email Join our email list! divider Register Login cartCart
Icarus Film
Films from independent
producers worldwide.
32 Court Street, Brooklyn, NY 11201divider(718) 488 8900
And There Was Israel
Directed by Romed Wyder
 Text Size  Increase Font Size   Decrease Font Size   divider Printable VersionPrintable Version

It’s so complicated. Thousands of years of history. Old hatreds. Both sides entrenched. No solution seems possible.

These are common sentiments when it comes to the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians—a conflict that seems to stretch back millennia, with no end in sight. A stalemate punctuated by rocket attacks, massacres, and uprisings.

But the birth of the modern state of Israel was far from inevitable. As AND THERE WAS ISRAEL compellingly shows, when it comes to Israel and Palestine, the current crisis is rooted choices made in response to 19th century geopolitics, colonial imperatives, and the Holocaust.

The film covers the history of Zionism from the writings of Theodore Herzl to the expulsion of Palestinians from hundreds of villages following the declaration of the State of Israel in 1948. Political sociologist Riccardo Bocco argues the seeds of later conflict were in part sown by the contradictory commitments made by the British during the Mandate: promising to recognize an independent Arab state in exchange for an alliance against the Ottomans while also committing to supporting a Jewish home in the Middle East—all the while secretly negotiating with France over carving up the region into spheres of influence. After the liberation of survivors in Nazi concentration camps at the end of World War II, calls for a Jewish homeland took on a greater moral urgency. But even then, the outcome was far from certain. A proposal for a federal state including both Jews and Palestinians was never put to a vote at the United Nations, while behind-the-scenes machinations to ensure support for partition took place.

Our guides to this fascinating history are seven academics from the fields of history, sociology, law, and political science, and Middle Eastern studies, each of whom are also talented storytellers. Their narratives of the decades leading up to the formation of Israel are punctuated with British, French, and American newsreels, along with rarely seen footage from within the early United Nations, as the question of partitioning Palestine into separate states comes to the floor.

AND THERE WAS ISRAEL is not revisionist history. It is an accessible, clearly argued essay on how Israel came to be, and the far-reaching ramifications of colonial projects.

“Captivating; an exemplary clarification. —Télérama

“Deconstructs the commonly held narrative of the history of Israel. The film’s erudite dissection of Israel’s transformation of religious mythology into a widely accepted nationalism will surprise many of its viewers. An understandable historical account of the transformation of religious mythology into a political narrative; a valuable asset for any interested classroom. —Al Jadid: A Review of Arab Arts & Culture


International Film Festival and Forum on Human Rights 2018, Geneva
Rencontre Orient Occident, Switzerland
Festival des libertés, Brussels
Regards sur la Palestine, Paris
Filmer c’est exister, Lausanne
MESA FilmFest, Middle East Studies Association

52 minutes / Color
English; French / English subtitles
Closed Captioned
Release: 2019
Copyright: 2018

For individual consumers (home video)

This DVD is sold for private, home use only.

This title is also available online from:

For colleges, universities, government agencies, hospitals and corporations

This DVD is sold with a license for institutional use and Public Performance rights.

Subject areas:
Middle East, Political Science, Human Rights, Ethics

Watch the trailer:

Related Titles:
Home | New | Titles | Subjects | Ordering   
About | Best Sellers | Filmmakers | Screenings   
  Follow Us! On...
Facebook Follow Icarus Films on Twitter Instagram Vimeo YouTube
Copyright (c) 2024, Icarus Films
Last Updated January 25, 2024 [Build 3.0.a060-d7]
Privacy Policy