Lebanon permits Spielberg movie "The Put up" after…

The Post: Lebanon Bans Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks Blockbuster Over Steven Spielberg's Israel Links

The decision was made entirely on the basis of Spielberg's interactions with Israel.

Others hailed the decision as a strike for free speech in Lebanon, which is known to be one of the more liberal countries in the Middle East but nonetheless comes up against frequently arbitrary impediments to freedoms that would be taken for granted elsewhere.

While Lebanon is generally considered the most liberal of Arab countries, it occasionally bans content considered immoral, inciteful or supportive of Israel.

Hariri, who recently returned to his role after a brief and freaky resignation involving Saudi Arabia, asked the Interior Ministry not to implement the ban, said a government official who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the subject.

The Post, which is tipped for Oscars, stars Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks and is based on how The Washington Post and...

"We think this is not the right decision", he said.

The action movie "Wonder Woman" was refused permission to be shown a year ago because the lead actress, Gal Gadot, is an Israeli citizen who had served in the Israeli military.

Lebanese censorship authorities had recommended the ban because the director is blacklisted by the Arab League over his support for Israel.

Lebanon is also the only country, apart from Syria, that maintains a hostile border with Israel, leaving it with a greater sense of vulnerability than other Arab states, say proponents of the boycott.

Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri personally intervened to override a ban on screening the movie "The Post" after an outcry among many Lebanese, government officials said Wednesday.

Lebanon's government has encouraged this anti-Jewish and anti-Israel hatred through the years.

Though "The Post" had initially passed the government's normal screening procedures, the Campaign to Boycott Supporters of Israel-Lebanon (CBSIL) put pressure on the government to block the film over its director's ties to Israel.

Lebanon technically is officially at war with Israel and bans Israeli products. Lebanon does not recognize Israel as a country and boycotts its goods and cultural exports. Lebanese citizens are not allowed to travel or have contact with Israeli citizens. The 2015 movie "Spotlight", about the Boston Globe's investigation into the abuse of children by the Catholic clergy, was barred apparently because it cast the Catholic Church in a bad light (around half of Lebanon's population is Christian).

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