriarchy cannot propagate?

And let’s not begin with even listening to what the Arab League deems appropriate or not. If we went by anything that lot wanted, we’d be living in the darker ages they’re all enjoying so happily.

What’s next, though? Banning every single movie that dares to be associated in any way with Israel? Banning every actor or actress who’s set foot in Israel? Deciding not to show any feature film that has any entity that remotely agrees with anything Israel does? Why don’t we just ban ourselves from everything commercial in the world and be done with it?

Natalie Portman was born in Israel. No one has a problem with her movies. I’m willing to be those same people calling for Wonder Woman’s ban were more than excited to see Portman in the Star Wars reboot, way back when.

The fact of the matter is that if you have a problem with the content of a movie, the actor or actress leading it or anything pertaining to it, having it banned for everyone else is what’s wrong, not the fact that the actress in it happens to come from an enemy country whose existence we don’t acknowledge. Simply don’t go watch it. Don’t give it the word of mouth it needs. Don’t give it your hard-earned money, call for a boycott, but you sure as hell have no right in making sure no one else gets to watch it too.

The fact that, in the week of Wonder Woman’s release worldwide, the Lebanese media cycle is about the possibility of banning the movie as our government remembers that this movie features an actress we don’t approve of, is sad. Where do we draw the line at what should be banned in this country because of its association with Israel? Or are we going to keep on cherry picking at battles without knowing how to pick them?

Even if they ban Wonder Woman, our government and those who support its decision seem to have forgotten that in the age of the internet, no movie is further than a couple of clicks away. I’m not surprised that they’re not even aware how futile their censorship attempts will be at preventing the propagation of whatever it is they don’t want to propagate.

I don’t know about you, but I’ll be making sure to watch Wonder Woman (if they keep her, and even if they don’t). Gal Gadot may be a shitty person and actress, but both are still not enough arguments to ban the movie. Just let me know, when you’re done with the hoopla, if you’ve freed Palestine by banning an irrelevant movie featuring an irrelevant actress with an irrelevant background to an irrelevant story, while Lebanon maintains its oppression of the Palestinians living here.

Advertisements

65 thoughts on “Lebanon’s Government Wants To Ban “Wonder Woman” Because Lead Actress Gal Gadot Is Israeli

  1. Thankss soo much for the info Elie , it’s informative , unlike other blogs where all they do is argue in the post they write about .We know now , how the procedure works ,who through who,what steps ,how long ,their past and their current actions

    Reply
  2. Natalie Portman has frequently made public comments in support of Palestinian civil & human rights. Perhaps that is why w/ her dual (?) Israeli/American citizenship she avoids her films being blocked. Perhaps because she went to an American Ivy League university & did not serve in the IDF. Perhaps serving in the IDF is the main point of divergence … ?

    Reply
  3. I should add to my previous comment: I live in The States one hour from NYC & I would love to ban some American films from my view! However I do this by no longer owning a television (I had to throw out my old one & decided not to replace it) & only owning a dvd player (I haven’t used the new one yet) & watching things online occasionally. I am turning into Gibran Khalil Gibran: living in a one room live/work art studio surrounded by icons & candles. (Description someone wrote of him prior to his falling asleep in the Lord). There are a lot of terrible films (etc.) & a lot of gems: but we should all be allowed to decide for ourselves.

    Reply
  4. This is one if the most stupid articles I’ve ever read. You could have made a good arguement regrading the timing in which the government decided to ban the film, but you chose to show your lack of understanding of all the factors at play, and quite simply your priorities. It really isn’t my job to explain to your reductionist mind why situations differ from one another and have varied social significance (are we okay “applauding” a woman who supports the IDF? Isreali-born or not). So unless all you want is to sound controversial and attract people to your blog, go sit down and think about what you wrote.

    Reply
    • Who gives a crap where gal gadot is from if Israel isn’t mentioned, just let the rest of us watch the damn movie and boycott it yourself.

