Israelis Surprised by Christian Love at 'In Our Hands' Premiere
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JERUSALEM, Israel – CBN's docudrama, "In Our Hands: the Battle for Jerusalem," premiered in Jerusalem Sunday evening at a gala event.
The film marks the 50th anniversary of the 1967 Six-Day War that saw Jerusalem reunited under Israeli sovereignty.
"It's with great joy I say to you, 'The Lord has done great things for you,'" CBN CEO Gordon Robertson told an enthusiastic crowd at Jerusalem's Cinematheque Theater.
Robertson said, "One of the guiding verses for me for this whole project is [from] Psalm 126: 'Then they said among the nations, the Lord has done great things for them.'"
The film follows the lives of several paratroopers as they fought critical battles to reunite the city for the first time in 2,000 years.
The paratroopers honored the film's writer and director, Erin Zimmerman.
"I want to tell to all of you that she does a wonderful work," said Arik Achmon, who served as the 55th Paratroopers Brigade's chief intelligence officer.
Moshe Milo, radio operator for the 71st Battalion said he was "very excited" with the docudrama.
"It brought me back to the moment when we broke through the Lion's Gate," Milo told CBN News.
Zimmerman said though she had been as accurate as she could in writing the film, she was still concerned about showing it to the Israelis.
"My biggest fear was somebody saying, 'well that wasn't really right' and so to get the seal of approval from all four of our paratroopers that were here tonight was an amazing blessing for me," Zimmerman told CBN News.
The film has been a big hit in the U.S., but how did it play in Israel?
"As an Israeli, I must say that I have not seen for a very long time such a great expression of a true storytelling of what really happened here," Israeli Avi Mizrachi said.
"It was really inspirational and really amazing to see the old original footage," Adina Kory responded.
"It gave you a real sense of how the war was, what a testimonial to Israel," said Lynda Anderson from Kansas.
"What I didn't expect was also the feeling the soldiers have after losing their comrades and that mourning that they go through, but the film ended with such a high note on Zechariah 8," Caroline Giraldo from the U.K. said.
The actors said it was their honor to be part of this film.
"Wonderful, Wonderful, Wonderful. It was very, very pro-Israel!" said famous Israeli actress Ruth Farhi. Farhi played a grandmother who – just prior to the battle for Jerusalem – handed paratrooper Yoram Zamosh an Israeli flag that had flown in the Old City of Jerusalem before the Jews were expelled during the War of Independence in 1948.
"To see how people took their lives to give us our country, it was amazing to feel a part of it," said Ishai Ben Moshe, who played Zamosh. In real life – and in the film – Zamosh hangs the Israeli flag on a fence by the Western Wall.
Some Israelis were surprised that Christians would make such a film to honor Israel.
Itay Sharon played Israel Harel.
"It's heartwarming that you have friends who care outside of our small borders that we like to spread the stories around," Sharon said.
"Yes!" Moshe said. "I've just learned about it that Christians love Israel. It was very surprising, a good surprise."
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