Pete Howard, Former Editor
Rolling Stone Magazine
Egypt's President Nasser
Farewell Israel: Bush, Iran and the Revolt of Islam is a thoroughly researched, expertly crafted look at the tumultous Middle-Eastern political unrest and the West's gross misunderstanding of it, particularly the United States and even more to the point, the Bush administration. Not a moment is wasted in the engrossing, if dense, two-and-a-half hour presentation that feels like a college course but, unlike a live classroom setting, can be rewound or viewed repeatedly to glean the full meaning.
Plenty of archival newsreel footage (including sundry world leaders), splashy graphics, original, engaging soundtrack music and scholarly reporting combine to make this a compelling view for anyone interested in this most curious and important part of the world, and the history leading up the tensions found there today. Anyone with even a shred of interest in political science, or with a desire to educate themselves about a region of the world that's key to the future of America, should not miss this film!
Sir Martin Gilbert
Historian and Author
The DVD is very powerful indeed. I do congratulate you.
Historian and Author
DVD Reviewer Magazine
One of the most important questions of our time, especially in the post 9/11 world, is how we view the world of Islam. The other important question, possibly of greater value, is how the world of Islam views us. What do we know?
What if the knowledge that we take for granted is flawed? What if we’re looking at this through Western eyes with Western ideals? Joel Gilbert, better known for producing documentaries on Bob Dylan, brings us his latest film in an attempt to show the history of Islam and how they view the wider world.
Farewell Israel is a history of Islam, from it’s earliest roots to the present times, marking each significant point in history that Gilbert believes shows an understanding of what Islam is trying to achieve, arguing that the West has failed to understand the motivations of Muslims and continues to view the religion from our own perspective and our own values rather than attempting to walk a mile in their shoes.
Saudi Arabia's King Faisal
As well as a detailed history lesson, Gilbert also tries to educate us with dictionary type definitions of key words and phrases used by Muslims. A lot of the phraseology he uses is straight out of the Koran, but it’s broken down to it’s component parts in an easy to understand format so that even the most ignorant about Islam can walk away understanding just how Islam views the world and what it is trying to achieve. It’s a brave line that Gilbert takes and a vital one if we are to learn the lessons of the last few hundred years, let alone the last decade.
This is an extremely well presented documentary, broken down into bite sized portions with detailed but short explanations. For someone who knows nothing or very little of Islam and the Middle East, it is a great introduction and helps to put things into perspective. At just over two hours, it’s very long but I would guess is designed not only for repeat viewing but also block viewing. I watched this over four sessions, went back over a few sections and truly believe that I will watch it again. It’s a fantastic achievement in my eyes and hopefully may lead people to start trying to understand a religion that appears tolerant and extremist at the same time dependent on the direction you’re facing at a given moment.
Mustafa Kemal (Ataturk)
Trinity Home Entertainment
With Farewell Israel, Director Joel Gilbert has combined a scholarly work with a fast-paced and visually exquisite presentation that is at the same time historic, current, and extremely revelatory.
Set to music by Bob Dylan's finest bandmates, and with sound effects and stunning CGI graphics - it all makes for a world-class presentation in both content and film making. This film is for everyone - those who know little about the Middle East, and those who think they know alot. I highly recommend this topical film.
Donald Anderson Anchorage, AK
By a wide margin, this is the best documentary about political Islam. It contains the most historically accurate depiction of the legal and political side of Islam that I have seen. It carefully shows Islamic thinking with respect to Jews, Christians and other infidels. It shows the special tradeoffs of Dihimmi status and the peace that is available under Dar al-Islam.
Gilbert does a remarkable job of selecting pieces of Islam's historical record to give the viewer an excellent appreciation for the thinking of Muslims about their relationship to God and their earthly duties and opportunities. He generally presents accurate information and lets the viewer form his own opinion and recommended course of action.
I was blown away by the quality and quantity of information about political Islam contained in this 2.5 hour video. Joel Gilbert has produced by far the best video documentary on the topic of Jihad and Islam I have ever seen. It is probably about too serious and sensitive a topic to receive a well deserved award for the best documentary of 2007. I would not trade it for a half dozen of the books on fundamentalist Islam that I have read.
Every American and everyone else in Dar al Harb needs to see this film to appreciate the seriousness and duration of the battles we are now fighting.