      Reply
      • something is really wrong with you, you should be proud that the Lebanese government is making a a very powerful move, is it logical to support a movie where the lead actress was trained by the israeli military and supported the attacks in Gaza.

        Reply
  5. I even have Jewish friends (human rights advocates) that protest anyone who supports the IDF: so perhaps that *is* the factor here. It would be interesting to hear from some film history scholars w/ a view of our political history w/ Israelis. For example: How many Israeli actors in films have/have not been banned over the years etc.

    Reply
    • *It’s important to remember that Israelis inc. females are drafted & must serve unless they are exempt for some reason (Orthodox rules of modesty etc.). Of course people can refuse to serve & suffer the legal consequences — but it is not a volunteer military.

      Reply
      • @ Jill

        What are you on about? Please read more carefully before attacking me when you know zero about me. The comment I made referred to human rights advocates/activists who are against the IDF. I mentioned that they were Jewish due to the assumption that some people would make that they were not. Next time I make a similar comment I will make sure to *pretend* that I don’t know them/have never met them/do not love them etc. — so as not to upset you.

        As I said you know ZERO about me. My mother is from Berlin Germany. Born in the 1920s. We have Jews in our family on that side. (On my father’s side only we are Lebanese… & surprise! there are Lebanese Jews as well). My grandmother’s sister was murdered by the Nazi’s in the T4 program. My mother’s Jewish uncle — the editor of a paper — was probably poisoned to death by the SS. Yet you are giving me a raking you believe I deserve.

        How do you know I am not Jewish? Even as a Lebanese? Do you not know ANYONE who is Lebanese w/ Jews in their family?! You have never HEARD of this?

        The point of the sentence was about being against the IDF. How would you suggest I should have phrased that? Since you are so offended by nothing.

        Also as others have said here: it is NOT about her being Israeli — it is about her comments regarding the merciless bombing of Gazan civilians etc.

        Reply
        • These appologetics aren’t very convincing. Just miles away from you more than half a million mem, women and children died for no reason whatsoever. They were killed by Syrians, Iraqis, Iranians, Russians, Americans, Turks, brits, French, Germans, but not the IDF. Nevertheless, you have zero issues with these countries and you don’t care at all about the innocent who died at your doorstep. That makes you an anti semetist, regardless of how many Jews were in your family or who killed your mother’s great uncle. You are also a fraud for claiming anything different.

          Reply
          • @ Jill

            “just miles away from…”

            I’m in New York City Jill. So again please read first. What are you talking about & why are you directing all your venom at me & no one else here? It is weird — especially since I have made more comments sympathetic to Israelis here than others.

            Jill I am not the one blocking the film. Nor do I vote for the Lebanese government as I am a US citizen. Nor are the other nations you have mentioned (assuming my feelings about them when you know nothing about me) the subject of this blog post of Elie’s. (& one actress is the subject – not nations).

            Please forgive me if you have reading comprehension difficulties Jill but I have answered the subject of *this* blog post & not the subject of every nation’s films under the sun. Jill — from your words — obviously you are in a LOT of pain from probably the strain of living in your nation & coping w/ antisemitism. I don’t think it will help you to keep directing your anger at me regarding things you are concocting about me & then attacking me for your illusions about me. Try reaching out in a loving way to people who you are making your ‘enemy’. That is what many of us do to cope w/ our feelings & differences — even whilst we boycott etc. We love & cross unexpected bridges to make friends.

            Reply
  6. The reason for the ban is not as shallow as simply “she is Israelian” the issue is more in reference to previous statements on her behalf in which she declares support to the IDF during their attack on Gaza and considering the Palestinians Savages… So excuse us for poking the bear every now and then. It is worth missing out on some block buster movie not even worth the money spent on it.

    Reply
  7. We should support and make “BDS ” successful, that includes banning movies also,Labanon government’s ban is right.

