WASHINGTON – In 1967, members of the Israeli 55th Paratrooper Brigade stood firm against the forces of three rival Arab nations and proved victorious.
That monumental event is known as the Six-Day War.
Fifty years later, that miraculous battle comes to life through the CBN docudrama "In Our Hands: The Battle for Jerusalem."
The film highlights the days leading up to the war and the battle itself through a combination of firsthand interviews and reenactments. The docudrama was filmed over a 17-day period using all Israeli crew members and actors.
CBN CEO Gordon Robertson spoke to an enthusiastic crowd at this year's AIPAC conference about the film's inception.
"We were in the middle of shooting 'The Hope,' which came out last year. Erin Zimmerman, the writer and director of that, said, 'We need to do something on the Six-Day War.' I said, 'Okay, but realize, if it's going to be released on the 50th Anniversary, we can't extend the deadline," Robertson explained with a laugh to AIPAC's Jonathan Schulman.
Watch the movie trailer below:
Miracles in Times of Trouble
To Robertson, it was important for the world to see the miracles surrounding the war.
"I thought it was important to show the world just how perilous the situation was for Israel, that it truly was a miracle that they won. There was a joke that was circulating around Tel Aviv. At the airport there was a sign that was put up, 'The last one to leave please turn out the lights,'" Robertson said.
"The state was truly at risk. The fear was annihilation. They stockpiled body bags. They dug graves in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, anticipating, not just soldiers, but civilians would be killed in huge numbers. You have to tell that part of the story in order to explain what happened and what an incredible success it was that Israel actually won that war," he continued.
Robertson says the team worked meticulously to ensure the film's accuracy, using personal narratives and testimonials from survivors.
"I think it personalizes it. It makes it accurate for lack of a better word. When you hear dialogue in this film, it's words that were actually spoken. We don't make up lines. We don't make up conversations," Robertson explained.
The Importance of the State of Israel
Reminiscing about his first visit to Israel, Robertson spoke on the importance of Bethlehem and the state of Israel today.
"Today, I cannot go to Bethlehem; it's not safe for me to do that. So, when the U.N. comes out and says east Jerusalem is under a blatantly illegal occupation, I go, 'No,'" Robertson stated firmly.
"To turn east Jerusalem over to the Palestinians, as a Christian that means I can no longer go to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. I can no longer go to the Garden of Gethsemane. I can no longer go to the Mount of Olives. I can no longer go the Western Wall. I can't imagine an Israel like that," Robertson told the crowd who then responded with cheers and applause.
The AIPAC policy conference is an annual event in Washington, D.C. bringing together Israel supporters and U.S. policy-makers. The event prides itself on its bipartisan approach to strengthening U.S.-Israel relations.
"In Our Hands" became available on DVD June 5.