San Diego, CA
Just finished watching a new DVD by Joel Gilbert, titled "Farewell Israel - Bush, Iran and the Revolt of Islam". I think this should be seen by as many Infidels as possible, including the politicians and students from 6th grade on. It is a cold dose of realism about Islam, Israel, and Western & Israeli ignorance about Islam.
Gilbert has compressed 13 centuries into the DVD with excellent maps and backgrounding. He makes the Islamic definition of 'Peace with Justice" abundantly clear. The Israeli government should require every politician to watch it at least 5 times. America and the Euro politicians too. There is more historic info packed into that DVD than any of our high-schoolers are getting on Islam. Where it should go is on National TV, and replayed at least 3 or 4 times a week for a year.
Andrew Ian Dodge
This is a rather depressing and extensive documentary (145 minutes) on how badly the West and even the Jews do not get Islam at all. They routinely don’t even attempt to see the world as Islam sees and thus make loads of mistakes in dealing with Islam. We assume the best and get burnt every single damn time due to ignorance about the religion and its ultimate goals.
This DVD, with a soundtrack from Bob Dylan’s backing band, tells the tale of the rise, fall and possible rise again of Islam. It tells the tale of Islam from its roots to its present behaviour. Think Robert Spencer’s books done for those who can’t be asded to read at times meaty and esoteric tomes.
What is very interesting is the method in which they explain the gist of this documentary. Its done as if one is in a Mosque looking at various pieces of art on the wall; which each major point being a different picture. Chapters are set in different areas with the final prediction of all out war set in its own room.
Extras include Islamic art and the complete soundtrack in it entirety including the haunting track ‘By the Rivers of Babylon.” And no not the Boney M song.
This is a very pessimistic piece which I fear is spot on about Islam’s intentions for all of us. However, that said, this is not a subject to be taken lightly. This DVD should probably be required viewing for everyone both young and old in the West. Its blunt but equally damning of the idiotic actions of the West and Israel when confronted by Islam.
I highly recommend this DVD to you. That is if you give a damn about what we are all up against.
Thanks so much for making this DVD. I loved it. I’ve shared it will all my family and friends, and urged them to buy copies to share will all their family and friends. Again, my sincere thanks for making this educational tool available.
I just finished watching Farewell Israel. You have crafted a true masterpiece documentary and should be justly proud.
Finally! Finally, I feel informed on the facts and history of this epic struggle. Thank you for your hard work and contribution.
I spent 20 years in the military, 15 of those years were with Special Operations (5 years USMC, switched services and went into the Army, 9 years with the 19th Special Forces then 6 years with 318th Psyop). I have seen lots of training films/videos, trained lots of young Soldiers and Marines. I just wanted to say how much I learned from this video. Once again "A job well done"!
Farewell Israel: Bush, Iran and the Revolt of Islam, written and directed by Joel Gilbert, lays out the true nature of the Arab Israeli conflict with an unblinking eye. Gilbert is eloquent about the Islamic point of view, which should put to rest, once and for all, the notion that we are all alike.
Farewell Israel makes clear that it is a religious duty for every Muslim to reject Israel. The film also shows how Israel tragically misunderstands Islamic goals and values, hence a parade of Israeli and American politicians play into the hands of Israel's enemies at each and every turn. …Farewell Israel is a powerful film, an informative film, and I urge everyone to order Farewell Israel and screen it for as many of your friends as possible.
All Movie Guide
Filmmaker Joel Gilbert explores the conflict that has raged between the Arabs and the Jews since the time of the Prophet Muhammad in this documentary that starts at the birth of Islam and ends with a confrontation that threatens the stability of the entire planet. From the Muslim state's rejection of Israel back in 1948 to the 1977 Camp David Accords that found Egypt eschewing "Western Peace" in favor of a "Diplomatic Strategy Against Israel," this documentary serves to highlight the many ways in which the followers of Islam have attempted to regain their former glory following a 300 year decline.
After exposing Israel's confusion regarding Islamic goals and values by taking a closer look at both the Jewish nation's relationship with Yasser Arafat as well as the 1993 Oslo Accords, Gilbert turns to the tragic manner in which President George W. Bush played straight into the hands of Al-Qaeda following the 9/11 tragedy. Now, as Muslims across the globe prepare to launch a devastating attack on Israel in hopes of finally establishing a full Islamic revival, the grim truth about "Islamic Peace" finally comes into focus.
Farewell Israel: Fantastic! It succeeds in immersing the viewer into Islam's weltanschauung, placing that into an historical context - which the documentary demonstrates is no more history than only yesterday-steering us along with Islam today.
