Lebanon vs Wonder Woman and Normalization with israel

The Lebanese government apparently is working on banning the hit movie “Wonder Woman” because the movie stars an israeli actress called Gal Gadot, who was also Miss israel 2004 and served in the israeli defense forces.

gal g

(She wrote that on FB during the israeli war on innocent civilians in Gaza)

According to the Daily Star:

“Highly anticipated DC Comics American superhero film ‘Wonder Woman’ will be banned in Lebanon, the state-run National News Agency reported Monday.

The movie’s casting, with the superhero played by Israeli actress Gal Gadot, prompted the Ministry of Economy and Commerce “to take necessary measures” to prevent the film’s screening in the country.

The ban is in alignment with Lebanon’s attempts to boycott supporters of Israel and Israeli-affiliated businesses”

This issue was also raised back then when the blockbuster movie “Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice” – in which Gadot also plays the character of Wonder Woman – was showing in Lebanese theatres. Activists and advocates of the boycott of israel complained, and the Lebanese Ministry of Economy issued a statement (source in Arabic) in May 29, 2017 containing the following :

“the Ministry of Economy and Trade has already taken the necessary measures to ban the screening of Batman V Superman…by sending a letter to the General Directorate of Public Security on 13/3/2016 to take the necessary measures to prevent the screening of this film.”

But the screening did take place, the movie was shown in cinemas and I’ve watched it myself there (I had no idea there’s an israeli actress in it).

batmanvsuperman

As for the Wonder Woman movie, the same statement issued by the Ministry states that

“The Ministry of Economy and Trade confirms that it has taken the necessary action to ban the screening of Wonder Woman… On 29/5/2017, a decree was prepared for the General Directorate of Public Security to take the necessary measures to prevent the screening of this film”.

wonderwoman

Apparently, the Ministry took that decision after demands from the “Campaign To Boycott Supporters of Israel in Lebanon” (who coordinate with BDS, according to their own website). According to a local newspaper (also in Arabic), this campaign sent a letter to the Bureau of Boycott of Israel (which is a part of the Ministry), urging it “to give this serious issue the attention it deserves”.

Let’s get some things straight. I’m not one of those who are screaming “omg censorship!!!!! 111”. Normalization with israel is a real problem that should be properly addressed and dealt with, and if the so-called “censorship” is the only way to prevent it, then I’m all for it. Some liberal youth in this country are going mad over the idea of banning Wonder Woman, for reasons like “i just wanna have fun and they wanna deprive me of it!!111”. They act as if Lebanon has turned into a Goddamn Nazi Germany where a “Big Brother-ish” government forbids artistic freedom. This youth apathy in this country is disgraceful, and if this was really about the fun and the movie, they could watch the movie online, the government can’t ban it from there now, can it? No, this isn’t about “fun” and “living life”, this is about looking liberal and hip and cool. While I do NOT oppose the ban like the liberal youth, my objection is to the contradictory way the problem of normalization in movies is being approached (apart from the issues I have with BDS, who have George Soros and the European Union behind them, infiltrating the support for Palestine).

In Wonder Woman, there’s an israeli actress, but the movie itself isn’t Zionist propaganda and has nothing to do with israel ! israel isn’t mentioned in the plot and there’s no Zionist brainwash or propaganda in the story whatsoever. Perhaps most people wouldn’t have known that the actress is israeli unless they google the actors, had no one made a fuss about her being an israeli.

Of course it is a mild form of normalization with israel when you watch Wonder Woman and look up to the badass empowering feminist character played by an israeli actress, who learned all this “badassery” and training in martial arts during her time in the IDF. However, there are other movies that have actual Zionist propaganda in their plot, they glorify israel directly, straight into the viewer’s face. They are pure brainwash. The movie World War Z is one of them. It would take another article to explain the pro israeli propaganda in it, check out the synopsis if you’re interested and see for yourself how this kind of propaganda is a part of the storyline and plot. Was it banned from the cinemas in Lebanon? No. However, some parts in it that are related to israel, not all, were censored during the screening in all the theaters. This left the viewers confused because, well, they missed a part of the story.

cinemas

Why wasn’t this movie banned altogether? Why didn’t anyone consider banning it like they do with Wonder Woman? How come they want to ban a movie just because of an israeli actress with no mention of israel whatsoever in the story, while they let World War Z pass and consider it enough to cut out some of the israel parts? If they end up banning Wonder Woman from screening in cinemas here, I hope they take the same measure if a movie like World War Z comes out in the future.

World_War_Z_poster

An article was criticizing the government’s decision regarding Wonder Woman, asking

“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.”

My answer to this is that Natalie Portman has a dual American/israeli citizenship and did not serve in the IDF. Gal Gadot did, on the other hand, as well as blatantly supported the israeli war against innocent Palestinian women and children in Gaza. That’s why they want to ban a movie in which she acts, and do not ban Black Swan or V For Vendetta for example for having Natalie Portman in them. I agree that we should not reduce our fight against normalization with israel to a matter of looking into the CV of every single actor and actress in a movie and then decide based on that, whether to ban the movie or not. It just makes no sense to ban a movie BECAUSE there’s an israeli actress (whether she served in the IDF or not) while the story has nothing to do with Zionism or israel, and not to ban a movie like World War Z which shoves israel right down your throat.

The solution is to set and clarify an actual standard by which to tell what movie fits exactly into the category of “normalization with israel”, and take action based on such a standard. This should be done by local initiatives, not BDS or interventions from “non-governmental organizations” with a foreign suspicious agenda. Of course, all this while keeping in mind that banning or censoring this or that movie limits normalization, but it won’t solve the Palestinian issue and rid the Palestinian people of the israeli occupation – the only way to achieve that is armed resistance.

UPDATE: They ended up officially banning the movie, based on a “Memorandum issued by the General Secretariat of the Arab League on 12/4/2016 on ‘Preventing the display of works of art in which Gadot is involved’ “, according to al-akhbar newspaper (Arabic). This is a BDS victory and I don’t support BDS. However, at least the IDF criminal won’t appear on our screens. So I won’t complain.

If you were so desperate to watch the film, watch it online and stop whining.

Feminists won’t spare this controversial event and will spill their poison at any chance. When they are not complaining about Wonder Woman’s armpits, they will scream that this isn’t about israel, this is about patriarchy, the movie was banned because it has a strong woman protagonist and the evil patriarchal government doesn’t want Lebanese women to get this empowering message, blah blah blah… Really? So basically Lebanese women can’t empower themselves by themselves, they need an idol wearing a cape to descend upon them from the sky and who is played by a Zionist IDF soldier and teach them empowerment? Give me a break.

Liberal youth: raging about this won’t make you à la mode. It makes you pathetic. Just. Stop.

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