The Gatekeepers Keeps Information from Viewers
In the press materials, Moreh says the “idea to do this movie came to me while I was working on my previous film, Sharon.” At that time, he says, “I learned how the critique of some of these Gatekeepers influenced Sharon’s decision to disengage from Gaza.” He thinks “the time has come for the Gatekeepers to address the people at large, and not just the inner circles of decision-makers,” and he hopes his film will “initiate that dialogue.”
But the dialogue Moreh wants to “initiate” has in fact been going on in Israel for many years; it resulted in a Gaza withdrawal that blew up in Israel’s face, contrary to the public advice of the ex-gatekeepers at that time. Moreh’s film, made years later -- and after the Palestinians rejected yet another offer of a state in 2008 -- is not as new or bold as its self-congratulatory advertising declares. In fact, the film is a bit of a repeat of a two-hour interview from 2003.
None of this is to say that the issues in this film are not important. But one should take with a very large grain of salt the suggestion by Yuval Diskin that Israel is in danger of becoming a “Shin Bet state.” A “Shin Bet state” would not have allowed this movie to be made. A “Shin Bet state” would not have men such as these heading its Shin Bet -- intelligent, articulate people honestly addressing the moral issues involved in their jobs. A “Shin Bet state” would not address such issues so often and so publicly, over so many years, dealing with the less-than-perfect use of power in a less-than-perfect world while under existential attack.
In a world where Avi Dichter’s false-equation observation is repeatedly proven accurate, there is no easy solution. The tragedy of the “peace process” is reflected in the fact that Israel is the only state in the Middle East where a movie such as The Gatekeepers could be made.
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