'Homeland' Depiction of Beirut Angers Both Lebanon and Israel

City is not a hotbed of violence, say Lebanese; both countries unhappy scenes were actually shot in Tel Aviv

Claire Danes as Carrie Mathison in 'Homeland'
Ronen Akerman/SHOWTIME
Claire Danes as Carrie Mathison in 'Homeland'
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The hit Showtime series Homeland has angered both Lebanon and Israel, two countries that are distinctly at odds on most other subjects.  

Lebanese Tourism Minister Fadi Abboud told The Associated Press this week that his government is unhappy with the show's portrayal of the city of Beirut. He said the government is considering filing a lawsuit for what he said is the show's misleading image of the city as a hotbed of terrorism. "The information minister is studying media laws to see what can be done," he said. 

The show, which follows a C.I.A. operative tracking a Marine war hero whom she believes to be consorting with Arab terrorists, has depicted one thriving commercial street in Beirut as a magnet for violence and treachery. "It was not filmed in Beirut and does reflect the real image of Beirut," said Abboud.

In fact, the scene was filmed in Tel Aviv, where some residents are unhappy that their cosmopolitan city has been used as a stand-in for an enemy's capital. "This sort of diminishes Tel Aviv and [the mixed Arab and Jewish neighborhood of ] Jaffa, which are more modern than Beirut,"said Israeli Internet developer Nir Rubinstein.

Homeland is based on the Israeli series Prisoners of War. According to the AP, Twentieth Century Fox, producers of the show, had no comment.  

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