This week, news about a possible ban on Steven Spielberg's film "The Post" featuring Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks, in Lebanon, sparked an online debate about censorship laws in the country.
"It seems that Steven Spielbeg has been banned in Lebanon. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. This is serious. A new low for censorship. Is this 2018 or 1918? Enough is enough," Lebanese blogger Anis Tabet, wrote in a tweet.
The ban on Spielberg's upcoming film was reportedly reversed, according to Gino Raidy, the blogger behind Gino's Blog, who spoke to a source in regards to the news.
March Lebanon, an NGO fighting censorship in the country, hailed the decision, saying the reversal is a "promising precedent to curb unjust and inconsistent censorship of arts and culture in Lebanon which has been on the rise recently."
The inconsistencies behind such decisions have received heavy criticism over the years.
"We need to highlight the inconsistencies with censorship in Lebanon and then its absurdity. There is nothing about this movie that [warrants] it being banned. It’s kind of alarming and that’s why we need to raise our voices to prevent this from happening," Lea Baroudi, the president of March Lebanon, told The Daily Star.
Despite the lack of consistency, authorities have been attempting to enforce bans in an effort to boycott supporters of Israel and Israel-affiliated businesses. Lebanon prohibits any support of Israel, bans films featuring Israeli actors, and officially boycotts Israeli products.
The 1955 Boycott Law prohibits Lebanese from having any business or commercial ties with Israel. Additionally, Article 278 of the criminal code forbids Lebanese from interacting with or supporting enemy spies and soldiers.
Under Lebanese law, nationals can be prosecuted and risk jail time if they are found to have contact with Israelis or if they visit Israel.
Having said that, here's a list of films that were banned in the country for their links to Israel:
1. Schindler's List (1994)
Steven Spielberg's 1993 film "Schindler’s List" was banned from screening in Lebanon, and many other Arab and Muslim countries, for different reasons.
Following the release of the film, which details the story of a businessman who saved thousands of Jews during the Holocaust, the Lebanese government blacklisted Spielberg, who comes from a Jewish family.
In 2010, the American director, producer, and screenwriter was also blacklisted by the Arab League's Central Boycott office after it was revealed that Spielberg made a $1 million donation to Israel during the 2006 war in Lebanon.
However, not all of Spielberg's films have been barred from screening in the country.
At least five films - directed or produced by Spielberg - screened in Lebanon following approval by the censorship board during the past three years, including "Bridge of Spies" and "Transformers", to name just a few.
2. The Attack (2013)
Lebanese filmmaker Ziad Doueiri's "The Attack" was banned in Lebanon in 2013. The film - based on a best-selling novel by Algerian writer Yasmine Khadra - tells the story of a secular Palestinian doctor living in Tel Aviv and trying to understand why his wife had committed a suicide attack.
"The Attack" was filmed in Israel and Doueiri knew he was going against the Lebanese law that prohibits citizens from traveling to Israel or doing business with Israelis.
"To set things straight, I did shoot part of the film in Tel Aviv because this is where part of the story takes place. I used Israeli actors because also these were the artistic choices that I have made. And I have no regret and no apologies whatsoever," said Doueiri, according to Naharnet.
At first, the Lebanese government informed Doueiri that the film would be allowed to screen in the country, but was banned soon after. He launched a petition against the ban but then decided to brush it off because of family matters.
"It’s not the right time for me to get entangled with the Lebanese government," he told The New York Times.
"I have a 4-year-old daughter. If I were single, I would take that risk. But I can’t leave my daughter now."
3. Personal Affairs (2016)
"Personal Affairs" by Palestinian director Maha Haj was banned in 2016 from screening at the Beirut Film Festival because it was produced by an Israeli company and shot there.
The film tells the story of family life under Israeli occupation. The story centers around an old couple in Nazareth whose kids have been dispersed across multiple borders.
The film participated in the Un Certain Regard section of the Cannes Film Festival.
4. Wonder Woman (2017)
In 2017, Lebanese authorities officially banned the DC Comics movie "Wonder Woman" from screening in theaters across the country.
The move was seen as a victorious one for the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel.
The ban - which was issued by the minister of interior based on the recommendation of a six-member Ministry of Economy committee - went into effect just hours before the film's premiere.
The film was banned because Wonder Woman's lead actress, Gal Gadot, is not only Israeli but also a former Israeli army soldier.
The interior ministry had "decided to ban the screening of this film based on the recommendation of the Arab League’s Israel Boycott Office," an official with Lebanon’s General Security told AFP.
5. Justice League (2017)
In November, Grand Cinemas Lebanon announced that the Lebanese censorship board banned the DC superhero film "Justice League" for featuring Israeli actress Gal Gadot.
The decision to ban the film came soon after Gadot's film "Wonder Woman" was also banned. However, Gadot performed in "Fast & Furious," "Fast Five," and "Fast & Furious 6" - all of which screened in the country.
6. Jungle (2017)
In January, the 2017 film "Jungle" was also pulled from cinemas across the country.
The film - which tells the story of Israeli adventurer Yossi Ghinsberg who got lost in an uncharted part of the Bolivian Amazon in 1981 - sparked controversy across the country.
Following a number of complaints, one of which came directly from the Campaign to Boycott the Supporters of Israel in Lebanon, authorities decided to remove the film.
The organization issued a statement against the film, citing that the main character depicted in the film is an Israeli who served three years in the Israeli marine.
One of the film's producers, Dana Lustig, is Israeli too. "Another successful achievement for the Campaign to Boycott Supporters of Israel in Lebanon and the Arab world," the organization wrote.
"We hope there won't be any 'freedom of expression' for Israeli soldiers in our region," the organization added.