- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 4, 2017

A third Arab-majority country, Qatar, has banned the blockbuster movie “Wonder Woman” amid the hubbub over star Gal Gadot’s service in the Israeli Defense Force.

The superhero film had been scheduled to premier last weekend at Qatari theaters, but when the movie failed to debut, Doha News cited a confirmation by VOX Cinemas Qatar that “Wonder Woman” had been banned.

The theater did not explain why the superhero movie had been pulled, but two other Middle Eastern countries, Lebanon and Tunisia, had previously barred the film over Ms. Gadot, an Israeli actress who served two years of compulsory service in the country’s military.

The Tunisian Association of Young Lawyers, which filed a lawsuit to stop the film, described Ms. Gadot as a “champion Zionist.”

“Wonder Woman” was also held up briefly last month in Jordan before the Jordan Communications Commission approved the film despite the opposition of anti-Israel activists.

“The film was allowed to screen in Jordanian cinemas due to a lack of legal precedent to do otherwise,” Mohammed Qtaishat, media commission general director, told Jordanian news outlet Al Bawaba, according to Haaretz.

None of the controversy has stopped “Wonder Woman” from grossing $709 million worldwide, making it the fifth-highest international moneymaker so far in 2017, according to Box Office Mojo.

Ms. Gadot, 32, has expressed support for Israel on social media and against the militant Palestinian group Hamas, which the State Department has designated a “foreign terrorist organization.”

In a Facebook post dated July 25, 2014, she sent “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.”

The post has drawn more than 19,000 comments from Israel supporters and detractors alike.

In a June 10 op-ed in Al Jazeera, Columbia University Iranian studies and literature professor Hamid Dabashi called Ms. Gadot “a fanatical warrior in the cause of the Zionist theft of Palestine and the uninhibited slaughter of Palestinians.”

The “Wonder Woman” ban in Doha comes with other Gulf states, including Saudi Arabia, Egypt, United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, cutting ties last month with Qatar, which has been accused of harboring terrorist groups.

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