Will This Cause Lebanon War 3?

The Lebanese have found something else to get angry over.

Lebanese Tourism Minister Fadi Abboud told The Associated Press on Thursday that he’s so upset about the portrayal of Beirut that he’s considering a lawsuit.

“The information minister is studying media laws to see what can be done,” he said.

Abboud pointed to the scene with the snipers. Hamra Street in West Beirut is portrayed as a hotbed of violence, but it is actually a lively neighborhood packed with cafes, book shops and pubs.

“It showed Hamra Street with militia roaming in it. This does not reflect reality,” he said. “It was not filmed in Beirut and does not portray the real image of Beirut.”

Twentieth Century Fox Television refused to comment.

Several Lebanese interviewed by the AP said they have never heard of the show. When a reporter described the plot and said it was shot in Israel, the reactions ranged from anger to blithe acceptance that filmmaking is an imperfect art.


Eytan Schwartz, a spokesman for Tel Aviv’s mayor, said the Lebanese should, if anything, be pleased at the TV show’s choice for a stand-in.

“If I were Lebanese, with all due respect, I’d be very flattered that a city, and a world heritage site, thanks to its incredible architecture, and residents who were named among the top 10 most beautiful people in the world (ranked by Traveler’s Digest magazine in 2012) could pass as Lebanese,” he said.

“All we can do is pray for a day when the Lebanese regime will allow our Lebanese friends to visit us and see for themselves,” Schwartz said.

Nir Rubinstein, an Israeli Internet developer who fought in Beirut as a young soldier 30 years ago, said he understood the Lebanese anger, but also how Israelis might be insulted as well.

“This sort of diminishes Tel Aviv and Jaffa, which are more modern than Beirut,” said Rubinstein, speaking for a generation of Tel Aviv residents who are aggressively proud of their city — a densely populated urban area of some 2.5 million people with a standard of living that rivals most places in Europe, a world-class tech industry and a raucous nightlife.


Update: Some Homeland in Israel video goodness.

About Aussie Dave

An Aussie immigrant to Israel, Aussie Dave is founder and managing editor of Israellycool, one of the world's most popular pro-Israel blogs (and the one you are currently reading) He is a happy family man, and a lover of steak, Australian sports and girlie drinks

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  • Jim from Iowa

    In the last clip, Mr. Gordon referred to some difficulties in filming in places where the film crew was not welcome. He didn’t say, but I assume he is referring to some Orthodox neighborhoods in Israel where there is a great deal of hostility to outsiders. I’m not sure why this might be the case, but I’ve seen any number of YouTube videos capturing this hostility (Morgan Sperling and others).

    • mzk1

      I listened, and it he said that they did film, but people weren’t that happy about it. So it doesn’t sound like, say, B’nei Brak, where I hope they would have the decency to respect the residents’ desire for privacy. (Besides, it’s not part of Tel Aviv.) Could be anything – Arab areas (Jaffa IS part of Tel Aviv), ritzy areas (would they film where th nomenklature live?), south Tel Aviv with the illegal immigrants, maybe just people who want to get to work and are annoyed by the traffic there being even worse than it usually is.

      (I assume you meant Chareidi. I would say Israel (Jewish pop.), while only about 25% “religious” is maybe 80% Orthodox, classical American definition. Even the majority of “Secular” people are a sort of “Cafeteria Catholic” (as you once asked me).)

  • Travis

    Umm Dave they filmed the assasination scene in Haifa not Tel Aviv.

  • E Pluribus Beagle

    I heard the guy who invented Mad Libs died yesterday or the day before. Pity. That’s what Arab culture is. One big Mad Lib that ends in something on fire and body parts in the street.

  • mzk1

    Of course, Homeland is based on the script of an Israeli show.

    One correction to the included article – even though it is contiguous, I would question the appetite of our SECOND largest city for claiming the whole Gush Dan. I would doubt that B’nei Brak, for example, one of our largest cities (16th?) could be considered part of “Greater Tel Aviv”.

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