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Wonder Woman's Israeli star sparks call for film ban in Lebanon

Lebanese ministry calls for ban on Hollywood blockbuster in protest over nationality of Gal Gadot
Gal Gadot sparked criticism for her of support of Israel’s 2014 offensive in Gaza (Reuters)

Lebanon’s economic ministry on Tuesday called for a ban on the new Hollywood film Wonder Woman because its lead star, Gal Gadot, is Israeli.

Lebanon's National News Agency reported the ministry as saying "necessary measures" had been adopted to ban the film. However, a senior government official told the Associated Press on Tuesday that the ministry had not yet made a formal request.

The official added that to enact such a ban requires the endorsement from a "six-ministry-member committee".

Gadot and the film, which is set to open in Lebanon on Wednesday, has received criticism from the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) organisation in Lebanon.

"This actress served in the IDF and was crowned the beauty queen of Israel. She also revealed her support for the IDF during the last war in Gaza," Abdel Malik Sukria, a BDS Lebanon representative, said in a letter in April.

"We are confident that you will give this grave issue serious consideration," he added.

In 2014, Gadot sparked criticism for her support of Israel’s military during the country’s offensive in Gaza.

In a Facebook message during that time, she posted "love and prayers to my fellow Israeli citizens. Especially to all the boys and girls who are risking their lives protecting my country against the horrific acts conducted by Hamas, who are hiding like cowards behind women and children."

Controversy among Israeli and Jewish stars is not new in Lebanon. In 2012, a 50-foot billboard of Natalie Portman was erected in Beirut, much to the dismay of several activists.

And in 2011, Steven Spielberg's name was omitted on promotional posters for his movie Tintin.

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