Lebanon bans Spielberg's new film

Lebanon bans The Post due to director Steven Spielberg's connection to Israel.

Elad Benari ,

Steven Spielberg
Steven Spielberg

Lebanon has officially banned The Post, the latest film by Hollywood director Steven Spielberg, a Lebanon-based film industry source told the Annahar news website on Sunday.

While The Post had initially passed the government's normal screening procedures, the Campaign to Boycott Supporters of Israel-Lebanon (CBSIL) pressured on the government to block the film over Spielberg’s ties to Israel, the source said.

Spielberg has in the past been blacklisted by the Arab League's Central Boycott Office after making a $1 million donation to Israel during the 2006 Second Lebanon War, according to the report.

The ban was enforced after a recommendation from a six-member committee from the Ministry of Economy was relayed to the General Security agency, which has the final say.

The Post, starring Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks, is a drama about the Washington Post’s Katharine Graham, the first female publisher of a major American newspaper, and editor Ben Bradlee, as they expose a massive cover-up of government secrets that spanned three decades.

The film was scheduled to be released on January 18 in Lebanon, which is technically at war with Israel. Lebanese laws ban dealing with or recognizing Israel.

Last year, Lebanon banned the film Wonder Woman because its star, Gal Gadot, is an actress and model from Israel.

In 2013, the country banned a film by French-Lebanese director Ziad Doueiri because it was partly shot in Tel Aviv using Israeli actors. Late last year, Doueiri was detained upon arriving in Lebanon and appeared before a court due to the 2013 movie.

Last month, a private French school in Lebanon was made to apologize after a map in a geography class in the school showed Israel— and not “Palestine” — as the country's southern neighbor.