It was a case of hysterical espionage.
Israeli ‘Wonder Woman’ star Gal Gadot was pictured as a Mossad agent on the front page of a Lebanese newspaper yesterday.
Beirut-based Al Liwaa newspaper used a picture of the actress to illustrate a story about Colette Vianfi, an alleged Israeli Mossad officer accused of recruiting Lebanese comedian and playwright Ziad Itani as a spy.
A senior newspaper executive described the incident as “embarrassing” in a telephone interview with Arab News.
Tareq Damlaj, one of the managing editors at the newspaper, said: “People were spreading the photo of actress Gal Gadot on social media, especially through WhatsApp, believing it was a photo of the Israeli officer.
“But after receiving a phone call today from cinema enthusiasts, and not security services, we learned this was the photo of an Israeli actress.”
Itani was arrested last week for what a security source called “collaborating with Israel over the past three years.”
He was detained on Thursday evening in Beirut with security sources claiming at the time that he was in touch with a woman who was supposed to come to Lebanon on Dec. 2.
Gadot was born and raised in Israel and was crowned Miss Israel in 2004 before serving two years as a soldier in the Israeli Defense Forces.
Gadot, who played an ex-Mossad agent in one of the “The Fast and the Furious” movies, was not immediately available for comment through her Beverly Hills public relations company.
But the Al Liwaa editors should take some comfort in knowing that even the mighty BBC can occasionally trip up on an embarrassing caption.
In a report on yesterday’s news about the Royal engagement, the BBC subtitles quoted UK Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn as admiring both “Prince Harry and Hezbollah.”
The BBC blamed the blooper on its malfunctioning voice recognition technology.