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29 April 2013


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Thanks for bringing this one back up. I want to see this movie but need to look for a specialized theatre. I heard some reviews and would really like tp see it.


I can only concur with Adam.
I saw it on German television about a month ago.
However, as usual, it'll be shushed away as all these former heads of shabak are basically saying the same thing: talk to your enemy honestly, make peace, let them have a state. The other option is a non option. When 6 ex directors over a period covering the last 30 years draw the same conclusions everyone should listen. These fellows are no softies or idealists and they were closely involved in things the majority of people would not be willing to do.
In Israel, Ha'Aretz was the only newspaper who commented positively on the documentary. The rest of the Israeli press mostly ignored it or was (very) critical.
It'll be interesting to see what the reaction of the US press will be ( not holding my breath here....)


Its so easy for a country to fool itself when things are going ok. Particularly when the elites of that country are having a great time.

Israel is suffering from the same thing the US is suffering from. Massive concentration of wealth, resulting in increasing concentration of political influence. A small number of people with stupid views but lots of money are determining policy.

I would guess that most of them never read Flavius Josephus or they might show a little less hubris.

Margaret Steinfels

A remarkable movie! Hard to imagine an equivalent group of retired U.S. officials opening up as the "Gatekeepers" have. One note of inquiry: They seemed to blame the politicians for the direction of Israeli policy. Fair enough. BUT what was their own responsibility in making recommendations and carrying out orders?

FB Ali


That was a good call -- noting Peri's refusal to use the standard label "terrorist". Thoughtless use of such labels causes people to mindlessly buy into the narrative that vested interests (yes, another label, but I buy into it mindfully!) have deliberately spun to push a certain version of events.

This is happening in the US (and the West) where the term "terrorist" automatically conjures up the image of radical Islamists whose beliefs require them to go around blowing up and killing people. This prevents anyone from realising that many who engage in such acts do so as a reaction to what they perceive as US and Western attacks on them and their people, and not from any fundamentalist beliefs.

Medicine Man

Succinctly put.

Charles I

Been looking forward to release of an English dubbed/subbed version, thanks.


FB Ali: The other thoughtless label is "security." As long as Israel's actions are judged through the prism of "security" both the USA and the EU will backstop Israel regardless of its behavior.

Example: http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/israel-deploys-nuclear-weapons-on-german-built-submarines-a-836784.html

Money quote: "The German government has always pursued an unwritten rule on its Israel policy, which has already lasted half a century and survived all changes of administrations, and that former Chancellor Gerhard Schröder summarized in 2002 when he said: "I want to be very clear: Israel receives what it needs to maintain its security."

And people are suprised that the Oslo Process is a fraud.

 Larry Kart

I found it fascinating, too, but also, when I then went on to read Ian Black and Benny Morris' "Israel's Secret Wars: A History of Israel's Intelligence Services," somewhat cloistered in its understandable tight focus on the Shin Bet, with occasional references to various political figures. As Black and Morris make clear, the relationship among the various Intelligence Services in Israel (e.g. the Mossad, Shin Bet, military intelligence (I've forgotten its name), and Lakam -- the scientific and technological intelligence outfit that was responsible for the Pollard affair) and between those intelligence services and the Israeli political establishment at any given time has often been one hell of a catfight, with each service jockeying for power against the others and trying to get the ear of the right political figures. And even then, Black and Morris' book is now more than 20 years out of date.


Another recent (21012) release is Miko Peled's book The General's Son, the Journey of an Israeli in Palestine. He is the son of Matti Peled, an Israeli general who fought in the war of 1948 and 1967 and who became a peace activist. Peled advocates a one-state solution.

 Larry Kart

Re-reading my previous post, I see that I didn't quite make my point. It's that the "The Gatekeepers," with its tight focus on the Shin Bet, obscures to some degree the reality that the near constant jockeying for power among the various Israeli intelligence services has a lot to do with what any such service, including the Shin Bet, does or does not do and/or what the government in power at the time tells or allows them to do. Not unlike what happens in this country to some degree, but my impression from the Black/Morris book is that in Israel the whole shebang is a good deal more contentious and tightly wound than it is over here -- as would tend to be the case given the relative size of the two countries and the resulting degree of inter-connectedness among those Israelis who at some point play significant roles in intelligence, the military, and politics. In any case, though I don't recall that "The Gatekeepers" examines this in detail, one gets the impression that several of these former heads of the Shin Bet disliked or disparaged their predecessors and successors, not to mention the heads of other agencies and, of course, the politicians.

Charles I

For a comic yet disturbing glimpse from the inside of how the whole tightly wound shebang functions, try

"Shut Up, I'm Talking: And Other Diplomacy Lessons I Learned in the Israeli Government--A Memoir"

When twenty-five-year-old law student Gregory Levey applied for an internship at the Israeli Consulate, he got more than he’d bargained for. The speechwriter for the Israeli delegation to the United Nations quit, and Levey was asked to fill the vacancy. The situation got even stranger when he was transferred to Jerusalem to write speeches for Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.

Shut Up, I’m Talking is the startling account of Levey’s journey into the nerve center of Middle Eastern politics. During his three years in the Israeli government, Levey was repeatedly thrust into highly improbable situations.

With sharp insight and great appreciation for the absurd, Levey offers the first-ever look inside Israeli politics from the perspective of a complete outsider, ultimately concluding that the Israeli Government is no place for a nice Jewish boy.


A must read IMHO, for anyone interested in Israeli politics, Israel, or Israelis.

Charles I

Here's another former leader of the pointy end of the Israeli stick counseling less war, more reality.


Given their recent treatment and hysterical demonization, sovereignty constraining bargains are not likely currently the Iranian's preferred BATNA.

William R. Cumming

If Iran had to select its top 10 FP objectives what would that list look like?

What about Syria?

What about Israel?

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