    Reply
  8. Sorry Elie but this woman is a Zionist. Sometimes you have to take a stand.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/wonder-woman-gal-gadot-on-israel-gaza-israeli-actresss-pro-idf-stance-causes-controversy-9643412.html

    On Mon, May 29, 2017 at 1:40 PM, A Separate State of Mind | A Blog by Elie Fares wrote:

    > eliefares posted: ” Oh look, just when you thought we couldn’t regress > further as a country, some entity decides to take up the challenge. The > latest is Lebanon’s Ministry of Economy deciding, at the very last minute, > to start the procedure to ban this summer’s blockbust” >

    Reply
    • That’s a great idea! Now how many syrian / Iranian / Iraqi movies did you ban? Or is it about Jews? You miss killing Jews? Is that it?

      Reply
      • @ Jill

        Please be more discerning whilst reading. I’m sure if there was an actress from one of the countries you noted that was starring in a popular widely disseminated US film who had supported the bombing of Gaza w/ ZERO empathy for innocent civilians — some people would also be in favour of boycotting it.

        I hesitate to tear away the protective wall you have built around yourself in order to cope — but not every Lebanese/every Arab/every etc. wakes in the morning wanting to “kill Jews”.

        Please learn to discern between the actions of the political State of Israel & “Jews”. As I stated there are Lebanese Jews. Jews — inc. Israeli — who are not very fond of the IDF etc. etc. etc.

        Reply
        • Could you please point me to any Lebanese website that promotes peace with Israel? With Jews in general? Forget that, any Arab website?

          I thought as much.

          Reply
          • @ Jill

            Even Hezbollah gave money to help rebuild the old Synagogue in Beirut. So if *this* happened I’m sure you can find Lebanese people interested in “peace” without my help. I suspect this is not a big goal of yours. So I am not going to spend an hour here typing a laundry list of organisations & websites for a hostile stranger who keeps attacking me. & thanks for weaponising the passing of my mother’s great uncle — which I only described to you so you understand that the WHOLE WORLD is not your antisemitic enemy just because not everyone agrees w/ every action of the IDF etc.

            Reply
              • Does anyone have a census count for Jill to answer her question of exactly how many Jews live in Lebanon. In her harassment of me here (& oddly nobody else) she seems to have forgotten she can use the internet for research.

                Reply
                  • there is a jewish semetry right under my house in Lebanon and everyday I see dozens of jewish visiting it. stop embarrassing yourself for you’re own sake.

                    Reply
          • Lebanon should NEVER promote peace with israel, the israeli armi infiltrated jnoub lebanon and occupied it, and in 2006 only, they killed thousands of lebanese,so get your facts strait before you cluelessly attack the lebanese.
            ps: Jordan and Egypt (both are arab countries) made peace with israel

            Reply
  9. She accused “Hamas” of hiding behind “women & children” & using them as “human shields”.

    If one lives w/ Israeli bombs raining down on one of the most densely populated places on the planet — there is no place to “hide”. This is the Israeli excuse to relentlessly bomb everything from ambulances to hospitals to schools.

    Reply
  10. No, no it’s not the Lebanese government who wants to ban this movie. It’s a bunch of bipolar journalists in Al-Akhbar newspaper who are willing to denounce southern air we breathe as it comes from Israel, Palestine, occupied territories or whatever they want to call it.

    Let’s just not give them the luxury of reply to their bullshit reports, they need to get over this non-constructive mindset.

    Reply
  11. i am an israeli (relax guys..) . happened to come across this blog and must say enjoyed it regardless to politics and such. I hope some day we will all be able to enjoy together simple things in life such as watching fiction movies together .

    Reply
      • PS ez:

        You are welcome to come to our place near New York City to eat & watch a film together & we can post a photo of that & confuse ‘Jill’. (See her exchange w/ me above). 🙂

        Reply
        • Zoe – first I really appreciate your invitation and truly believe human beings are able to connect as human beings regardless of politics as long as they have mutual respect . I hope we can really do it some day (life is simple..) and would love to invite you and any other lebanese (or person in general) here to experience Israel. Still if I may make a remark about Jill. In a way I do agree with her about double standards hypocracy and demonization of Israel Jews and yes even the Idf . not that we are perfect but it is definitely not what you portray both in absolute terms and definitely in comparison to what is going on in our neighboring countries). I can give you many examples if you are really interested (i don’t want to start being a nag unnecessarily…:)) . and I really love the positive attitude in this blog in in your words.

