JERUSALEM—Tonight at 8 p.m. eastern, the Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN) will air part one of “The Abraham Accords,” the first-ever documentary film series ever produced on how the most important Arab-Israeli peace agreements in a generation came about.
I had the opportunity to see an advance screening of some 30 minutes of the film here in Jerusalem last month and absolutely loved it.
This is “must-see TV” for Christians, Jews, Muslims and people of all faiths, or of no faith at all.
It tells the inside story of the nearly-miraculous peace and normalization agreements between Israel, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Morocco and Sudan.
It explains how the prayers of millions created the first Arab-Israeli breakthroughs in a quarter of a century.
The film is beautifully shot, carefully researched and features exclusive interviews with many of the key players who negotiated the historic peace deals in 2020.
Among them: Benjamin Netanyahu, Donald Trump, Mike Pence, Mike Pompeo, Jared Kushner, Avi Berkowitz and senior Arab officials throughout the region.
Best of all, the film is hosted and produced by the ultimate insider – David Friedman – the Orthodox Jewish attorney from New York City whom President Trump appointed to serve as the U.S. ambassador to Israel for all four years of the Trump-Pence administration and was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize for his role in bringing the Accords to pass.
"As you will observe in the film that will premiere shortly, the key to the Abraham Accords was the trust created among a small group of people," Friedman said at the documentary's premiere in October.
WHO WAS ABRAHAM?
Friedman’s deep love for the Hebrew scriptures as a devout religious Jew makes him especially curious to explore in the film the story of Abraham, the patriarch of Israel and the Jewish people who is also revered and beloved in Christianity and Islam.
He doesn’t simply want to tell the diplomatic and political story of how the Abraham Accords came about, as important as that is.
Friedman also wants to take viewers on a faith journey that goes back some 4,000 years.
Who was Abraham, exactly?
Why is Abraham important to the three great monotheistic religions?
Why were these peace and normalization agreements named after Abraham?
Friedman’s honest and genuine exploration of these questions gives the film far more depth and richness than a straight geopolitical documentary might.
I cannot wait to see the full series as it plays out, and I cannot recommend the film highly enough.
What’s more, TBN president Matt Crouch deserves enormous credit for embarking on such an ambitious and important project, and partnering with a Jewish man who respects Jesus and his followers but does not see Jesus as the Jewish messiah.
Not every Christian media company would do so.
But Crouch did, and absolutely made the right choice.
WHO IS DAVID FRIEDMAN?
David Friedman, after all, was the most pro-Evangelical U.S. ambassador to Israel in the history of the U.S.-Israel alliance.
I first met him in Washington at the Mayflower Hotel in early 2017, after Trump had appointed him ambassador but he had not yet been confirmed by the Senate.
Friedman met with about 70 prominent Evangelical leaders to get to know us and answer our questions.
He readily conceded that he did not have deep ties with the Evangelical community, but wanted to work closely with us.
We were touched by his sincerity, his soft-spoken manner, and by the readily-apparent steel in his spine.
This was not some State Department careerist who had drunk the Kool-Aid and saw Israel as the main problem in the Middle East.
This was a man who truly understood the biblical roots and prophetic future of the nation and land of Israel and believed America would be blessed if she continued to love and bless Israel and the Jewish people.
"Israel can and should be the solution, not the problem, within the region: a solution for scientists; a solution for technology; a solution for health care; a solution for commerce; a solution for regional security; a solution for religious tolerance; and, of course, a solution for peace," Friedman said at the inauguration of his foundation in Jerusalem.
Friedman was a key player in persuading Trump – his friend and business partner for three decades – in finally moving the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, the capital of the State of Israel, and executing that process every step of the way.
In the years that followed, however, Friedman turned out to be far more than simply the most consequential American emissary to the Jewish state.
He served as a highly-trusted member of Trump’s inner circle of Middle East peace strategists, one of the architects of the Israeli-Palestinian peace plan that Trump put on the table – what became known as the “Deal of the Century” – which was embraced by Netanyahu, but rejected by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.
Friedman was also a key player in the formulation of the Abraham Accords, the signing ceremony and their initial implementation.
Now out of government, Friedman and his wife, Tammy, want to do their part to educate Americans and others around the world about the importance of the Accords, their origins, and their significance to Jews, Christians and Muslims.
To that end, the former ambassador has:
founded and launched The Friedman Institute For Peace Through Strength, based here in Jerusalem
produced this documentary film series, and shrewdly partnered with TBN, the world’s largest Christian television network, in order to help educate Evangelical Christians in the U.S. and all over the world about the historic and prophetic significance of the Accords. (Watch the trailer here.)
written a book to be released next February titled, Sledgehammer: How Breaking With The Past Brought Peace To The Middle East
I was thrilled and honored to write the first book about how the Abraham Accords came about – Enemies and Allies – based on my own exclusive interviews with many of the same people Friedman interviewed, including Friedman himself.
That said, I could not be more eager to watch his full film series on TBN, and read his book when it releases, because Friedman was “in the room where it happened” every step of the way.
I highly recommend you avail yourself of the documentary, and pre-order the book, for yourself, and encourage your friends to do the same.
“The Abraham Accords” documentary film – part one – will air Friday night at 8 p.m. eastern on TBN – it will be repeated at 9 p.m., 10 p.m. and 11 p.m. to provide maximum exposure the Christians in North America and around the world.
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.