Actor Jon Voight in Israel filming a biblical series aimed at Evangelicals
The West Bank is the heart of Israel, Voight says during his visit to the region
Hollywood actor Jon Voight landed in Israel on Tuesday to work on a new project.
Sources in the Ministry of Tourism told ALL ISRAEL NEWS that Voight’s series will focus on Israel and stories of the Bible, and is aimed at Evangelicals. The first episode is dedicated to the journeys of Abraham in the Holy Land. The actor is both the narrator and host.
On Wednesday, the 83-year-old Academy Award winner and father of Angelina Jolie visited Har Bracha in the West Bank.
“I do not understand why Judea and Samaria are called the ‘West Bank,’” Voight said. “If you look at a map, it is clear the area is the heart of Israel.”
The actor visited the area with Chabad Rabbi Levi Yitzchak Kunin and Rabbi Chaim Kunin and met with Samaria Regional Council head, Yossi Dagan, according to Israeli media. At Mitzpe Yosef on Har Bracha (Mount of Blessing), which looks out over Joseph's tomb, Dagan gave the movie star a bottle of wine from Har Bracha Winery.
“It is a great honor for us to host an important actor like you and more importantly – a friend of Israel,” Dagan told Voight.
Dagan referenced the prophecy of Jeremiah 31:5: “You will plant vineyards in the mountains of Samaria,” and said to Voight, “What I hold in my hand is not just a bottle of wine – 2,000 years ago the prophet Jeremiah promised that one day the people of Israel would return to their land, return to Samaria and plant vineyards.”
“Over the course of a thousand years of Muslim conquest, other peoples managed to grow vines in the north, south but not on the lands of Samaria. And when the Jewish people returned here, to Samaria, 25 years ago when Jewish settlement returned to Samaria, they began planting vineyards, and suddenly began growing vines that today yield wine – winning international awards and considered one of the best in the world.”
“When I give you wine from the Har Bracha settlement at the top of Mount Gerizim, it’s not just a bottle of wine, you are actually holding a prophecy of Jeremiah that is being fulfilled right here,” Dagan added.
Voight, who is known for his outspoken support for the State of Israel, was moved by the gesture and teared up.
During the 2014 Israel-Gaza war, Voight blamed the Obama administration for not watching Israel’s back, as they claimed to have done.
“Instead of telling Hamas to stop sending rockets into Israel directed at civilian population,” Voight declared at a pro-Israel rally in Las Vegas, “they say Israel has to stop killing civilians. What a travesty of justice.”
Voight is expected to spend the next 10 days at the Dan Jerusalem Hotel, where he will stay at the presidential suite with a view of the Old City.
Tal Heinrich is a senior correspondent for both ALL ISRAEL NEWS and ALL ARAB NEWS. She is currently based in New York City. Tal also provides reports and analysis for Israeli Hebrew media Channel 14 News.