Spielberg Movies Banned by Arab League, WikiLeaks Cable Reveals

The Guardian publishes details of U.S. diplomatic cable that says Arab League blacklisted Spielberg after he donated $1 million to Israel during Second Lebanon War.

Haaretz Service
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Haaretz Service

American director Steven Spielberg was blacklisted by the Arab League's Central Boycott office after making a $1 million donation to Israel during the Second Lebanon War in 2006, the British daily the Guardian reported on Friday.

The Guardian report was based on a U.S. diplomatic cable released by WikiLeaks. The cable was sent in 2007 to Washington from the U.S. embassy in Damascus.

American director Steven SpielbergCredit: AP Photo / Jae C. Hong

The cable reportedly detailed a confidential briefing the U.S. received from Muhammad al-Ajami, the head of Syria's regional office for the boycott of Israel, in which the U.S. was informed of a meeting of the Arab League's Central Boycott Office during which officials from 14 Arab states, as well as Iran, Malaysia and Pakistan, voted to ban all films and other products related to Spielberg or his Righteous Persons Foundation.

According to the cable, cosmetics magnate Estée Lauder was also added to the blacklist while financial services company Merrill Lynch was put on a "watchlist."

The Guardian report said that the only Arab countries that did not attend the meeting were Egypt, Mauritania and Jordan. Also reportedly not present at the meeting were Djibouti and Somalia.

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