Is Jerusalem Burning?: Myth, Memory and the Battle of Latrun

The Israelis' resounding defeat at the battle of Latrun looms large in the history of the 1948 War of Independence: trying to open the road to west Jerusalem, 6,500 ill-trained Israeli soldiers were routed by 1,200 Jordanians, and the fact that many of the Israelis were recent draftees, some liberated from Nazi concentration camps, made the incident even more notorious. Chuck Olin and Matthew Palm's fascinating, evenhanded TV documentary (2000) examines all aspects of the debacle, including the myriad aftershocks and the hasty but ultimately successful plan to build a second road to west Jerusalem. Using archival footage and contemporary interviews with veterans, the film is as gripping as a good war picture and as absorbing as a well-written work of military scholarship. 52 min.

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