Think you know Gal Gadot? Think again: The world-famous actress is really Collette Vianfi, the unimprovably named agent of the Israeli Mossad who, clandestinely making her way into Lebanon, managed to seduce a local actor and playwright named Ziad Itani and recruit him to work for the Zionist state.
That, at least, is the story as told by Al Liwaa, a Beirut-based newspaper that splashed the actress’s picture on its front-page Monday, identifying her as the femme fatale super-spy that led to Itani’s arrest this past Friday “on charges of collaborating and communicating with the Israeli enemy.”
The mysterious Vianfi, the newspaper continued, was slated to visit Itani in Beirut this weekend, but stayed away after he was detained by the country’s diligent security services.
Does this sound utterly idiotic to you? You’re not alone: After the Al Liwaa published its allegations, readers from all over the world chimed in to inform the newspaper that theorizing that the world’s most recognizable actress is a Mossad agent is about as plausible a premise as the plot of the new Justice League movie. So sorry, said Tareq Damlaj, an executive working for the paper; we had no idea who Gal Gadot was.
“People were spreading the photo of actress Gal Gadot on social media,” he told Arab News, “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.”
In Damlaj’s defense, he had no real reason to know what the famous actress looked like: The Lebanese government had banned Wonder Woman from being screened in Lebanon, adhering to a long-standing legislation prohibiting contact with Israelis, even ones who hail from Themyscira and who wield the Lasso of Truth.