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Is ‘World War Z’ pro-Israel? Movie-goers in region share mixed views

Film sparked controversy around the world for its alleged pro-Israel bias

  • By Noor Nazzal, Special to Gulf News and Sunil K. Vaidya, Bureau Chief
  • Published: 14:17 July 2, 2013
  • Gulf News

A scene from World War Z
  • Image Credit: AP
  • Brad Pitt in a scene from "World War Z."
Image 1 of 2

Dubai/Muscat: Movie goers from the region had mixed feelings regarding the zombie apocalypse film World War Z, which has sparked controversy for an alleged supposed pro-Israel bias.

The movie, starring Brad Pitt, imagined that the world was overrun by zombies and that Israel, being one of the few countries that knew they were coming, built a wall around itself to prevent zombies from invading.

People from all over the world took to social media to point out the resemblance between the barrier built in the movie and the separation wall built by Israel in the West Bank to separate it from the occupied Palestinian population, adding that the movie was promoting Israel’s policies.

“While I was watching the movie I did feel like I was supposed to feel good about the wall, the fear of the zombies made the wall look comforting rather than atrocious. I felt like they were attempting a mind shift. It was also interesting that only the [Israeli intelligence agency] Mossad was able to figure out the problem before everyone,” said Canadian national Mohammad Syed, works in the oil trade sector in Dubai.

Dubai resident Aleena Khan, from Pakistan, also said she believed that the movie was glorifying Israel, adding that the movie presented a misleading picture of the relationship between Palestinians and Israelis.

“I don’t think it was trying to justify Israel’s occupation, but it was glorifying the Israelis by emphasising on peace and harmony of the two nations, which is far from the truth. One has to face facts and admit that Israel is hostile towards Palestinians. It was a very rose-tinted version of what the relationship between the Israelis and Palestinians actually is,” she added.

Dr Abdul Khaleq Abdullah Professor of Political Science at UAE University on the other hand thought that the wall symbolised Israel’s insecurity.

“Plenty of Israeli propaganda came from the movie but the fact that they built a wall in my opinion shows how Israel feels insecure and so would go to any length to protect itself even if it meant coming up with over-the-top solutions like building the barrier or wall”

Palestinian national Saif Khalil, did not think much about the wall symbolism however thought that referring to Occupied Jerusalem as part of Israel was uncalled for.

Other movie-goers in the region said some people, especially Arabs and Muslims, were reading too much into the movie.

Palestinian national Maen Hadid, who works in a Dubai-based media company, said he did not feel the movie was trying to convey a pro-Israeli policy message.

“I think that the movie showed Israel as a country that normally exists just like any other country but their solution was to build a wall to protect those left inside, including the Palestinian Muslims,” said Hadid.

Bader Al Lawati, an Omani, said that after watching the movie, he read about the controversial views in the media and, “didn’t even think about it that way while watching the movie.”

British teenager Gwynfor Callaghan, who was born and brought up in Oman, said those viewing the wall scene as symbolising the situation of Palestinians were overreacting.

“It is a fiction made by Americans, so don’t think that the scene was intended against a group,” the British School Muscat student said.

Comments (7)

  1. Added 17:34 July 3, 2013

    Are people seriously so bored and jobless that they have to analyze a movie frame by frame, take it out of context and blow it out of proportion? Lets for a minute assume that they were trying to glorify Israel. Okay. Lets just assume that yes, they are. So what? How does it change anything? How does it impact you? How does it impact the Millions who are suffering in Palestine? How does it change the lives of those who are suffering around the world? The problem with our planet is that we have petty minded folks who are jobless and have nothing else to do but find fault in things that should be ignored. And worse - these people like creating a storm in a tea cup. My suggestion is this - If you have a problem with the movie - do this - Don't watch it. And if you do watch it and don't like it - share your views and feelings. But creating an illogical assumption and then creating a propaganda to spread hate is simply not required. If nothing else - all this hype is only making this movie even more popular - so much so, I may actually buy another ticket and watch it closely just to be sure this claim was fake. In other words - I am helping the movie makers make some more money in the process. Make sense?

    Loy Machedo, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  2. Added 15:36 July 3, 2013

    Would not great, let it be a entertainment movie, don't go so deep into the movie. Also wish the journalist not to create controversies stories just for story rating.

    Ranbir, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  3. Added 15:18 July 3, 2013

    There is no doubt that movies impact the masses a lot, and this is one way of changing the way of thinking of the people. The movie World War "Z" does give the message which is loud and clear that it is defending the wall of Isreal and showing the nicer picture of Isreal which in reality of very different.

    noor, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  4. Added 14:08 July 3, 2013

    The movie is based on a book/novel. So really it's story is derived from the said novel. Can't blame the movie-makers for following the book's script.

    Khalid, Karachi, Pakistan

  5. Added 13:53 July 3, 2013

    How about the fact that it was a group of "head-scarf wearing" women whose singing started the zombie attack into Jersusalem???? Also try taking a screenshot of Masjid Aqsa in the movie and analyze it.(Jerusalem scene last shot)

    Ziad, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

  6. Added 13:52 July 3, 2013

    dont watch american movies if you have a bad mind about thier way of doing the movies

    singh, mumbai, India

  7. Added 13:35 July 3, 2013

    Movies do have an impact on one's mind and way of thinking. While watching the latest G.I.Joe movie it was hilarious to see that terrorist were nicely carrying an Atom bomb in a Pakistani Military zone. Movie's need to be a bit realistic, or else they lose the touch.

    Fahad, Dubai, Pakistan

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