Sat Oct 20, 2012 2:9PM
The aftermath of a deadly car bomb attack in the Lebanese capital Beirut on October 19, 2012.

The aftermath of a deadly car bomb attack in the Lebanese capital Beirut on October 19, 2012.

Cheap psychological warfare television shows, steeped in prejudiced and bigotry, shows that, were the depictions of Jews and not Muslims, would have brought long prison sentences to the creators, as required by laws in Canada, Britain, Germany, Austria, Australia and many other nations where the show is carried."
It was a month ago when we reviewed the American TV show, “Homeland.” The show became news when President Obama said it was his favorite. Last week, the episode of “Homeland,” filmed in Tel Aviv, represented Lebanon as lawless, filled with armed gunmen, primitively barbaric. In an odd coincidence, scenes from “Homeland” were acted out in a typically peaceful Christian neighborhood in Beirut, a car bomb, the signature weapon of Israel’s Mossad. A bombing, that deeply paralleled the 2010 bombing of a church in Alexandria, Egypt, attributed to Israeli agents, occurred yesterday in Beirut. This explosion killed eight including Wissam al-Hassan, the chief investigator in the highly controversial assassination of former Prime Minister Rafiq al-Hariri. No killing could have done more to support sectarian strife in Lebanon, no killing could have been more controversial and no act of violence could have been so aptly predicted by an Israeli/American television show. “Homeland” is quite enigmatic as television goes. The current controversy is over “shooting location.” Lebanese officials feel that the use of Israeli actors, Tel Aviv locations and extremely false and unflattering depictions of life in Lebanon are an intentional insult and defamation. Conversely, Israeli’s complain that the “beauty of their country” is being insulted by giving it an “Arab look” and ignoring the new buildings and modern trappings of Tel Aviv, a city grown fat on American foreign aid and huge arms contracts in support of America’s war on Islam. The four million Palestinians that actually own the land Tel Aviv is built on and the surrounding area are never mentioned nor are the 800,000 prisoners of Gaza. Neither mention nor comparison is made between Tel Aviv and Johannesburg, South Africa. During the apartheid period in South Africa filming on the “all white” streets would have been seen as both controversial and an indication of indifference to human rights. Neither stolen land, displaced millions, apartheid brutality nor the million Asian “guest workers” who perform all manual labor in Israel, many for starvation wages, were accidentally depicted or even mentioned when the controversy came to the attention of Huffington Post’s Bassem Mroue and Elizabeth Kennedy who also write for the Times of Israel: “The show about Arab terrorists and American turncoats has inadvertently become a tale of two cities. Some Beirutis are angry because the depiction of their city as swarming with militiamen is misleading and because they see Israel as the enemy. And in Israel, some are peeved that Haifa and even Tel Aviv - a self-styled nightlife capital and high-tech hub - apparently appear, to outsiders at least, to be Middle Eastern after all. 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.” 20th Century Fox television is controlled by Israeli Likudist militant leader, Rupert Murdoch, whose media empire has been tied to wiretapping, blackmail and spying in the United Kingdom and biased “yellow journalism” in the United States. As of a month ago, 47 of Murdoch’s “journalists” were under arrest in Britain with potential charges pending for Murdoch and his son James, pending but unlikely to be filed. The American show is not without merit. As with so many plots by the “Masters of the Universe” as many Israeli’s tend to think of themselves, car bombings sometimes unite people. Cheap psychological warfare television shows, steeped in prejudiced and bigotry, shows that, were the depictions of Jews and not Muslims, would have brought long prison sentences to the creators, as required by laws in Canada, Britain, Germany, Austria, Australia and many other nations where the show is carried. It is illegal, considered clearly defamatory to a religious and ethnic group and, in fact, nothing could be done to make it more obvious. Then again, “Homeland” isn’t cheap. The key component of “Homeland” is the story of an American Marine who had been held captive for eight years. During that time, he converted to Islam, learned Arabic and, when “freed” and returned to the United States, has thus far been elected to congress and faces potential election as vice president of the United States. The problem is that British actor, Damien Lewis, who plays Sgt. Nicholas Brody, is a far more charismatic and talented actor than intended. His character has inadvertently gained great sympathy for the cause of Islam where millions of Americans are now finding themselves cheering on a “terrorist.” Israeli-American actor Mandy Patinkin plays the mid-level CIA official that, as of the most recent episode has learned about Brody’s plans for an act of terror. However, again, Patinkin is a well-respected actor and musician and has proven unwilling to portray a two dimensional “comic book” character as the creators intended. Thus, what was intended to become a piece of Islamophobic trash has taken on inadvertent aspects due to an unintended circumstance, a talented cast of actors who refuse to be used and humiliated. However, the controversy exists as the dramatic depiction of Lebanon as required by the Israeli led episodic nature of the drama has again betrayed aspects of underlying racism. In response, Lebanese Tourism Minister Fadi Abboud told reporters that he is considering legal action: “The Information Minister is studying media laws to see what can be done. It (Homeland) showed Hamra Street with militia roaming on it. This does not reflect reality. It was not filmed in Beirut and does not portray the real image of Beirut.” In actuality, Hamra Street is in a region known for its cosmopolitan nature. Moreover, Beirut had, for decades, been known as the Paris of the Middle East, one of the most beautiful cities of the world. Beirut was flattened in 1982 by Israeli artillery and bombing. Since that time, Beirut has been largely rebuilt, though, with war ongoing in Syria and widespread international interference in Syria likely to spread into Lebanon, there is great fear that the destruction of 1982 may have, as demonstrated by yesterday’s car bombing, be returning. Lebanon and Iran’s Foreign Ministers, Adnan Mansour and Ali Akbar Salehi, jointly condemned the bombing. Salehi will be in Beirut for consultations on how Iran can help mitigate regional strife and help secure Lebanon from further attack. GD/HGH
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