An Israeli-born filmmaker has charged that the British Broadcasting Corp. pulled his documentary on the Jewish exodus from Jerusalem in 70 A.D., displaying “a mixture of incompetence, political naïveté, conscious or subconscious political pressure.”
Ilan Ziv wrote on a blog that the BBC showed “a lack of courage of broadcasters when they are faced with the complexity of the Middle East issue and the intense emotions, fears and aggression it generates.”
The documentary “Exile: A Myth Unearthed” theorizes that many Jews did not leave Jerusalem after the destruction of the Temple, and that many modern-day Palestinians may be in part descended from those Jews.
The BBC had been scheduled to show the documentary, cut and renamed “Jerusalem: an Archaeological Mystery Story,” late last week before it was taken off the schedule at the last minute.
The film was screened for a week at the Jewish Film Festival in Toronto, was shown on Canadian TV and is scheduled to be shown in France and Switzerland.
The BBC told The London Guardian that it dropped the film because it did “not fit editorially” with the tone of the season, which has a theme exploring the history of archaeology.
Simon Plosker of the HonestReporting media watchdog group wrote in his blog that the BBC may have been “more concerned at upsetting anti-Israel elements by showing a film with such a heavy concentration on Jewish history in the Land of Israel.”
Below are two videos. The first is a trailer of the film from the Canadian National Film Board, and the second is a report form JN1 on the BBC‘s action.