The incredible story of Israel's rebirth!
These days the wondrous documentary program Amud Ha-Esh (Pillar of fire) portraying the history of the people of Israel has finally been released in a series of DVDs, produced by the Israeli Broadcasting Authority.
Pillar of Fire relates the drama of the Jewish people's return to Zion and the establishment of the state of Israel. It deals with the history of modern Zionism, from the beginning of the Zionist movement in the 1890s to the creation of the modern day state of Israel in 1948.
This seven part classical documentary series portrays:
- The Jewish people's return to The Promised Land.
- The Arab national awakening.
- The Jewish-Arab struggle for Palestine.
- Persecution of Jews in Europe.
- The War of Independence.
- The creation of the state of Israel.
It is an extensive documentary production that feature rare documentary footage collected from more than 30 archives and private collections throughout the world, as well as many eye-witness interviews.
This documentary series also portrays the Jewish-Arab struggle for Palestine, persecution of Jews in Europe, the war of 1948 and David Ben-Gurion's declaration of independence.
THE JEW RETURNS - THE ARAB AWAKENS
The outbreak of anti-Semitism at the end of the 19th century leads Theodor Herzl to the conclusion that Jews are no longer safe in Europe. He strives for the creation of a Jewish state in Palestine which will serve as a refuge for persecuted Jews. During the First World War the British government issues the Balfur Declaration, that "views with favor the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people", but this document triggers also the awakening of the Arab national movement in Palestine.
The Halutzim (pioneers) who arrive in Palestine early in the 1920's turn the land into an experimental field of daring utopian ideas: Kibbutzim and Moshavim. The closure of American gates to the Jewish immigration makes the land of Israel not only a destination for dreamers, but also a heaven for Jewish refugees from Europe. For a while, Palestine is a peaceful spot in the Middle East, but in 1929, the Arabs initiate a wave of riots and massacres.
THE RISE AND FALL OF GERMAN JEWS
A period of freedom and prosperity for the Jews of Germany follows the end of the First World War The rise to power of Hitler abruptly changes their destiny. Thousands of Jews immigrate to Palestine. The Arabs respond with another wave of bloody attacks. Britain proposes the partition of Palestine into two states - Jewish and Arab.
WHO'S AFRAID OF A JEWISH STATE?
In Europe the power of Nazi Germany increases. Persecution of Jews reaches in peak during the "Crystal Night." Ships on high seas are not able to land their passengers - Jewish refugees - on any shore. The Chamberlain government abolishes the partition plan and issues an anti-Zionist White Paper.
In Europe, the Holocaust unfolds in all its brutal stages: ghettoes and death camps. And in Palestine there is real anxiety, that the German army, on the offensive in North Africa, will conquer the country. Tens of Thousands of Palestine Jews volunteer to the British army, but when the war ends with an allied victory, Jewish hopes of being invited to reap the fruits of triumph are dashed: they are "the forgotten ally".
The concentration camps survivors returning to their homes in Poland encounter a resurgence of violent anti-Semitism and pogroms. No western country offers them a refuge. Britain continues to prevent their entry into Palestine. All Jewish underground organizations unite in a violent armed struggle against British Mandate power, while shiploads of survivors attempt to illegally reach the shores of Palestine. These actions bring about a British decision to submit the Palestine question to the UN, which recommends a partition of Palestine between Jews and Arabs.
A NATION REBORN
An account of the military battles and diplomatic struggles leading to the establishment of the state of Israel. The Jews manage to lift the siege of Jerusalem and the American attempts to reverse the UN partition resolution fail. On the day the British Mandate ends, David Ben-Gurion declares the independence of the State of Israel.
Pillar of Fire is an important event. So far, television documentary at it's best'
Antony Lerman, The Jewish Chronicle (1986)
'One of the most exciting documentaries created in recent years is Yiga Lossin's Pillar of Fire. It is an excellent production, combining historical material and present day interviews.'
Teddy Kollek, Mayor of Jerusalem (1986)
'This series seems to me TV history as it ought to be. This is pretty, sober and judicious presentation of a complex and contentious story.'
Paul Johnson, The London Times Educational Supplement (1986)
'Pillar of Fire, which we proudly presented on Channel Four, was one of the greatest achievements in world broadcasting of the last decade.'
Jeremy Isaacs, Chief Executive of Britain's Channel Four Television (1986)
For the first time, this abridged English version is being offered on DVD.
Produced by Israeli Broadcasting Authority.
Running Time: 7 Hours
NTSC format only.
Shipped direct from Jerusalem.
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