Lebanon Bans 'The Post' Over Director Spielberg Being on 'Boycott Israel' List

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The Post, starring Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep and focusing on the publication of the Pentagon Papers, was scheduled to premiere in Beirut on January 18.

Former MP Fares Souaid described the ban as "stupid", citing comments by Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil who said last month that Lebanon does not have an ideological problem with Israel.

The Hollywood Reporter on Sunday quoted a source involved with movie's worldwide distribution who said the drama was presented to the Lebanese censorship board, which nixed it, citing a "boycott Israel" list that includes Spielberg due to his Oscar-winning Holocaust film "Schindler's List". Apparently, being Jewish and having a relationship with the state of Israel is sufficient to invoke the ban. Furthermore, a number of his previous films have been successfully screened in Lebanon since Schindler's List was released in 1993, although the director's name was blacked out on posters advertising his 2011 The Adventures of Tintin.

Nevertheless, Spielberg has been supportive of Israel in the past, such as his donation of $1 million to relief efforts in Israel following the 2006 Second Lebanon War with Hezbollah. Lebanon does not recognize Israel as a country and boycotts its goods and cultural exports.

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Spielberg is not an Israeli citizen.

"If Spielberg is being penalized for a [Holocaust] movie he directed about 25 years ago, why is this new film allowed to pass?"

Last summer, Lebanese authorities officially banned the "Wonder Woman" movie, following the casting of Gal Gadot, an Israeli actress, in the movie's lead role. The war left more than 2,200 Palestinians dead, according to United Nations figures, and killed more than 70 Israelis.

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