Jerusalem Flash 90

A documentary, which makes highly controversial claims about Jewish history and was set to air on the BBC last Thursday night, was unexpectedly pulled from the broadcaster's line-up.

The program, entitled, "Jerusalem: An Archaeological Mystery Story" questions the truth and validity of the Jewish exile and espouses a theory that the fall of Jerusalem in 70 AD did not send the Jews into the Diaspora.

"The exile of the Jewish people has played a central role in Christian and Jewish theology for nearly 2,000 years, even being mentioned in Israel's national anthem and its declaration of independence. But what if the exile never actually happened?,” states a description of the documentary by Israeli filmmaker Ilan Ziv, which appeared on The Radio Times website.

"This documentary by Ilan Ziv looks at new evidence that suggests the majority of the Jewish people may not have been exiled following the fall of Jerusalem in 70 AD,” the description states. “Travelling from Galilee to Jerusalem and the catacombs of Rome, the film invites us to review and rethink our ideas around the exile, raising important ethical questions about its impact on present-day Middle Eastern issues along the way."

The BBC told The Commentator over its audience participation telephone service that the film was initially brought in to "supplement" the BBC Four series on archaeology and history but that the station's planning department decided at the last minute that the documentary would not "fit editorially".

The BBC insisted that it "plans to show the program in the future", The Commentator reported.