ISRAEL: A Quest for Peace

A six-part television documentary series

On November 29, 1947 the UN General Assembly passed a resolution to partition Palestine. This monumental decision changed the events of world history paving the way for the creation of the State of Israel (May 14, 1948). This date also marks the beginning of the long struggle for survival of a small and courageous people who fought alone for freedom and democracy in the hostile atmosphere of a world torn by war.

The occasion of Israel's sixth decade of independence offers a media opportunity for the world to celebrate the survival of a free Jewish People in its own land. Commemorate the heroic spirit that motivated an entire people to offer their lives on the altar of their country's independence. Now is the time to recall memories and record the comprehensive historical testimony of the nearly 60-year-old State of Israel and its unending quest for peace.

Israel: A Quest for Peace, with Chaim Topol, is committed to a factual accounting of the social, economic and cultural developments that span the last 60 years. Each episode recreates the special spirit of the times, focusing on key dramatic events, the myths, symbols and images that surrounded them, as well as the finer details of everyday life. Unlike other historical documentaries, this series introduces an element of entertainment to enhance the pioneering flavor which characterized the resilience and attitude of the Israelis in the formative years. It brings to life the voices and smells of the streets of Tel Aviv and Jerusalem as well as the unique living experience in the kibbutzim and moshavim.

Israel: A Quest For Peace, depicts the spirit of the early years of the State when thousands of refugees, survivors of the Holocaust, made their way to the Promised Land, forced to break through a vicious blockade. Then, on the very day that David Ben-Gurion read aloud the Declaration of Independence, five Arab armies invaded the country. This was not just a battle for the life of the new state, but a brutal battle for the life of each Jew. Against all odds and after a devastating military assault, Israel survived. The losses were staggering but the indomitable spirit of a people who had no other choice prevailed. Through six decades of unending wars and tribulations, Israel has progressed and developed at a pace unprecedented in world history.

From 1948 to 1951, aided by Jews in the Diaspora and by the United States government, Israel set a world record by absorbing over 250,000 immigrants in just 2 ½ years. The dispirited and penniless newcomers of diverse backgrounds and languages were provided with housing, jobs and education. A new amalgamated culture sprang up with the Hebrew language at its core. Breaking away from Jewish tradition in the Diaspora of meekness in the face of confrontation, a warrior society emerged. First came the Palmach and then the "Nachal " (an army of farmer-soldiers), where young men and women dedicated to a collective style of living served in the military. The army became the most important instrument in the cultural development of a new generation of Israelis, a place where equality prevailed. The armed forces of Israel, unlike other armies in the world, forged the character of the new non-militaristic society. It was in the army that, along with the fighting spirit, song and humor developed.

The participation of Chaim Topol, the world famous actor and a true Israeli, whose personal life experience parallels that of his country, provides an authentic portrayal of the unique Israeli character. Topol stands out as the spokesman of his generation candidly expressing the essence of Israel.

Israel, A Quest For Peace, is the story of a democracy in the making, aided by a variety of archival materials, newsreels, documentary and feature films, skits and songs, and eyewitness accounts. The viewer will meet people who participated in these events and were affected by them, combining personal recollections with the collective memories recorded in official documents, mass media, works of art and literature.

Production Concept

The international edition, comprising 6 one hour episodes, incorporates authentic and original archival footage which was collected over a period of 15 years from film archives all over the world. It includes exclusive interviews on the subject of Israel with U.S. Presidents Harry S. Truman, Lyndon Johnson, Richard M. Nixon, Jimmy Carter, George Bush, and Bill Clinton, as well as Israeli presidents Itzhak Navon, Chaim Herzog, Ezer Weitzman, and also the former Egyptian President Anwar Sadat, and Jordanian King Hussein. The archival footage includes interviews with Henry Kissinger, Andre Gromyko and Abba Eban, as well as Israeli Prime Ministers Golda Meir, Shimon Peres and the late Itzhak Rabin.

Israel: A Quest For Peace, will present interviews with important public figures, such as President Mubarak, Prime Ministers Itzhak Shamir, Benjamin Netanyahu, and General Arik Sharon, as well as Yassir Arafat, Abu Mazzen and many others.

Though many of the witnesses are world renowned political figures, diplomats and military leaders who have been personally involved in decisions concerning Israel, most eyewitnesses are relatively anonymous. The real "heros" of our story are the immigrants, farmers, soldiers, public officials and the like. Authentic archival clips and newsreels provide an action-loaded scenario, and the dynamic narration without the ‘talking heads' effect, provides a fast-paced commentary.

Award winning film makers participated in the preparation of Israel: A Quest For Peace, adhering to the concept of allowing the evidence to speak for itself, and thus maintaining objectivity throughout. The narration follows the material, and when it is not part of the spoken testimony, it is narrated. The original musical score provides for the pace and continuity of this monumental series, bringing back to life the atmosphere and mood of yesteryears.

The target audience for Israel: A Quest For Peace, is all-inclusive, covering every age group and cultural heritage. In addition to the appeal to those who lived through the events of the past fifty years, the series addresses today's youth and future generations. It is geared to people who are expert on the subject as well as those who lack a basic knowledge and understanding of the history and the impact of Israel's history.

This project is not affiliated with any organization, political party or government. This project is not supported by governmental funding.