The “Exile” saga continues! As promised , today’s London Times article about the controversy of
” Exiling” my film in the BBC, the details of which you can read in Yesterday’s blog which you can see by scrolling down.
Ilan Ziv’s film questions scale of the Jewish exile
Published at 12:01AM, April 29 2013
The BBC has been criticised for dropping a film questioning the scale of the mass exile of the Jewish people after the fall of Jerusalem in AD70.
Jerusalem: An Archaeological Mystery Story, by the Israeli-born film-maker Ilan Ziv, was to examine “new evidence that suggests that the majority of the Jewish people may not have been exiled following the fall of Jerusalem”.
The exile of the Jews after a failed uprising against the Roman Empire has played a central role in Christian and Jewish theology. But the documentary was pulled at the last minute, and a repeat of an older programme was broadcast instead.
The BBC denied that it had been dropped because of the content, saying that it had decided not to show it because it “did not fit editorially” with other programmes in a season exploring the history of archeology. It added that the possibility of showing it at a later date was under review.
However, questions have been raised about whether the broadcaster feared that the film, which was to have been screened on BBC Four at 9pm on Thursday, would be too controversial. Reviewers had predicted that it would ruffle some feathers.
A Radio Times reviewer said that “evidence revealed here, suggesting that the Jewish exile from Jerusalem in AD70 may never have actually happened, has … severe ramifications for relations in the region”.
In publicity releases, the BBC had said that the documentary would raise “important ethical questions about … present-day Middle Eastern issues”.
Ziv said he was told that it was dropped when it was realised that there would not be much time to work on the 60-minute edit of such an important and potentially controversial documentary. He thought that the BBC had been “unprepared” for the programme, realising that it was “a hotter potato than they understood it to be” quite late down the line.
Viewers who had wanted to see the documentary questioned the last-minute change of schedule.
Sue Heath wrote on the Radio Times website: “Why was this programme pulled? It is very hard to contact anyone real to get an answer, but I suspect pressure groups have made a fuss as it might be embarrassing politically.”