Wonder Woman has pleasantly surprised the box office so far, but it has also managed to raise the hackles of at least one country: Lebanon. The movie has been banned from being screen in that part of the world, as it stars the Israeli actress Gal Gadot. The reason is not so much her ethnicity, but because she did serve in her country’s defense forces before, and that makes her acting efforts an unpalatable one.This is almost as embarrassing as trying to claim the exclusive use of the word “Allah” so that non-Muslim Christians who have been using that word to refer to God for centuries will need to search for a different word to use.
Lebanon has not had the best of diplomatic relationships with Israel over the years, with the most recent major confrontation happening back in 2006. Slightly more than a decade ago, Israel sent ground troops into Lebanon in addition to airstrikes after two Israeli soldiers were killed in the line of duty, while another three were kidnapped. In the ensuing violence, approximately 1,000 deaths on Lebanon’s side was reported. Not only that, Lebanon has since banned the purchase of Israeli products, and its citizens cannot enter Israel. Looks like Israel is to Lebanon what Qatar is to Saudi Arabia, UAE, Egypt, and Bahrain now.
Rania Masri, a member of the Campaign to Boycott Supporters of Israel-Lebanon, shared, "We refuse to normalize relations with an enemy state. We're not talking about a political disagreement, we’re talking about resistance against occupation." Of course, Lebanon being a country that allows people a degree of freedom to express themselves, also has movie fans who are not too happy with this ban. In fact, a petition titled "Release Wonder Woman in Lebanon" has already been going around, mentioning "Gal Gadot may be an Israeli, but we want to watch a movie about the amazing character of Wonder Woman."
Wonder Woman has had a somewhat similar battle the year before, even in her role as a cameo in Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, although pressure from the masses told (and a dose of common sense too) and the movie was shown at the end of the day. It looks like Wonder Woman’s kryptonite is not the feeling of love for mortal man, but rather, the red tape and twisted ideologies that are found in certain countries.
Apart from Lebanon, Jordan is another Arab country who is mulling to follow Lebanon's footsteps by banning the Wonder Woman movie due to Gadot being an Israeli soldier with the Israel Defense Forces (IDS) before. The Jerusalem Post claims that Jordan is currently going through the movie, and if it "meets the country’s standards and laws", then it will be approved for general screening. The movie has also been pulled from an Algerian Ramadan festival, although it will not be a permanent ban.
If people all over the world were to boycott Israeli products and services, then everyone might as well return to the dark ages and live off the land. There will be no more computers to use and smartphones to carry around. Who else do you think invented the myriad of chips and chipsets found within these modern technological marvels that we are subservient to these days? Let us not even mention about the numerous medical breakthroughs that the Jews had brought to the world, saving millions of lives in the process.
It should not matter too much that the Wonder Woman film will not be shown in Lebanon or perhaps Jordan as well. After all, you can be sure that the Lebanese movie buffs will eventually be able to download a high resolution copy of the movie a few months down the road. The combined population of Lebanon and Jordan at 13 million will merely be a drop of water in the global box office receipts bucket. As long as Asia buys into the Wonder Woman movie, you can be sure that the ‘loss’ in two markets will not be felt. Rather, it seems to be more of an “egg on the face” situation for the two countries when properly analyzed.