Lebanon's Anti-Israel Blacklist Will Keep Spielberg Film Out of its Theaters

The Post Review

The development was reported first by the Hollywood Reporter, which cited a source working on the film, and Lebanese news site Annahar, which cited a Lebanese film industry source. The film has been refused a release because it breaches a boycott Israel directive maintained by the Lebanese government.

Lebanon technically is officially at war with Israel and bans Israeli products.

Democracy dies in darkness: Lebanon announced earlier this week that it will not permit public screenings of Steven Spielberg's The Post, because the director had filmed scenes of Schindler's List in Jerusalem, thereby violating The Censorship Committee of the General Security Directorate's "boycott Israel" policy.

The acclaimed production tells the behind-the-scenes story of the 1971 publication by The Washington Post of the Pentagon Papers, which exposed the lies behind U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War. Now, Steven Spielberg has also not made the cut.

This latest prohibition illustrates what appears to be a growing appetite on the part of the Lebanese authorities for implementing the country's often arbitrary censorship laws, and especially those pertaining to Israel.

Wonder Woman might belong to an imaginary all-female race living on an invisible island called Themyscira, but since she was portrayed by Israeli actress Gal Gadot, that was enough reason for Wonder Woman and Justice League to be banned in Lebanon.

Spielberg, who is Jewish, was placed on the Arab League blacklist of sanctioned individuals after his foundation gave a $1 million donation to relief efforts in Israel during its 2006 war with Lebanon's Hezbollah movement. Lebanon banned the film upon its release in 1993. Lebanese citizens are not allowed to travel or have contact with Israeli citizens.

Banned films can often be found in bootleg movie shops across the country for as little as one dollar, and even blacklisted books can sometimes be found in regular bookstores.

"The Post" is a newspaper drama about The Washington Post's publishing of the Pentagon's papers and which delves into US responsibility in Vietnam's war in 1971, and the government lies about it.

Lebanon is a nominal democracy, with greater human rights and press freedoms than many other Arab states.

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