Israeli film ‘The Gatekeepers’ brings truths about occupation that Palestinians are vilified for saying

Philip Weiss writes: Last week I saw a riveting new Israeli film about moral corruption in the government. The Gatekeepers features lengthy interviews with six former heads of the security service, Shin Bet, who repudiate the security policy they carried out. The men say that Palestinians committed acts of terror due to political causes Israeli leaders refuse to address, that the Israeli methods of attacking the symptoms are themselves a form of terrorism, and Israel should be talking to Hamas.

In the takeaway moment of the movie, Avraham Shalom, a ruthless former official now old and reflective, tells filmmaker Dror Moreh that the Israelis are really no different from the Nazis in their occupations of Belgium, France and Czechoslovakia.

If a member of Congress or a mainstream columnist said any of this, he or she would be run out of town on a rail. Palestinians have said as much for years and been vilified. Israelis are allowed.

Of course it is great news that this stark and stylish film was featured in the New York Film Festival and that it has been picked up by Sony Pictures Classics. The film’s prominence, following the earlier success of The Law in These Parts and 5 Broken Cameras, signals a new discourse in the United States: Our prestige media are going to start talking about the vicious cruelty of the occupation.

And when you consider that this film was essentially authorized by the six former Shin Bet men– “They all approved the movie,” Moreh said at the screening I attended– it is a sign of a fresh political development: The U.S. liberal establishment is beginning to echo Ehud Olmert’s warning of five years ago, that Israel is going to commit national suicide if it does not end the occupation.

Fears of Israel’s demise motivated the Shin Bet men to talk to Moreh. They are trying to save Israel. [Continue reading…]

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2 thoughts on “Israeli film ‘The Gatekeepers’ brings truths about occupation that Palestinians are vilified for saying

  1. delia ruhe

    I’ve never actually seen the CIA report that predicts the end of Israel by 2022, but I’ve been reading about it since 2008. And I have 8 additional articles on the demise of Israel, plus a whole collection of Ian Lustick’s articles and conference papers which leaves no doubt as to Israel’s non-future.

    Since 2010, I’ve collected 18 articles on the decreasing Jewish population of Israel — indeed, the official population figure for Israel has gone down by one million since my last visit in 1999. A lot of that is Palestinians, but definitely not all.

    I also have a collection of interesting films on the plight of Palestinians, but far fewer on Israel itself. Yoav Shamir’s *Defamation* would appear to be the first of this current batch, none of which I’ve seen.

    So if you’ve been paying attention, the end of Israel is not a new idea. It’s only logical. The task now is to get Israelis woken up to it. I hope this current batch of films will do the trick. But there’s a huge wall of denial that needs to be broken through.

  2. pabelmont

    My guess is that the (imminence of the) death of Israel has been a bit exaggerated.

    My fear, however, is that the tendency of Israel Jewish emigration will be to leave the territorial expansionists and religious zealots (i.e., taken together, the Jewish fundamentalists) more firmly in political control. That coupled with the so-called Sampson Option (nuclear) is a recipe for disaster and might explain — in part and along with AIPAC — USA’s reluctance to bring Israel to heel. At present, N’yahu seems part of the Jewish fundamentalist population (and, as I see it, problem).

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