Film Review | In Our Hands: The Battle for Jerusalem

The official film poster.

23 May 2017 | Lakeland, Florida. In 1967 Israel faced annihilation from regional Arab nations, and she had no international friends to aid her. The political and tactical situations were dire. Even as numbers of Israelis sought sanctuary outside the country, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) initiated bold and desperate action.

In Our Hands: The Battle for Jerusalem, a documentary produced by Gordon Robertson and the Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN), succeeds in recreating what was an incredible six days for the IDF. In this brief expanse of time the relatively small fighting force fielded by Israel routed several larger and better equipped militaries from the air and ground. The religious had said that G-d would protect the Jewish state; they were proved correct.

Ultimately the conflict climaxed with Jerusalem reunified and Israeli paratroopers in control of the Western Wall and Temple Mount, areas from which Jews were ethnically cleansed in 1948.

IDF paratroopers wait for transport beside an Israel Air Force C-47/Dakota.

For those of us old enough to remember the men who fought in the 1960s it is shocking to see them now as very mature individuals. Gray hair has replaced the dark coloring of youthful locks, and wrinkles have replaced firm skin. Yet the sparkle of life in the veterans’ eyes remains and vivid are their memories, which they eagerly share.

The bravery of the IDF soldiers, whether they were devoutly religious, secular, or somewhere between, who were tasked to do the impossible is inspiring. The effective and encouraging leaderships of Colonel Mordechai “Motta” Gur, Deputy Brigade Commander Moshe Stempel (who would die in combat with terrorists a year later), Captain Yoram Zamosh, and others are accurately portrayed. The movie also highlights the fact that former bitter enemies can become friends.

The actor portraying the legendary Motta Gur.

Engrossing interviews with actual participants and historians are mixed with archival footage, reenactments, and commentaries. The result is a triumph of the docudrama genre.

Notably, In Our Hands: The Battle for Jerusalem does not gloss over the horrors of war and those planning to attend a showing should be warned that there are scenes that contain somewhat graphic footage of simulated wounds. The only audience complaint heard by this reviewer was that the archival film scenes were blurry.

IDF paratroopers pray and thank God after reaching the Western Wall.

Viewing the work is highly recommended for Jews, Christians, and everyone who relishes learning about the past.

In Our Hands: The Battle for Jerusalem will be shown in Canadian theaters on Monday, May 29, 2017.

Encore showings will take place within cinemas in America on Thursday, 1 June 2017, and Tuesday, 6 June 2017.

Suggested Viewings

Film trailer for the United States:


Film trailer for Canada: