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CA$ 20,195
pledged of CA$ 85,000pledged of CA$ 85,000 goal
159
backers
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Mon, April 2 2018 10:00 PM UTC +00:00
CA$ 20,195
pledged of CA$ 85,000pledged of CA$ 85,000 goal
159
backers
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Mon, April 2 2018 10:00 PM UTC +00:00

About


Israel is an amazing place. A prosperous democracy surrounded by impoverished tyrannies. An ancient nation that is thoroughly modern. A country rooted in a specific religion and ethnicity, yet cosmopolitan. Exactly the sort of place Canadians should admire and appreciate.

Curiously, they don’t seem to. Polls suggest a minority, around one sixth, favour Israel in the Middle Eastern conflict. Almost as many favour the Palestinians, while two thirds favour neither and three percent say they don’t know. Which suggests many Canadians know too little about Israel, and the Middle East generally.

A small minority in Canada, of course, understand Israel and passionately support it. But many are Jewish. So not only may they be suspected of special pleading, however unjustly, but the very depth of their commitment and understanding of Israel can make it hard for them to communicate with their fellow Canadians.

This documentary will present the Canadian public with a vivid, positive outsider’s look at the “Jewish state”, its lively culture, flourishing democracy, innovative economy, extraordinary ancient and modern history, and security dilemmas.

It will start in Jerusalem, and underline the amazing fact that Israel exists at all. It will then go to Tel Aviv and highlight the dramatic differences between these two main urban centres and note that Israel is the only country in the Middle East where Muslims enjoy religious freedom and other core human rights.

It will also explore the beautiful Baha’i gardens, and from there talk about Israel’s water shortages and its environmental movement. It will also visit Tel Aviv University and the Weizmann Institute of Science to talk about Israel’s intellectual dynamism and technical innovation. (This tentative schedule depends of course upon specific arrangements that can only be made once funding is secured.)

The documentary will then travel north, talking about the beauty of the land including pine forests Canadians might not expect, the struggles of Zionists to establish kibbutzim in a land much of which was arid and barren, and also the way Israeli political history evolved from such a commitment to the left that Stalin personally helped save it in 1948 to a lively all-viewpoints fracas that includes radical Arabs.

It will visit Golan and the far north to talk about security challenges, noting the small size of the entire country and the short distance from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv and the sea (roughly equivalent to downtown Toronto to Oshawa); at its narrowest Israel is just 15 kilometres wide, and the distance from far north to far south is less than from Edmonton to Medicine Hat.

The story will then go south, through key Biblical sites on to Masada, and then to the Negev to talk, again highlighting the complexities of Israel, about its nuclear deterrent and tourist industry. It will then come back to the centre, discussing the painful disengagement from Gaza and the collapse of the prosperous facilities there, and emphasize the contrast between Israelis who just want to go about their lives, raise their families, pursue their careers and enjoy their culture, and the incessant menace that looms across the borders.

It will visit Yad Vashem and explain how Israelis cannot ever let down their guard. And it will conclude in Jerusalem, summing up the paradoxes and stressing that the more Canadians understand Israel the better they will like it. Canadians and Israelis share the same values. Most Israelis know it, but too many Canadians don’t.

This documentary, upbeat, cheerful and optimistic in tone, will show Canadians what they’re missing about Israel when all they know about this remarkable nation is what they read in the newspapers.

It is a story that needs to be told. And with your help it can be.

Risks and challenges

This documentary will be fairly logistically complicated for a small project, involving travel and filming in Israel including of course arranging access to famous sites. But after five documentaries I am familiar with such issues.

Security in Israel is not a major concern despite what you may have seen on the news. The biggest danger is traffic and I will be hiring a local driver.

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    Free high-res digital download of this and all our prior documentaries and the electronic version of any two of our books. And you will be given special thanks in the film credits unless you ask to be anonymous.

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Funding period

- (35 days)