Explosive would be a good word to use about the new Sundance film The Gatekeepers now showing to big crowds in Israel. an academy award nominee, It is basically appeal to the israeli conscience about the ongoing subjugation of the Palestinian people.
Director Dror Moreh coralled six former members of Israel’s secret police the Shin Bet and they prove that Israel is quite similar to most countries—there are always people of conscience who are prepared to disturb the national consensus.Israel can never be pigeonholed as a nation of thugs.While the Occupation, the grinding daily suffering of the Palestinian people is indeed a deep embarrassment to many citizens, good people are speaking out.This film can only augnment the national conversation.It also has the potential to wake the Jewish diaspora up to what is being done in its name. and what many refuse to see.
Two provocative quotes are as follows: One former Shin Bet director says, “We are making the lives of millions unbearable, into prolonged human suffering, [and] it kills me.” Another states, We’ve become, “a brutal occupation force similar to the Germans in World War II.” Ouch.
According to the great Israeli human rights monitor B’Tselem ,since 2005 at least 48 Palestinians have been killed by live ammunition fired at people throwing stones. Six more were killed by rubber-coated bullets fired at dangerously close range, and two were killed by tear-gas canisters directly fired at protesters.Imagine if these numbers were extrapolated to Canada, another country which prides itself as a serious democracy where the rule of law reigns.
On the surface the film seems incomprehensible. Six former directors of a secret spy agency bare all. But these men are humane citizens, extremely concerned about the future of their country.For these men iut wa not a big deal.Many,many Israelis are very concerned about the present road the state is going down.Director Moreh went to considerable lengths when interviewed by Democracy Now’s Amy Goodman and Aaron Maté to insist that the Israelis are not the only “bad guys” here. A point worh making,The Occupation has produced horrible responses, the killing of innocents.It must also ve said rthat the state terrorism and its apparatus has overwhelming power and that this is the primary violence
Moreh simply can not argue with some of the statements made by these former directord.Avraham Shalom for example says basically”[We’ve become] a brutal occupation force similar to the Germans in World War II. “We have become cruel, to ourselves as well, but mainly to the occupied population, using the excuse of the war against terror.”
Avraham shalom a Shin Bet director who was forced to resign after an ugly incident raise dthe question about the culpability of the Prime Minister—in this case Yitzhak Shamir whose modus operandi was, “Look I don’t want to know anything” and then Shalom was the one whose head rolled.The irony jere is that Shamir was a “terrorist” himslf a member of the out of control stern Gang who murdered civilians.
Following the firing od shalom Shamir and Peres who followined him as PM tried desperately to keep knowlege of Shin Bet’s dirty tricks out of publ;ic view.They failed and this speaks well of Israel’s democratic trhust.
Two Directors spoke of the Israeli lunatic fringe whose attempts to blow up Islam’s third holiest shrine the Dome of the Rock was thwarted. As was a plan to murder arie sharon, himself one of the biggest Arab-haters in Israel.This would have been catastrophic for the global community.
Film director Moreh who has little time for Israeli PM Netanyahu pointed out that the recent Israeli election showed how Israelis rejected Netanyahu’s move to the right but he made no bones about the ugly role of the settlers
They are the biggest obstacle to the peace process, to maintain or to continue. And I think this is the most largest and most influential and most powerful group in Israeli politics. They’re basically dictating the policy of Israel in the last years. I think that definitely for the Palestinians, the settlements are the worst enemy in the way—in their way to the homeland. When they see everywhere, in Judea and Samaria now, the settlements that are built like mushroom after rain, they see how their country is shrinking.
Dror Moreh makes a good point when he says that it is quite hopeful and indeed amazing that a country of only seven million people can produce two films on the occupation.The prophetic can never be stilled.
The other Israeli film , Five Broken Cameras is also Oscar nominated. Already previewed around Toronto, this shows the absolute nonviolent tenacity of Palestinian Emad Burnat as he attempts to film around the military occupation of his town Bil’in. The result— five smashed cameras courtesy of the Israeli Defense Force. This film is slated for world wide distribution
The artist is always ahead of the people.