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The Gatekeepers

  • 100 ex-generals to Bibi: Reach a Palestinian, regional accord now

    Security makes a comeback in peace. If the generals avoid mistakes of the past and put action behind words, they could have an impact. Over 100 retired and reserve generals, brigadier-generals and senior police officials, including a former head of the Mossad, have signed and published a plea to Prime Minister Netanyahu to reach a reach a regional-based two-state diplomatic resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In impassioned language, they state their credentials as fighters in Israel’s wars who “fought powerfully on behalf of the state,” and were “impressed by your [Netanyahu’s - ds] wise leadership during Protective Edge.” They then…

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  • Former Israeli AG: We should have evicted Hebron settlers

    In an interview, former Israeli attorney general Michael Ben-Yair says he considers the situation in Hebron a form of Apartheid, refers to 'Price Tag' attacks as Jewish terrorism and regrets consenting to the construction of West Bank bypass roads for settlers. By Yossi Gurvitz, for Yesh Din About a month ago, I met with Michael Ben-Yair for an in-depth interview offering him a chance to share his thoughts on issues of highest national importance. Ben-Yair is best known to the public as a former attorney general who served in that position under Rabin’s second government. He is also a member…

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  • A 'no-strategy' strategy: The Gatekeepers and soldier testimonies

    Do not be misled by the paranoid helplessness of the six powerful men in Dror Moreh’s film - the end goal of Israel’s military rule is the complete demise of the dream of Palestinian independence. By Oded Na’aman Ami Ayalon, former head of the Israeli Shin Bet, grew up on a kibbutz near the Sea of Galilee. “I had a wonderful childhood,” he says toward the end of Dror Moreh’s Oscar nominated documentary, “The Gatekeepers”: I knew that there's a house in Jerusalem, and on the second floor there’s a long corridor. At the end of the corridor there's a door,…

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  • Can 'The Gatekeepers' open the gates to the empire?

    Is there growing realization within Israeli society that the social, political, moral, and military basis of the occupation is unsustainable? If so, perhaps 'The Gatekeepers' need not change people’s minds, so much as express them. A college professor once taught me that a decaying empire clenches onto power with a chokehold. Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian people may not be an empire, but after nearly forty-six years, it has become a sort of reigning paradigm of Israeli life. The Israeli Left has challenged, but never truly shifted, that paradigm. In 2009 a particularly right-wing government was established after a particularly…

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  • 'Prisoner X' and the security elite's unchecked power

    Recent actions taken by the heads of the army, Mossad and the internal security service (Shin Bet) reveal the Israeli security establishment's unsupervised power, and the way it directs that power at the country’s own citizens and elected officials. These are the main details which have been made public in the affair of Ben Zygier, also known as 'Prisoner X': Zygier was probably recruited by the Mossad in the years following his immigration to Israel; the Australian secret service grew suspicious of Zygier after he changed his name and took out new passports four different times; according to the latest…

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  • Pretending away the Nakba only perpetuates the conflict

    When the Czechs prefer to keep silent and repress their history, it's a problem, but it is not an imminent danger to the country. When Israelis prefer to pretend there was no ethnic cleaning here, it's a wholly different question: the conflict won't end unless Israel admits to the injustice it caused. A few weeks back I watched The Gatekeepers, a movie which interviews six of the chiefs of Shin Bet, from Avraham Shalom to Yuval Diskin. The movie is shocking and well worth your time. The most surprising character was Diskin, who obviously underwent a great change upon leaving…

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  • The Gatekeepers: 'If this film does not lead to change, there is no hope for Israel'

    NEW YORK -- "If this film does not lead to change, there is no hope for Israel," said Israeli director Dror Moreh. He was referring to his new documentary The Gatekeepers, which has been nominated for an Academy Award. The title of the film refers to the six directors of the Shin Bet, Israel's internal security service, who, in a series of extraordinary interviews with the director, speak about their work in detail for the first time. Perhaps partly in response to Moreh's personal charisma and partly out of what seems to be deep concern born of real patriotism, these…

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