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Against All Odds: Israel Survives

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Against All Odds: Israel Survives

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Against All Odds: Israel Survives
Does a Divine Power Continue to Uphold Israel?
Produced by American Trademark Pictures
Distributed by Questar, Inc., 2011
ISBN: 978-1-59464-661-4

Reviewed by Herbert White - December 27, 2011

Do you believe in miracles? When you look at the survival of modern Israel, it is hard not too. In Against All Odds: Israel Survives, CNN journalist Michael Greenspan, investigates the myriad of occurrences that have taken place in Israel, that many have called miracles. Against All Odds is a powerful documentary that will convince you, if you don't already believe, that miracles do still occur!

Against All Odds is a thirteen-part documentary, which is available as a six-disc DVD set. The show follows Greenspan as he travels to Israel to investigate the myriad reports of miracles. In investigating these reports he interviews many of the eye witnesses, and retells the story of the miracles to the accompaniment of relevant archival footage or dramatizations of the occurrences. In the end, it is left up to the viewer to decide for themselves if the occurrence under investigation was a miracle or not. In most cases, it is very hard not to label the various events as anything other than a miracle. Now, as to whether or not you think there was divine intervention that caused the miracle is a personal matter.

One of the first, and I think most powerful examples, is the story of a group of soldiers who accidently walk into a mine field. They have little choice but to poke around in the sand with their bayonets to try to find and disarm the landmines. Their chances of getting out of the mine field alive were very slim. Without warning, a wind arises that sweeps the sand off the landmines. In the moonlight, they can clearly see a safe path through the landmines, and they go on to carry out their mission and return home safely. Was this the result of a fortuitous, freak wind storm, or was it a real life miracle?

In the course of examining these miracles, Greenspan interviews numerous politicians, former spies, soldiers, and people from every walk of life whose lives have been impacted by these miracles. He also provides an overview of the history of Israel and examines the many obstacles that should have prevented Israel from becoming a modern nation state - and from surviving as one. Yet despite being surrounded by enemies, beset by terrorist and wars, Israel has survived to become one of the most stable countries in the middle east - and the only full fledge democracy. Had it not been for these miracles, would Israel have survived? This is one of the main questions asked, and answered, in this series.

The six-disc DVD collector's edition of Against All Odds: Israel Survives includes not only the thirteen episodes that comprised the original television series entitled, Against All Odds: In Search of a Miracle , but also the feature length film Against All Odds. This movie summarizes the information contained in the series, and is resplendent with dramatizations of various historic events - both modern and ancient, along with interviews with eyewitnesses, historians, religious leaders, and more, that serve to act as a commentary on the various miracles that are recounted in this film. (The feature film is also available separately.) Extra features in this set include an interview with Tom Ivy, the series writer and director, as well as a photo gallery. The run time for the entire series, plus the movie, is about nine hours. The individual episodes run about 26 minutes each, and the movie about 97 minutes. Most of the show is in English, with some instances where Hebrew, Arabic, French, etc... are spoken. At these times, subtitles in English automatically appear along the bottom of the screen.

Over the course of this series, Greenspan examines the life of Shula Cohen a young mother who became an Israeli spy in 1948 and who managed to pass on vital information about Syria and Lebanon, to the fledgling state and a bible story that helped the British win a victory over Turkish troops at Michmash, during World War I. The legacy of the Holocaust is covered, including an interview with Elie Wiesel, as is the return of Jews from around the world to their homeland. The many 'impossible' victories that Israel has achieved are recounted, including Israel's victory after it was attacked from all sides after the deceleration of independence in 1948, the seemingly impossible victory after the 1967 Six-Day War that saw Jerusalem returned to the Jewish state, and Israel's victory in the 1973 Yom Kippur War that pitted Israel against overwhelming superior military forces. Other miracles recounted - and dramatized - include the arrival of a flock of storks who devoured a plague of locusts that were threatening Israel's agriculture, the rescue at Entebbee of a highjacked plane, and much, much more...

Powerful, uplifting, and thoroughly engrossing, Against All Odds: Israel Survives is essential viewing by anyone - young and old - interested in Israel's survival and the modern miracle that is Israel. Well acted, exciting, and educational, Against All Odds: Israel Survives is perfect for viewing in the home, at school, and in a community setting. As you might have guessed already, this series is extremely pro-Israeli, and as such it is often one sided. If this will bother you, look elsewhere. If not, sit back, and enjoy this rousing journey through Israeli history, and witness the many miracles that have contributed to her survival.


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