Israel, a twice promised land / Une terre deux fois promise: Israël-Palestine
November 1947: the United Nations votes the partition plan for Palestine. For some, a dream becomes reality. For others, it’s the start of a catastrophe. 70 years after this historic vote: the land of Palestine remains an open wound –a battleground for two peoples torn apart by their shared history, a source of inextricable tension in the region and even beyond the borders of the Middle East. After Annihilation: The Destruction of Europe’s Jews, William Karel and Blanche Finger continue their exploration of contemporary history, by revisiting the two first decades of the Hebrew state, from 1945 to the Six-Day War. Twenty years that laid the foundations of contemporary Israël, twenty crucial years for the Jewish and Arab Israeli communities and Middle-East as a whole, twenty critical years to understand the origins of a conflict. Episode 1 will review the three decisive years that carved a Jewish state out of Palestine. It will focus on the period from the end of the Second World War through the UN vote on the Partition Plan in 1947, and will conclude with Israel’s declaration of independence in 1948. Episode 2 will cover 1948-1967 – two fundamental decades, punctuated by wars between the young state and its neighbors: the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, the 1956 Suez Crisis, and up to the Six-Day War in 1967 that would once again stir up the Middle East. Supported by commentary devoid of partisan ideology, the film will recount the birth of Israel as seen by both Israelis and Arabs. It will revisit the key moments of this chapter of the 20th Century through the testimonies and interviews of direct eyewitnesses and historians from both sides, as well as newly discovered and remastered archives.