The Gatekeepers Official Trailer #1 (2013) - Shin Bet Documentary

The Gatekeepers Official Trailer #1 (2013) - Shin Bet Documentary

Article by John Rash | Star Tribune | March 2, 2013

The documentary, and the debates in Israel, Palestine and America, show the need to think strategically.

“Argo” won Best Picture. “Zero Dark Thirty” best illustrated just how controversial post-9 / 11 policies remain. But 2012’s most important movie about the Mideast was the Oscar-nominated documentary “The Gatekeepers,” a searing indictment of Israel’s policies on Palestine.

Consider the source, some may say, referring to Hollywood’s politics. But that’s what’s most notable about “The Gatekeepers” — the indictment is internal, from those who know best: Six former directors of Shin Bet, Israel’s security service.

Revealing methods they used (sometimes lethal), and how counterproductive those tactics now seem, the former security chiefs bluntly criticize governments led by each of Israel’s leading parties — centrist Kadima, liberal Labor and conservative Likud. Interspersed in the interviews are archival images and re-creations. But “The Gatekeepers,” which opened on Friday, is as much about the future as the past. And the future “is very dark,” said Avraham Shalom, director of Shin Bet from 1980-1986. Of the past he says: “There was no strategy, just tactics.”

Those tactics are now roundly criticized by those who executed them.

“You can’t make peace using military means,” says Avi Dichter, director from 2000-2005. Some, including Yaakov Peri, who led from 1988-1994, lament missed opportunities. “There were plenty of instances since 1967, when, in my opinion, and I thought it then, too, we should have reached an agreement and got out.”

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