In the recently released Warner Bros. film “Wonder Woman,” Diana learns about the evil that can live inside women and men, an evil that can push us to hatred and war. For a brief moment, she even has to wonder whether or not people are worth saving at all.
This past week, as we watched the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) campaign sink to a new low, how could we not ask ourselves the same question? After applying sustained pressure, activists associated with this movement of hatred and propaganda successfully forced the governments of Lebanon and Tunisia to ban the screening of “Wonder Woman” in their countries. Why? Simply because its star — Gal Gadot — is from Israel.
We at Creative Community For Peace (CCFP) condemn in the strongest terms this blatant example of discrimination and political censorship. The arts should be used as a way to promote dialogue and build bridges for peace, yet BDS is using it as a pawn in their dangerous game of division.
BDS is not, despite what its activists would have one believe, a movement seeking peace and justice. It is a movement that falsely claims Israel is an apartheid country when in fact all its citizens are subject to the same laws. It is a movement built on the premise that there can be no dialogue or communication between Israel and the rest of the world. That Israel should be ostracized and demonized and bears sole responsibility for the problems of the region.
In short, BDS is a big problem standing in the way of peace. And now we see it stripped down to its most base level of depravity and hatred by denying the release of a film based on the nationality of its star.
As for the rest of us, it is our duty to speak out. If we don’t speak up in the face of political censorship, where does it end? Today it’s Lebanon, Tunisia, and “Wonder Woman,” but where and what might it be tomorrow? Already, anti-Israel activists in Jordan are calling for the film to be banned in their country as well. Silence is acquiescence, and acquiescence to the forces of hatred and discord flies in the face of what this movie is all about.
In the film, Diana, in addition to being exposed to the ugly aspects of humanity, is also exposed to our goodness, to our love and kindness. She sees people who were once enemies become friends.
We at CCFP have hope that we will see the same thing happen in the Middle East, but it has to begin with dialogue, not boycotts.