Sometimes a coincidence is akin to a miracle. This is what Pierre Rehov, who has directed Unveiling Jerusalem, must have thought when he heard President Trump announce he recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, just one week before his film is released worldwide, as the film gives in fact the historical, political and religious reasons behind that momentous decision.
Having watched Unveiling Jerusalem a few times, I have discovered each time new facts that are essential to understand what is at play here, yet are little known and for some not even known at all. The film deserves that nearly miraculous coincidence and will therefore, no doubt, be seen by large audiences who will discover what the truth of the matter is.
opens on aerial shots of Temple Mount, called centuries later Haram Al Sharif
- Noble Sanctuary – by Muslims; follow shots of vibrant throngs of people in the streets of the capital where various communities mix freely while the comments takes you throughout different periods in time to take you suddenly to Paris where the UNESCO's headquarters are.
Sudden change of tone, there, as UNESCO is well-known for its decisions against Israel, as is mentioned by Professor Dan Barrat, who adds: “after such a resolution you can either laugh or cry, and since nothing can be done against UNESCO, I have preferred to laugh...”
The decision he is referring to, is simply prizing Jerusalem and Temple Mount from their historical roots, rejecting any link between the Jewish people and the capital of Israel in ancient times and today, using only the Arabic names of the thrice Holy City, and then declaring it “under occupation.”
That decision is at the core of this documentary and invites us to ask a crucial question: was there, in Jerusalem, a Jewish Temple, out of which Jesus drove the merchants, before it was destroyed by the Romans, 67 years later?
If this leaves you somewhat doubtful, just know that is, however, a widespread belief in the Muslim world since the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Hadj Amine Al Husseini, a friend of Hitler's who played an important part in he Holocaust, took great delight in renaming the Wailing Wall, calling it Al-Burak Wall. Under the pretense this was supposed to be the place Muhammad tied his flying mare to, before she took him to Paradise where all the prophets of Judaism and Christianity were waiting for him to pay tribute to him and declare him the greatest and last prophet. Yet even the Mufti had not gone as far as denying Solomon's and Herod's Temple was there.
Claiming the Dome of the Rock and Al-Aksa Mosque were the first religious places to be built there and that no Jewish Temple ever existed in this area, was Yasser Arafat's idea. According to Bill Clinton's Memoirs, the Palestinian leader had made of this revisionist propaganda his warhorse during the Camp David Accords that never came to fruition.
Ever since, in spite of overwhelming evidence unearthed daily by teams of archeologists, saying a Jewish Temple ever existed on Mount Moriah or Temple Mount has been taboo to this day in the Palestinian arena.
Which is the first element shown by Rehov who then takes us on a journey back in time with detailed reconstructions of Herod and Solomon's temples via animated 3-D images and ad hoc interventions by historian Flavius Josephus enabling us to travel to the Persian and Roman Empire period. One of the most interesting elements in the film is the demonstration of the level of misinformation Palestinians, Arabs and Muslims are subjected to, with the latent complicity of Europe when votes are cast on absurd international resolutions, even though Europe has been largely discredited because of its systematic abstentions in such votes.
We can scratch our heads again when hearing the Grand Imam of Al-Aksa Mosque assert the first mosque in Mecca was built by Adam and thus Al-Aksa, built 40 years later, could only have been built by an aging Adam or one of his children...
The director fails to ask him then, whom of his children it was, Cain or Abel, before his brother murdered him? Equally absurd is the Jordanian Waqf – the religious organization in charge of Temple Mount and its mosques - official's claim stating all Muslims pray towards Al-Aksa Mosque. Which is “utterly false”, exclaims Bassem Eid, a Palestinian human rights activist, in the film: “ Ever since I was a kid, I have known that we, Muslims, pray towards Mecca.”Unveiling Jerusalem
features several renowned archeologists, among whom, Professor Gabriel Barkai, who is responsible for the "sifting project," searching through tons of gravel removed from Solomon's stables that were underneath Al-Aksa Mosque and were destroyed in a barbaric way when a huge underground mosque was built on their location. How and why the Israeli government could allow such an archeological catastrophe remains a mystery...
However, the archeological finds in that gravel are nonetheless spectacular. Just take this half-shekel, used by the worshipers to make offerings, these columns in the Doric Style, typical of the Herodian architecture, or these ceramic tiles matching perfectly well the description by Flavius Josephus when he reports on the destruction of the Temple by the Romans in his famous History book “The War of the Jews,”
Thanks to Assaf Avraham, another renowned archeologist, we can visit many places that are often off limits, like those underground galleries discovered in the 19th century by Charles Warren, the English historian, and a mosque in the Hebron area, inside which a scripture in Arabic translated from Hebrew, refers precisely to the House of the Lord being in Jerusalem. The continuing back and forth between the fantasies told by the Palestinian side and the Jewish or Christian speakers, like the Reverend Petra Heldt, Father Nadaf, the Islamologist scholar Mordechai Kedar or the former Head of the Shin Beth, Avi Dichter, gradually gives us a crucial idea of what the problem is. On the one hand, scientific research, historical skills, against a deliberate rewriting of History, built on utter fabrication.
In its conclusion the film calls for cohabiting, peace and progress, through a call from Bassem Eid: “We must accept History, share everything and tolerate each other. Without these 3 principles, peace will never be possible between us.”Unveiling Jerusalem
is far more than a good film and a journey throughout History. It is also a cry of revolt against mendacity, manipulations and incitement to hatred through smear campaigns.
This documentary should be shown on state televisions. Of course, it won’t happen, since it rebukes Palestinian narrative. In the meantime we can watch it on Itunes, Amazon, Vimeo and Google Play. But this is not the last you will hear of it.