Saturday, February 9, 2013

The Gatekeepers: A documentary about Shin Bet and Israel's On Going War Against Terror

The Gatekeepers looks like it is a very well done documentary (even if it is heavily edited to support a left position).  It is up for an Academy Award (and unlike past winners, this film is probably~arguably deserving of it).  The film maker Dror Moreh obtained interviews with six living former heads of Shin Bet, which is the highly secretive Israeli security organization that combines elements of the American National Security Agency, CIA, FBI, Special Forces anti terrorism, and Secret Service.

Update:  This post by Richard Fernandez fits right in...

Dror Moreh is from the center left, but he apparently gets great interviews from Shin Bet's former directors (an amazing thing given even the identities of Shin Bet's directors were considered classified until just recently). Alan Richman gives this criticism of the film:
It is a well-made, thought-provoking film, but the conclusions in the last two minutes are not entirely supported by the 95 minutes that precede them. In significant ways, they are in fact contradicted by at least one of the “gatekeepers” — Avi Dichter, who served under Ehud Barak and Ariel Sharon from 2000 to 2005. Dichter summarizes Moreh’s apparent position: if we use force against the Palestinians, they will use force against us; and if we stop using force, they will stop using force. Dichter tells him the first part of the equation is true, but that the second is not.
I don't have to agree with Mr. Moreh's political views.  While left leaning, this is not a Michael Moore propaganda film (although John Podhoretz warns the heavy editing of material impacts the film).  That there are doubts about tactics vs. long term strategy are fine (and frankly healthy) especially given some of the recent decisions regarding use of drones and the lack of accountability/due process procedure that President Obama has granted himself in using drones.  There are lessons here for the United States in its on going war on terror.  I loved Zero Dark Thirty.  Sol Stern suggests Mr. Moreh missed an opportunity to make a better film by not giving his political slant to this film.  As soon as I get to see The Gatekeepers, I will give it a full review.


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