All Israel

On Oct 7, 'ordinary Israeli civilians stepped up to save their country,’ says Hollywood filmmaker Dan Gordon

Part 1: Gordon produces first-ever documentary film series taking viewers inside the madness of Oct 7 terror attack - airs on TBN this month

Dan Gordon (Photo: Screenshot/TBN's The Rosenberg Report)

When the horrific Oct. 7 invasion and terror attack by Hamas was still unfolding in Israel last year, Hollywood filmmaker Dan Gordon had a chilling thought.

“Within two weeks at most,” he predicted, “people will have forgotten about October 7th. The narrative will be Israel is guilty of war crimes against the downtrodden masses. We are the capitalist pig oppressors of the earth.”

Joel Rosenberg, host of THE ROSENBERG REPORT on TBN and ALL ISRAEL NEWS editor-in-chief told Gordon in Part 1 of their interview, “I'm not sure it even took two weeks for most networks, I would say.”

“It really didn't,” Gordon agreed.

Joel Rosenberg interviews Dan Gordon on TBN's The Rosenberg Report (Photo: Screenshot)

That is what drove the Israeli-American award-winning producer to create the first-ever documentary series about what he calls “the worst day in the history of modern Israel.”

The documentary, ‘October 7th, 2023’ is airing this month on TBN. Gordon approached the network with the idea for a ‘simple’ reason, in his words.

“I know that TBN loves Israel… and in today's media market, it's very difficult to find someone who's even objective about Israel. Unfortunately, most mainstream media outlets have an agenda, and that agenda is usually anti-Israeli,” he said.

“I know that when I served in the army here for a period of time, I served in the military spokesperson unit. So, I would interface with reporters from all over the world. And I was amazed by the fact that so many of them had their stories written before they ever came here,” he revealed to Rosenberg.

Gordon served in the IDF for years, including during several Arab-Israeli wars. When a coalition of Arab armies surprisingly attacked Israel on Oct. 6, 1973, launching the Yom Kippur War – he fought the ranks of the Israeli military’s armored infantry.

“I get very edgy every October 6. I don't like October 6,” he told Rosenberg.

Yet, as awful as that existential war was for the State of Israel – “Nothing in any of our wars compared with what we suffered here” – Gordon admitted, referring to Oct. 7.

The four-part series he produced about that traumatic day is much different than any other major motion picture project he was ever involved in, as producer and screenwriter. Gordon’s Hollywood record includes ‘Rambo’ with Sylvester Stallone, ‘Wyatt Earp ‘with Kevin Costner, ‘Passenger 57’ with Wesley Snipes, ‘The Hurricane’ with Denzel Washington, among others.

Nevertheless, the stories of real-life heroes that emerged on Oct. 7 even surpass fiction. One such hero was 22-year-old Aner Shapira.

“One of the most moving interviews I've ever done was with his parents,” Gordon said.

Shapira, along with his friend Hersh Goldberg-Polin – who has been held captive and injured by Hamas for more than eight months now – was celebrating at the Nova music festival when terrorists invaded Israel's southern border with Gaza. The two fled the party site to a nearby small bomb shelter with 30 other people, but Hamas terrorists stormed it with munitions.

“Shapira had taken a beer bottle, broke it, stood at the doorway. They saw him and they were afraid to go in. And so, they threw in grenades instead,” Gordon described. “He caught the grenades and tossed them back out at the terrorists. Seven times he was able to catch the grenade and toss it back out. The eighth grenade… One of the Hamas terrorists got smart and decided to pull the pin and hold it for four seconds and then toss it in, and that grenade killed him. Killed him while he was holding it in his hand, trying to save other people.”

Gordon’s series explores the horrors, heroism and hope experienced by so many Israelis, during and following the brutal assault by Hamas terrorists. He views figures like Aner Shapira as the hope of Israel.   

“To me, that is part of the hope we produce in this country,” said Gordon. “A generation like this. A 22-year-old kid who had said to everybody else in there, ‘My name's Aner Shapiro, I'm in the reconnaissance unit of the Nachal brigade. It's going to be okay.’ He told them to get down. He was protecting them and never gave up. He was ready to take on terrorists with AK-47 with a broken beer bottle. When you have a generation like that, that's part of the hope. The other part of the hope is Israel has no choice but to eliminate Hamas, both as a military and governing entity.”

While Oct. 7 represents the worst day ever for many Israelis, it was the citizens' finest hour.

“Ordinary civilians, parents, husbands, wives, grandparents, stepped up to save their families. Paramedics, individual police officers, soldiers - not only not following orders - but disobeying orders, simply formed up an individual initiative and went out there and literally saved the State of Israel,” Gordon stressed.

But what could save the future for Israelis and Palestinians in the region? Gordon believes the answer lies in education.

“The Palestinian Authority curriculum, which is the same curriculum Hamas uses, demonizes Jews, says we are the descendants of pigs and apes… that we have no place in the Middle East… that we're responsible for everything from cancer to God-only-knows what else,” he said.

“If an educational system can – as it did under Nazi Germany – brainwash a generation to evil, it can also educate a generation for tolerance. And so, I think that there is a tiny window of opportunity that will take a huge amount of work. It will take the world understanding that Hamas is not the answer.”

Don’t miss Part 2 of Joel Rosenberg’s conversation with Hollywood filmmaker Dan Gordon. 

THE ROSENBERG REPORT airs Thursday nights at 9 p.m. EST and Saturday nights at 9:30 p.m. EST – on the Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN), the most-watched Christian television network in the United States.

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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