Ilan Ziv has made a film, Exile: A Myth Unearthed, which purports to rewrite Jewish history and is of a highly political and controversial nature.
The film has been shelved by the BBC. Ziv is not happy.
Ilan Ziv laments ‘sad saga of incompetence and political naiveté’ after BBC drops Jerusalem: an Archaeological Mystery Story
“The BBC have had the film for almost six months…..I discovered only 3 days before the broadcast that the BBC has been using a different name for the film: Jerusalem – An Archeological Mystery Story. It struck me as an odd choice that seems to camouflage the film’s real subject and repackages it as a neutral archeological mystery of sorts – like the hundreds of hours one can see on cable and satellite channels throughout the world.”.
The BBC denied that the film had been dropped because it was controversial and said it ‘did not fit editorially’ with a series of historical archeology films.
However, Israeli-born Mr Ziv claimed a ‘mini political storm was brewing’ at the Corporation in the days before the documentary was due to broadcast.
Interesting that Ziv thinks the BBC tried to ‘camouflage’ the underlying narrative of the film…and renames it. Why hide the true nature of the film?
So is the film controversial or not? Does it have significance for modern day Israel and Middle Eastern politics? Ziv himself claimed it wasn’t at all related to modern politics nor was it controversial …it clearly is.
Archaeology is politics in the Middle East. The precarious balance of Muslim, Jewish and Christian holy sites in the ancient heart of Jerusalem is informed as much by what’s below ground as what’s above. Which is why evidence revealed here, suggesting that the Jewish exile from Jerusalem in AD 70 may never have actually happened, has such severe ramifications for relations in the region.
Documentary by Ilan Ziv looking at new evidence which suggests the majority of Jewish people may not have been exiled after the fall of Jerusalem in 70 AD. Travelling from Galilee, Israel, to the catacombs of Rome, he discovers whether the event that has played a central role in Christian and Jewish theology for nearly 2000 years really happened, raising ethical questions about its impact on modern Middle Eastern issues.
So let’s just read that last line again:
‘….raising ethical questions about its impact on modern Middle Eastern issues.’
What the hell does that mean?
That means the delegitimisation of Israel and its right to exist.
Any wonder the BBC got cold feet.
The BBC quite clearly understands the potential ramifications of such claims but was prepared to broadcast them…until something stopped them….3 days before broadcast.
What that might have been who knows….I haven’t seen the film but presumably it was a one sided diatribe that made these claims without a great deal of contrary evidence or opposing voices.
Ziv himself says: “Part of the editorial debate was that one freelance employee who was hired as part of the re-versioning of the film called it propaganda,” he said. “Another person inside the BBC, claimed (or so I was told) that the film drove some political point of view.
Therefore it was probably right to shelve a film that is clearly very controversial and more than likely not true, about an area of the world that is literally explosive.
Mr Ziv said he hoped to organise alternative screenings in the UK so that the film could be “judged on its own merit”. He rejected the suggestion that it was controversial since it does not deal with contemporary Israeli politics, and said he was not attempting to push the theory of writer Shlomo Sands, who challenges “the whole concept of the Jewish people….Sands did something that I refuse to do,” he said.
Shlomo Sands? Who is he?
He’s an ex communist, radical anti-Zionist who believes that there is no such thing as a ‘Jewish People’…he is also a professor of…European history…not Jewish history.
‘Most of the Jews in Israel are not the original Jews of the Bible, but people who converted to the Jewish religion.
Most of the Jews in Israel are descended from people in countries such as Germany, Georgia, Ukraine, Yemen, and Morocco who were not originally Jewish.
The Palestinians are most likely the original Jews
In short, the Jewish People, according to Sand, are not really a “people” in the sense of having a common ethnic origin and national heritage. They certainly do not have a political claim over the territory that today constitutes Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories, including Jerusalem.”
‘A global ethnocracy invokes the myth of the eternal nation, reconstituted on the land of its ancestors, to justify internal discrimination against its own citizens.
He goes on to ‘suggests the diaspora was the consequence, not of the expulsion of the Hebrews from Palestine, but of proselytising across north Africa, southern Europe and the Middle East’
Ziv says that his film does not make the same claim that Sands does…but it obviously does…that the Jews are not the true people of Palestine and don’t have any claim over the land there.
None of that is true…genetic studies show that Jews around the world have definite connections to each other and stem from the Middle East, and that far from somehow converting en masse whole populations, producing ‘ersatz’ Jews, the reality is that when Jews moved to different regions they inter-married and their spouses converted…a different thing altogether.
Jewish communities in Europe and the Middle East share many genes inherited from the ancestral Jewish population that lived in the Middle East some 3,000 years ago, even though each community also carries genes from other sources — usually the country in which it lives.
New genetic research, published as a paper titled “Abraham’s Children in the Genome Era” in the June issue of The American Journal of Human Genetics, highlights the strong genetic bonds both within and among Jewish communities around the world, their distinctiveness vis-à-vis the populations among which they have dwelled, and their links to the Middle East.’
The genetic studies show that a large scale movement of Jews out of the Middle East has occured at some time, and therefore the Jewish Diaspora does have direct links to the Middle East….whether the movement was after 70AD or not is irrelevant…Ziv is trying to show that Jews have little connection to the Middle East and thereby attempt to lessen the legitimacy of Israel….the genetics disprove his theory and Sand’s. If a Jewsih homeland had been based soely upon a common religioun then they could have set up a homeland anywhere in the world….the genetic link justifies their move back to the Middle East.
Has the BBC come to its senses or has the BBC had it suggested to them that this film is potentially highly inflammatory being factually incorrect and of such a highly contentious nature…..it calling into question the legitimacy of a nation with what could be devastating consequences?
If the film had been a genuine scholarly debate arguing both sides that would have been a different matter…if it is purely a one sided diatribe acting as Palestinian propaganda that is something else altogether…and rightly canned.
The BBC after all will not call Palestinian terrorists ‘terrorists’, it calls the security fence a ‘barrier’ so as not to imply Palestinians are the aggressors to be defended against, it doesn’t report the extent of Palestinian radicalisation ot its intentions to erase Israel from the map.
Only right therefore that it balances that with a bit of self censorship that favours Israel…or rather, doesn’t allow anti-Israel propaganda to be broadcast…for once.