Einstein said, "Two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe." Had Einstein lived during Israel's foray into Oslo he'd probably have included Israeli ineptitude in it own distinct category of stupidity. Farewell Israel is a masterpiece, a pentimento, whereby each successive layer you can look back and see what preceded it and was now primed as to what may be next. Israelis must see this film before it is too late.
If you are still one of those Americans who believe 9/11 was a mindless attack on a decadent United States by Islamic fanatics without a comprehensive long range plan, a new film will open your eyes.
“Farewell Israel: Bush, Iran and The Revolt of Islam,” reveals the full story of Israel and the West’s misunderstanding of Islam — and the coming tragic consequences of misunderstanding. If you are lucky enough to view the film, your mouth will drop open more than once.
It’s creator, Joel Gilbert, a graduate of the University of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies and the London School of Economics and Political Science, describes his landmark work accurately as “an historic journey, from the birth of Islam, through its 1,200 year reign over the civilized world, to the last 300 years of Islamic decline, overtaken and dominated by the West — then humiliated by a Jewish state.” (Click for More - Part 1) - (Click for Part 2)
Rael Jean Issac
Joel Gilbert has pulled off a remarkable tour de force: in “Farewell Israel” he has produced a technically sophisticated, visually imaginative, scholarly documentary that manages in the space of 145 minutes to investigate the belief system and history of Islam, the development of the Arab-Israel conflict (more accurately the Muslim-Jewish conflict) and the aftermath of 9/11.
The documentary’s enormous achievement is in bringing all this together to show incontrovertibly the total misunderstanding of Islam that shapes the policy follies of the West in general and the U.S. and Israel in particular. The potentially deadly results are summed up in the foreboding title—Farewell Israel. (more)
Despite the dozens of bestsellers and non-stop talk-radio and television-news coverage devoted to the topic during the last six years, the "war on terror" - a.k.a. the war against radical Islam - still generates more heat than light. Joel Gilbert's fascinating new documentary, enticingly titled Farewell Israel: Bush, Iran, and the Revolt of Islam, represents an important act of redress.
Part historical documentary and part multi-media survey course, Farewell Israel is ultimately a call to reason, painstakingly detailing both the origin of Islam and its subsequent rise and fall, with particular attention to the religion's first millennium and definitions of its most important yet often most misunderstood terminology. Because of its theology and philosophy, Islam has changed little since the Prophet Muhammed's death left the religion to his followers, so Gilbert's attention to their roots and evolution is more essential than ever to a meaningful (as opposed to a merely expedient) response to the present crises posed by Ayatollahs, the PLO, Al-Qaeda, and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
The fact remains, however, that, for whatever reason, most Westerners, from the man on the street to the movers and shakers, are as oblivious to the history and ideology of Islam as they are passionate about either combating or appeasing it.
Gilbert has not only skillfully condensed this information into a swiftly moving script (euphoniously delivered via voiceover by the veteran narrator Lance Lewman) but also made it visually arresting, supplying the film's latter half with ample footage of the relevant 20th and 21st century people, places, and events while illustrating the first half with a clever, and at times ingenious, combination of Islamic art, stock Crusader-movie footage, and computer graphics. As for the original Middle Eastern-sounding soundtrack, performed by Gilbert and a trio of musicians best known for their past association with Bob Dylan, its effectiveness is such that it calls attention less to itself than to the historical parade at the heart of the story. The result is an artful mixture of quick-edit form and thought-provoking content that will hold the attention of MTV-generation channel-surfers and reflective intellectuals alike.
Farewell Israel is so absorbing, in fact, that one will not only want to watch it repeatedly but also to weigh its fundamental premise: that neither the stereotypical conservative nor liberal reactions to 9/11, based as they are on Westernized misperceptions of Islam's nature, bodes well for the future of Israel or the West.
The Jewish Community of Hebron Spokesman
Needless to say, you have done a marvelous job. However, I must say, it is one of the scariest productions I've ever witnessed. Thank you very much for producing such a powerful documentary.
FAREWELL ISRAEL lifts the veil of mystery that has shrouded the Islamic culture from the Western world for many centuries. Joel Gilbert skillfully bobs and weaves through history to hit the high and low points of the struggles between two distinctly different, yet scarily similar, ideologies. Gilbert lays out his research in meticulous and painstaking detail, and viewers need only add their own reasoning to this chronological cautionary tale.
