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WikiLeaks: Arabs Boycotted Spielberg for Helping Israel

The Arab League, including the PA, voted to ban Steve Spielberg’s films because he donated $1 million to Israel, according to a WikiLeaks cable.
By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
First Publish: 12/18/2010, 8:56 PM

 

The Palestinian Authority and 13 Arab League countries voted to ban Steve Spielberg’s films because he donated $1 million to Israel during the Second Lebanon War in 2006, according to a cable revealed by WikiLeaks.

The leaked American document from American offices in Damascus is one of hundreds of thousands that were exposed three weeks ago and still are being reviewed. Fourteen of the 22 countries in the Arab League voted for the ban in April 2007.

Egypt and Jordan, who have signed peace treaties with Israel, and Mauritania were not present for the vote. Among those backing the ban were the Palestinian Authority, which is represented in the League, Morocco, Kuwait, Qatar, Malaysia Indonesia and Saudi Arabia, as well as Israel’s declared enemies – Lebanon and Syria and Iran.

They agreed to ban all of Spielberg’s films and other activities connected with his Righteous Persons Foundation.

At the same meeting, the Estee Lauder cosmetics company was added to the Arab League’s blacklist, and the Merrill Lynch investment company was put on the ”watch list.”

Spielberg established his fund in 1994 to help Jewish communities in the United States.

Chris Doyle at the Council for Arab-British Understanding, told the London Guardian that the vote for the boycott  was "understandable" and that "the donation would have been seen as hypocritical, given the ethical stance Steven Spielberg has taken on other issues including Darfur, and would have caused a lot of anger.”