For centuries in exile and a generation without access to their city, the people of Israel stood alone surrounded by their enemies for six days in June 1967. What happened next changed history.
Marking the 50th anniversary of this Six-Day War, CBN Documentaries commemorates this historic battle by presenting the film event In Our Hands | The Battle for Jerusalem. Due to the popularity of the one-night only showing, Fathom Events is bringing back the film for two more special event screenings on June 1st and June 6th.
This insightful and powerful film includes an exclusive commentary from CBN CEO Gordon Robertson.
In 2007, Robertson became chief executive officer of the Christian Broadcasting Network, having previously served as Vice-President of CBN International, Executive Producer of The 700 Club, and a member of CBN’s Board of Directors.
In addition to his work with CBN, Robertson founded the largest missionary agency in the Philippines, Asian Center for Missions.
Gordon Robertson is probably most recognizable as the insightful co-host of CBN’s popular program The 700 Club. He is also known for his productions of award-winning programs such as Temple of Heaven and Emmy-nominated documentary Made in Israel, and The Hope: The Rebirth of Israel.
SCH: Besides 2017 as the 50th anniversary of the Six-Day War between Israel and three neighboring Arab nations, what’s behind your interest in a docudrama about the fighting in Jerusalem?
GR: CBN’s desire to create the film In Our Hands: The Battle for Jerusalem goes back to the 1960s when CBN founder Pat Robertson visited Israel for the first time. The Lord impressed upon him that part of CBN’s mission was to be a blessing to Israel. This mission includes proclaiming the truth about Israel’s past and present.
SCH: In your time talking with members of the 55th Paratrooper Brigade, what did you learn about the Israel Defense Forces?
GR: “It is important to have the story told by those who lived it. In Our Hands reveals the hearts and minds of soldiers, scholars, and politicians, both religious and secular. Seeing their vivid memories portrayed in historical reenactments brings the Six-Day War to life in a new and unique way,” said Gordon Robertson, In Our Hands executive producer and CEO of The Christian Broadcasting Network.
The biggest surprise was finding that the 55th Paratrooper Brigade was comprised of part-time soldiers. These fighting men were also students. In fact, one chief strategist was studying for an economics exam while preparing for war.
Shot in Jerusalem on the actual battle sites, more than 100 actors (the film’s extras are real paratroopers) reenact the deadly fighting at Ammunition Hill and the Old City. Other scenes are replicated at the Rockefeller Museum and the Mount of Olives.
SCH: What was happening in 1967 that sparked the mobilization of Arab military forces and the reaction of the Israel Defense Forces?
GR: From the day of its founding in 1948, modern Israel has been repeatedly attacked by Arab nations. In 1966, President Nasser of Egypt tried to create a pan-Arab union, calling for the annihilation of Israel. He worked to mobilize the Egyptian, Jordanian and Syrian armies against Israel in 1967’s Six-Day War.
SCH: Even 50 years later, tensions run high in Israel and the Middle East. What has changed, and what hasn’t, since the events depicted in IN OUR HANDS?
GR: When CBN first started this project, the goal was to celebrate the 50th anniversary. This past December, the film took on a whole new dimension when the UN ruled that Israel’s ownership of East Jerusalem was “blatantly illegal.”
The UN, the nations of the world, passed a resolution condemning Israel’s right to a unified Jerusalem. This is just the beginning of the nations gathering against Jerusalem.
The Palestinian Authority remains bent on a Jihad to attack Israel.
Here is what the Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas had to say about Jihad 18 months ago: “Each drop of blood that was spilled in Jerusalem is pure blood as long as it’s for the sake of Allah. Every shahid (martyr) will be in heaven and every wounded person will be rewarded, by Allah’s will.” Mahmoud Abbas, September 15, 2015
So, where does this leave us? As much as we want peace, there is no peace. And yet, in the years following the Yom Kippur war of 1973, both Jordan and Egypt found peace with Israel. So there is hope.
SCH: The Bible has much to say about Jerusalem as the center of both the nation of Israel and the Jewish religion. What connections do you see between biblical prophecy and Jerusalem today?
GR: Jesus prophesied the destruction of Jerusalem in Matthew 24:1-2, “Then Jesus went out and departed from the Temple, and His disciples came up to show Him the buildings of the Temple. And Jesus said to them, ‘Do you not see all these things? Assuredly, I say to you, not one stone shall be left here upon another, that shall not be thrown down.’”
Titus fulfilled that prophecy in AD 70, when literally every stone of the Temple was thrown down. Jesus also prophesied the return of the Jews to Jerusalem in Luke 21:24, “And they will fall by the edge of the sword, and be led away captive into all nations. And Jerusalem will be trampled by Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.”
Two thousand years later Israel’s 55th Paratrooper Brigade fulfilled that prophecy. When Jerusalem was reunited, the times of the Gentiles were fulfilled. The Jews are back and Israel has been reborn.
Today we find ourselves fulfilling the words of Psalm 126:1-2, “When the Lord brought back the captivity of Zion, we were like those who dream. Then our mouth was filled with laughter, and our tongue with singing. Then they said among the nations, ‘The Lord has done great things for them.’
SCH: What are the challenges for a Christian organization such as CBN filming a story like IN OUR HANDS in Israel?
GR: The 17-day shoot in Israel last summer was carried out after intensive research through diaries, radio broadcasts, conducting interviews with experts (such as Member of Knesset and historian Michael Oren) and, of course, with the veterans themselves.
“It was a long process to find these really gripping stories,” said Erin Zimmerman, writer and director of In Our Hands. “My Israeli production team helped me immensely throughout the arduous process,” Zimmerman stated. Every line of dialogue comes from these records and interviews.
“Most accounts of the Six-Day War are straight documentaries, and the Battle of Ammunition Hill is a sentence or two,” Robertson, said. “No film we know of actually recreates these pivotal scenes and events with such intense accuracy. For new generations of Jews and Christians, In Our Hands is a must-see in understanding the significance of this historic moment in history.”
High ticket sales in advance of its first encore this Thursday, June 1, have spurred an additional encore screening of IN OUR HANDS: THE BATTLE FOR JERUSALEM, in movie theaters nationwide on Tuesday, June 6, from Fathom Events and CBN Documentaries. Airing on the 50th anniversary of Israel’s Six-Day War, IN OUR HANDS again brings to vivid life onscreen the events that restored to Jews the Old City of Jerusalem and the Western Wall.
First encore: Thursday, June 1 at 7:00 p.m. local time
Second encore: Tuesday, June 6 at 7:00 p.m. local time
For locations and tickets visit InOurHands1967.com
About Christian Broadcasting Network
Christian Broadcasting Network is a multifaceted nonprofit organization that provides cable, broadcast, satellite and online programming to approximately 200 countries around the world. CBN and its affiliated organizations aim to report the news of the day from an informed Christian perspective. For more than 50 years, CBN has continued to grow in both size and scope as a leading voice in Christian broadcasting, media and communications by utilizing cutting-edge technology in every area of its operation.
About Fathom Events
Fathom Events is recognized as the leading domestic distributor of event cinema and ranks as one of the largest overall distributors of content to movie theaters. Fathom Events’ live digital broadcast network is the largest cinema broadcast network in North America, bringing live and pre-recorded events to 897 locations and 1,387 screens in 181 DMAs. For more information, visit www.fathomevents.com.
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