June 2nd, 2017 – The European Coalition for Israel has marked the 50th Anniversary of the reunification of Jerusalem by hosting a screening of a new documentary “In Our Hand – The Battle for Jerusalem” in the European Parliament in Brussels. The documentary, which had its European premiere on Thursday night, was presented by producer Gordon Robertson who also answered questions after the film. Explaining why he had just completed his third documentary on an issue related to Israel he replied:
“The Jewish people simply have the best stories. For over 4000 years, the narrative of the Jewish people has inspired us and given us the stories that define our western civilization.”Commenting on the theme of the new documentary he said:
“Jewish stewardship of the Old City of Jerusalem after the city was reunited in the Six Day War in 1967 is simply exceptional. Most other nations would have taken full control of the Temple Mount while Israel, out of respect for the Muslim community, gave custodianship to the Jordanians. The international community could learn a lot from this attitude of respecting the holy sites of other religions instead of demanding exclusivity.”
ECI Founding Director Tomas Sandell congratulated Robertson for the film that had drawn a large audience to the European Parliament, including a government delegation from Africa.
“The 50th Anniversary of the reunification of Jerusalem is a historic event that deserves proper recognition at the heart of political Europe”, he said. He praised the film for its historical accuracy and for documenting the acts of kindness and civility in the middle of the Six Day War. The film showed how Israeli soldiers buried dead Jordanian soldiers who had been left behind by their own army after they were defeated, and how Israeli soldiers helped deliver a baby of an Arab Muslim resident who had been caught in the crossfire.
“These acts of kindness in the midst of a brutal war, define the Jewish values and principles that we wanted to celebrate here in the European Parliament”, Sandell added.
The future of Jerusalem is a hotly contested political issue in Europe where the European Union has demanded that Jerusalem be re-divided in order to make East Jerusalem the capital of a new Palestinian state.
But in confirming their agreement with an open letter, issued by ECI, entitled “Keep Jerusalem United as the Capital of the State of Israel”, members from all of the five largest party groups in the European Parliament are expressing support for Israeli sovereignty over the whole city, knowing that only the government of Israel can guarantee that Jerusalem remains an open and united city where people of all faiths and none can co-exist and receive equal recognition.
The screening was hosted by Finnish Member of the European Parliament Hannu Takkula, who is also one of the signatories of ECI’s open letter.