Those who have been paying little or no attention to what's been happening “over there” will be jolted into awareness by this crash course in past, current, and coming events. No matter where you stand on the Arab-Israeli issue, your comfort zone will be invaded and occupied by FAREWELL ISRAEL.
Simi Valley, CA
When I saw this piece I was amazed at the depth and breadth of information in it. It was almost too much to take in at one time. It illuminated the history of the Muslims, how they developed and why they are doing what they are doing today.
Dr. Ayman Al-Zawahiri
This vast accumulation of knowledge, paired with the visually stunning graphics, reflects
Director Joel Gilbert's professional dedication and hard work, resulting in a real eye opener. Every American should see this film. It cleared up many questions, as well as misconceptions that I had. I'm sure others suffer from the same lack of education as I did.
Palm Coast, FL
KUDOS for a fine job of simplifying a complicated story. After two hours of viewing I was so angry at what is happening to Israel I had to turn it off and finish viewing it the next day. It's a story that needs to be told. What amazes me is that the Israelis, as smart as they are, do not appear to fathom what is at stake. It is as though they have never learned from their history.
I hope your video gains wide distribution and jars our nation of sleep-walkers back to reality. Having lived in Libya, and traveled in the Middle East in 1954, I appreciate your wake-up call all the more. Thanks again for a first-rate production.
Culver City, California
I watched the "Farewell Israel" DVD. Very well done. Great soundtrack. Lot's of information. Quite educational, compelling and disturbing. Hope you're wrong, but I kinda suspect you're not...
Farewell Israel is a political documentary that strays away from sensationalist extremes which means it’s nothing like a Michael Moore project at all.
I will confess to not knowing much about Islam so this documentary comes as a bit of a crash course in the history of Islam, that religion that divides the world. Now I also need to confess that I cringed when I was told to review this, after all who wants to watch boring documentaries about religion? I have much more important things to do.
I was wrong. This is a scholarly in depth look at a religion that is hundreds of years old. It helps to put into perspective what is happening in the world right now and does it in a manner that is not flippant but not so ponderously boring that it would be hell to watch. It’s interesting stuff. The sheer volume of information to take can be quite heavy but the documentary has an interesting way of breaking up the sequence of events for people like me who need hundreds of years explained in simple terms.
The history presented in this documentary thread up whole countries and other cultures and it helps explain the massive tangle the world is currently in. So what can you expect to see? Archive material, dazzling graphics and a compelling soundtrack. Farewell Israel is powerful stuff if a little depressing to watch. It still should be watched so you can see an old story retold.
Excellent DVD! Before viewing, I considered myself knowledgeable on Islam and Islamists. However, I learned a great deal from the DVD. It has become mandatory viewing for my family and highly recommended to my close friends. Money well spent. Thanks again!
Prairie Village, Kansas
I was so impressed with this film - I am absolutely in awe! It’s the entire history of Islam and the Jews. I couldn't stop watching it because it is inclusive of every element that we in the West need to understand about Islam. It tells of the relationship to Jews and Christians throughout history in an absolutely riveting depiction. I can't wait to watch it again.
Jews in Palestine, 1930
Dr. Michael Anbar, Ph.D.
I watched your movie with great interest and was highly impressed by your insight and analysis. This is certainly the best documentary on the subject I know of. The underlying theme of the narrative, as I perceived it, is that the West does not pay attention to what motivates the Islamic world and consequently it makes gross political mistakes. These mistakes may cost us dearly, if not lead to an unprecedented calamity for both Western civilization and for Islam, for the whole humanity for that matter. The message about the impending demise of the State of Israel is poignant and should be a wake up call for Jews both in Israel and in the US.
I just finished watching a DVD copy of your film, "Farewell Israel." I want to compliment you on such a wonderful and fine movie and I want to thank you for making it. I grew up in Israel, the daughter of an American diplomat stationed there. .I know that country and I am in daily fear for it
I stand fairly alone, in my profession and city (Hollywood) in how I view the problems in the Middle East.
I cannot tell you how happy I was to find your movie and watch it. I plan on ordering many copies of it to distribute to my many friends, Jewish and non Jewish, who prefer to keep their heads in the sand, rather than understanding the real threat the issues in the Middle East pose to Israel and the West.
Mr. Gilbert, thank you for taking the time to research and create this spectacular and important movie.
More reviews coming soon...