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New Film Will Portray ‘British Police Chasing Jewish Terrorist Groups’ In Palestine

Posted on January 27 2011 12:47 pm
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The terrific success of The King’s Speech in garnering twelve Academy Award nominations has within it the capacity to cause a popular media black eye for Israel on a near unprecedented scale.

One of Best Actor Oscar nominee Colin Firth’s next movies will be one with an Israel focus called The Promised Land. After his Golden Globes win, his prospects to win the Academy Award are very good and that will mean much more attention will be showered on the The Promised Land.

The movie is about the Zionist underground that opposed British rule in Mandatory Palestine in the early 1940s and will be set in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.

Colin Firth is starring in the movie. Matthew Macfadyen and Jim Sturgess play British police officers tasked with stopping the Zionist underground. The story is told from the British point of view; Zionist hero Avraham/Yair Stern is the main target. This is a story never told before in any major movie production. The British labeled Stern and his comrades as terrorists and criminals. The group eventually called itself the LECHI, or Fighters For the Freedom of Israel. It was maligned as the Stern Gang by the Brits.

Stern was driven by a desire to rid Israel of British rule at all costs. He knew that the British opposition to European Jewish immigration into the Mandate meant that his brothers and sisters would be left in the hands of the Nazis and would lead to horrific tragedy.

As in Steven Spielberg’s Munich (2005) Israelis will be depicted in such a way as to produce a strong sense of moral equivalence. There are no real good guys. Everyone has done wrong. All religions have their violent extremists.

What’s worse is that British director Michael Winterbottom revealed in an interview with that he brought a significant bias to the project. He labeled Stern a terrorist and is claiming it’s a true story.  He stated in his interview “…right now, we’re wanting to do a film set in Palestine in the 1930s about British police chasing Jewish terrorist groups. There’s a guy called Avraham Stern, who was one of the leaders of the Jewish underground from when Britain was controlling Palestine, so it’s set in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem and it’s about police trying to capture Stern and Stern trying to kill the police. It’s based on a true story.”

There was a time when Hollywood portrayed the interconnected events surrounding the Holocaust and the creation of the Jewish state differently than what we will see in The Promised Land. 1960’s Exodus, starring Paul Newman, Eva Marie Saint and Peter Lawford is one example. Cast a Giant Shadow from 1966, starring Kirk Douglas and Angie Dickinson and featuring John Wayne and Frank Sinatra, is an even better example.

My personal favorite movie about Israel’s fight for independence is the little known black and white movie Sword in the Desert from 1949, directed by George Sherman and starring Dana Andrews and Jeff Chandler.

In the 1970s Hollywood produced a pair of films–Victory at Entebbe and Raid on Entebbe–that showed the anti-Israel terrorists as the vicious animals they were.

You should have no doubt that The Promised Land will depict a view of Zionist history that Israel’s most ardent critics will find satisfying. Skip it and see Sword in the Desert instead.

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