          Reply
          • @ ez

            I have not said anything about “neighbouring countries”. This is getting absurd. You are attacking me for false accusations someone (Jill) has made against me. I have not discussed my views in Saudi Arabia or Iran or etc. The subject is this film & actress & the IDF etc. — not “neighbouring countries”.

            Reply
              • Dear Zoe. not attacking you at all and if it seemed so my sincere apologies. If i may say so if as it seems you support human rights and mutual respect so we share a lot in common . as for the IDF not trying to change your views (though i think differently) but maybe a point to think about .

                Reply
  12. Pingback: أيها السادة إسرائيل ليست وجهة نظر! – شبكة أخبار جبل عامل

  13. Very disappointed in you Elie. I read your blog and enjoy it normally. This time you missed the point completely.

    Reply
  14. Pingback: Lebanon vs Wonder Woman and Normalization with israel – Warrior Without A War

  15. In response to the comments here directed at only me vs. Elie or others; from people (Jill & ez) regarding “Lebanese” views on Israel vs. “Lebanese” views on neighbouring nations. The fact that other nations commit atrocities does not excuse Israeli atrocities. Nobody here said they were a fan of “Russia” or “Iran” or etc. This is not my blog — hence I am not choosing the topics. So I’m not sure why Jill & ez think that they know my personal views on every single nation impacting Southwest Asia under the sun.

    Reply
    • Dear Zoe – as i have said – enjoying the positive energy here so not trying to change your views and i am not even into discussing it (unless you really would like to).
      as you have said FAITH HOPE LOVE.

      Reply
  16. @ ez

    Sorry ez — I missed your last comment before posting my last one.

    *My house is yours* Habibti or Habibi.

    Now you have *only* to decide home cooking or pizza or Chinese or Indian takeaway food vs. which political madness.

    Reply
  17. well it’s habibi as you are the habibti :).. lol btw the word in hebrew is quite similiar as origins are common to both languages . Home cooking is always my favourite.. now only thing left is to chose what film to watch

    Reply
    • Well Habibi ez the film would most definitely have to be the film that is the subject of this post… & then I might *accidentally* lose the dvd before we could view it. (Due not only to my support of BDS but also due to my almost *irrational* loathing of these sorts of Hollywood films).

      Yes our languages are similar (& my grandfather spoke Aramaic. So there is a third!). Breaking news — to angry people — we are all of us cousins. Hence the endless fighting…

      Reply
  18. well you know bottom line cousins is family .. more over this family is also neighbors… and fighting is a state of mind to be changed thats all … lol (btw aramaic ?wow. where was he from – you know it is used also in holy jewish scriptures)

    Reply
    • Marjeyoun. This language has died out there. It is now only spoken in Maloula Syria. But linguists say 50% of Lebanese is Syriac/Aramaic(Syrian) & 50% Arabic words. This was the ancient Lingua Franca at the time of Jesus (Roman ‘Syria’) & survived in Jewish & Christian sacred writing & chant etc.

      Reply
  19. well i can tell you there are groups still speaking this language. Iraqi assyrian christians – and some maronite christians in Israel and and jews in israel and not only still use it for holy learnings such as in the bible or the talmud.I can elaborate more if interested. btw i didn’t know the interesting fact that you have stated here that lebanese dialect consists of aramaic as well . can you give examples ? . btw – would you have an e-mail so we don’t bore others with our linguistic interests …

    Reply
    • Usually the person whose blog it is can exchange people’s email addresses w/ permission — so perhaps Elie can give you my email address. (Can you do that Elie? 🙂 ) I don’t want to post it here. I didn’t know about those others — only Maloula. The 50% in Lebanon I read in the last few months. I’ll try to remember where. (I read a LOT — so hard to recall…). A linguistic study. Yes my grandfather was Melkite (& later here Maronite).

