JERUSALEM, ISRAEL – Mike Pompeo and David Friedman are best known as peacemakers, not filmmakers.
In 2020, the former secretary of state and former U.S. ambassador to Israel respectively were key architects of the Abraham Accords that forged historic peace agreements between Israel and four Arab nations.
But this month, these veteran diplomats are trying their hand at something new.
One an Evangelical Christian from Kansas, the other an Orthodox Jew from New York, Pompeo and Friedman have joined forces with Matt Crouch – president of the Trinity Broadcasting Company (TBN) – to produce a film they are calling, Route 60: The Biblical Highway.
A BEAUTIFUL, RICH, EVOCATIVE FILM ABOUT THE TRUTHS OF THE BIBLE
Over the weekend, I had the opportunity to watch an advanced screening and I absolutely loved it.
It is a beautiful, rich and evocative documentary film – masterfully shot in some locations rarely seen by the public – that explores the extraordinary and miraculous Biblical history of Israel from Nazareth in the north – to Jerusalem and Bethlehem in the center – to Hebron and Beersheba in the south.
What’s more, without being purposefully provocative or political, the film documents how the territory that much of the world calls the “West Bank” and the “Palestinian Authority” is, in fact, the territory known in the Bible as Judea and Samaria.
Friedman, who originally had the idea for the film, notes throughout the movie that some of the Bible’s most important and memorable stories took place in villages and cities that today so much of the world claims have no connection to Jews or to Israel at all.
“AN HISTORIC, SACRED LINK TO THE ROOTS OF JUDAISM AND CHRISTIANITY”
“Carving through the heart of the Promised Land is the biblical spine of Israel, sometimes referred to as the Path of the Patriarchs and officially designated as Route 60,” note the filmmakers.
“A highway of deep historical significance, while often the scene of unrest and violence, this 146-mile road of asphalt and concrete begins in Nazareth, Israel’s largest Arab city, and ends in Beersheba, one of Israel’s high-tech centers,” they note. “Running north to south, Route 60 connects ancient Israel with modern Israel, Jews and Christians with Muslims, and Israelis with Palestinians.”
“This trek is far more than a two-lane highway,” Pompeo and Friedman contend. “It is an historic, sacred link to the roots of Judaism and Christianity and the stories of the Old and New Testaments.”
They call the highway a “sacred road, treading the very ground Abraham, Jacob, King David and Jesus once walked” and urge viewers to come “discover the history, witness the healing, and realize the hope along Route 60, the biblical Highway.”
RED CARPET PREMIER TO BE HELD AT THE MUSEUM OF THE BIBLE
On Tuesday, Sept. 12, the film will premier at a red carpet event at the Museum of the Bible in Washington, D.C., where both Pompeo and Friedman along with their TBN colleagues, will welcome hundreds of VIP guests and share both why they wanted to make the film and why they wanted to work together on it.
That weekend – on Sept. 18 and 19 – the film will play in 1,600 movie theaters across the United States in a special Fathom Event.
“We’re excited for the upcoming premiere of ROUTE 60 in theaters across America,” said Matt Crouch, the president of TBN, who is visiting Israel this week. “The powerful story of this legendary highway is unforgettable. During shooting, we were given incredible access to locations throughout Israel that aren't open to travelers on a traditional tour of the land. It was a unique and memorable experience, and we can't wait to share it with viewers.”
David Friedman served as the U.S. ambassador to Israel under former President Donald Trump.
A Nobel Prize nominee and National Security Medal recipient for his efforts in helping secure the historic Abraham Accords, he is the bestselling author of Sledgehammer: How Breaking with the Past Brought Peace to the Middle East, which ALL ISRAEL NEWS named a “must-read” and our Book Club recommendation for February 2022.
Mike Pompeo served as both U.S. secretary of state and director of the Central Intelligence Agency under former Trump and as a four-term U.S. representative for the Fourth District of Kansas.
He is the author of the New York Times bestseller, Never Give an Inch: Fighting for the America I Love, which ALL ISRAEL NEWS called a “riveting, spy thriller-esque memoir” that we named our Book Club recommendation exactly one year later in February 2023.
TBN is the world’s largest and most-watched faith and family broadcaster, and the network that produces THE ROSENBERG REPORT, which airs at 9 p.m. EST on Thursday nights and again at 9:30 p.m. on Saturday nights.
With over 30 global networks and streaming platforms, TBN reaches more than 175 nations with inspirational programming 24 hours a day in 17 languages.
As the world’s most influential non-profit broadcaster, TBN has led the way in expanding the impact of faith-based television across the earth through the creation of innovative content designed to reach all demographics.
Joel C. Rosenberg is the editor-in-chief of ALL ISRAEL NEWS and ALL ARAB NEWS and the President and CEO of Near East Media. A New York Times best-selling author, Middle East analyst, and Evangelical leader, he lives in Jerusalem with his wife and sons.