      Reply
    • @ ez

      I had read about only Maloula for years & then only weeks ago a Greek Orthodox priest told me this again. He kept telling me things I knew whilst supposedly we were studying! (Lots of only smiling & nodding from me). We have it in our Liturgy of St.James & chanting — but not just to ask for a coffee etc!

      Reply
  20. Elie — Can you give my email address to ez offline — if possible & not too much trouble. Since we have pirated your post to talk about linguistics! (& food). Thank you — Zoe

    Reply
  21. Thank you so much for this. I would like to see our government do something productive and make this country better for a change, not go back to primitive bigotry. IT’S JUST A MOVIE!! the actress will not get richer if they showed the movie here and she will not get poorer if they ban it. they don’t have common sense… us lebanese people have little things to look forward to and this movie was one of them, but apparently we’re not allowed to enjoy the joyful things that we do.

    Reply
    • no its not JUST a movie, the lead actress is (regardless of her nationality) an idf supporter and she supported the attacks on Gaza, she was also trained by the israeli military.

      Reply
  22. Pingback: Wonder Woman – Mujer Maravilla | Rita Sibbick

  23. I believe we should all take part in BDS measures. It is no trouble to boycott. This is a global effort. There are people round the world who are not Arab not Lebanese taking part. (Including various Protestant Churches in the US & the rest of the world who have signed a pledge to BDS. Lutherans etc.). So of all people WE Lebanese should support this.

    This is not only anger which produces no result. This is nonviolent resistance which was successful in India against the British occupation & in South Africa against the Apartheid State — let it work in the Occupying Israeli Apartheid State as well. It’s not about watching one — most likely shallow — film. People’s LIVES are more important than watching one film.

    Reply
  24. Lebanon is proved it still listens to backward ideology, people who are afraid of a movie cant win a war or lead a country.

    Reply
    • Mo you are right they are afraid just as they would be if they lived under cloud that judges you just because you accidentally gave a little too much info bc u were really upset about something that has been going on for over 30 years. And I would go see that movie if only it would play here but i guess is wont because now its banned. Oh well.. i dont care about the hollywood film or thr actors/actresses nationalities i cant go see it bc now I have a baby and who brings their baby to a movie theater? Not me too loud and I’m sure other people wouldn’t appreciate my son’s crying. Anyway this was interesting to read. Thanks Elie 🙂
      Zoe – thanks for teaching me how to think before I speak that way I don’t make a fool out of myself..
      Jill- thank you for your comments you def understood what I was saying and took away from the overall picture not just the bds
      That’s the thing you learn in school sometimes you have to think outside the box to understand the whole picture. Not just the moral of the story. Dvds can be copied here and we don’t have blockbuster. There’s nexflix that you have to use with Wi-Fi which is super slow and there are Isis not to far from where we live so unless u want to worry about this real war not a past drama then we should be able to watch this movie. After all lebanon is very western vs other nations that are here in this region where I currently am speaking from. Despite it all thank you again Jill for defending the movie.
      And God bless America for our freedoms of speech.
      And Zoe I’m sorry to hear about your mother’s side my father’s side also suffered a lot of backlash against things no one knew of. And my mother too so I guess RIP to all those who did pass away

      Glad the attention was opened but for those that know me, I don’t really like attention nor do I normally post things unless I am really fed up with stories of others that have no idea what they are talking about. Like I told Elie if he wants to ask me directly about myself it depends on the question bc I am very private and what I wrote was very personal. Sorry to have offended some who do not know me.
      I don’t have any problem correcting myself when I realize I was wrong or made a mistake.
      I have been experimenting with a fast that happens to be going on here now in Lebanon and although it does prove to be a good way to diet it certainly isn’t the best way
      As being Cuban too I shouldn’t give up my sugar lol
      😊

      Reply
  25. Pingback: In The Lebanese Jungle, Nader Saab Can Practice “Medicine” And Harm People… While Laws Look Away | A Separate State of Mind | A Blog by Elie Fares

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s