March 5th, 2013
10:35 AM ET

The movie Netanyahu says he won't watch

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By Global Public Square staff

This year, Oscar-nominated movies had a strong tie to real geopolitical events – and they’ve got everyone watching and talking.

Zero Dark Thirty was all about the race to catch Osama bin Laden, and senators and CIA directors have all weighed in on the movie.  Argo told the story of six American diplomats who managed to escape Iran at the height of the 1979 hostage crisis, and Michelle Obama presented it with the Best Picture prize.

But there is a major leader who says he has no interest in watching an Oscar-nominated movie about his own country. We will get to the world leader in a moment, but, first, the movie.

It is The Gatekeepers. The documentary is about Shin Bet, Israel’s internal security service. No one has ever interviewed any one of its leaders on camera. The Gatekeepers talks to six of them, the last six directors to retire. It is unprecedented to hear top Israeli spies discuss issues like collateral damage or the morality of killing terrorists, but, in this film, they do.

They are honest about the methods they had to use, deadly, brutal, effective. All of them believed that these methods were justified given Israel's circumstances, ruling over millions of Palestinians with terrorist groups operating among them. But what was stunning to hear is that all of them believed the only real solution for Israel was to end the occupation now. Take a look at the video for these clips from the film.

Former Shin Bet Director Avraham Shalom says Israelis have become cruel: “The future is bleak. It’s dark, the future. Where does it lead? To change in the people’s character. On the other hand, it’s a brutal occupation force.”

He goes on to say the army has become a brutal occupation force similar to the Germans in World War II.

Another says this: “We win every battle, but we lose the war.”

And one this: “One man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter.”

These are the kinds of words you'd usually hear from radicals and left-wing doves in Israel. The film is getting some attention there. More than 50,000 Israelis have seen the film, a pretty substantial number for a documentary.

But, as I mentioned earlier, one very important person hasn't watched it and says he has no plans – the prime minister of Israel. Benjamin Netanyahu is likely to form a coalition and begin a new term as prime minister this month. One of his first big projects will be to welcome President Obama to his country. Obama will be making his first visit to Israel as president. What will they discuss? For sure Iran and, of course, they'll discuss Syria and the unrest across the Arab world.

But The Gatekeepers is a reminder that the questions of what to do about the Palestinian territories that Israel has now occupied for almost 50 years should also get on the agenda.

At least, that’s the message I got from the last six directors of Shin Bet; men who have devoted their lives to defending the State of Israel. Maybe they know something.

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soundoff (19 Responses)
  1. 100 % ETHIO

    Does he still hold U.S.A Passprt?

    March 5, 2013 at 1:39 pm | Reply
  2. Hahahahahahahaha

    Check out that movie from our spy sattelite showing the Iranian Nuclear Program advancing!!!! You going to do something about it Netenyahoo, or are you just going to wuss out? Hahahahahahahahahah

    March 5, 2013 at 3:21 pm | Reply
  3. me

    As long as the government of Israel believes that they were given their country by god, your not going to change a single thing. There will never be a two state solution, the goal is to eradicate and push the Palestinian people off the land until it is all under Israeli control. The time that the Israeli government can garner support for their policy in this regard is probably at its apex. Its time for a change.

    March 6, 2013 at 12:45 am | Reply
    • VladT

      Yep...because Israel has never offered up two state solutions that the Palestinians would then walk away from the table and go back to suicide attacks.

      Oh, wait.....

      March 7, 2013 at 7:22 am | Reply
      • einnor76

        It must be nice to live in your simple, black and white world. I'm amazed people believe this, still.

        March 7, 2013 at 11:39 am |
      • Talib

        Vlad, the most comprehensive Two State solution was for a nominal Palestinian state in which the Palestinians would lack sovereignty over their borders, restricted from possessing any military, prohibited from having control over air space, roads, water, tax collection, electricity, etc. This is not an independent and sovereign state, rather it's a territory. I'm an American who participated in the M.A. Political Science Program at the American University in Cairo, residing there for 3 years. My first year, I was a graduate teaching assistant to Dr. Ezzedine Choukri-Fishere, former UN Chief Negotiator for the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, and the insight in which he provided to me regarding the negotiations process and the US role was frankly, disturbing. On several occassions, even Hamas privately stated in a series of written letters their willingness to acknowledge Israel's right to exist-in return for complete sovereignty and Israel's return to the Pre-1967 borders. Neither the US or Israel responded to Hamas and declined the offer when the PLO expressed this matter.

        March 9, 2013 at 9:38 am |
  4. j. von hettlingen

    By not watching this doc movie, Netanyahu had shown himself snobbish, which hurts more than condescending comments.

    March 6, 2013 at 7:48 am | Reply
    • Mikie

      Netanyahu is hoping out of site out of mind will work in his favor. Yet the experts with 1st hand experience having direct knowledge of the illegal occupation know that Israeli policy has failed and will continue to fail. Netanyahu is a coward, and demonstrates his lack of touch with reality.

      March 6, 2013 at 11:15 am | Reply
      • Maqbool Qurashi

        With the great influence that AIPAC exerts in the US Congress, Natanyahu has been very successful in diverting attention from the Palestinian conflict to Iran. Even though the intelligence agencies of US and Israel has refuted his claims that Iran is only months away from acquiring a nuclear weapon, his minions have done a great job to distort their findings. In the mean time Israel continues to expand settlements into the West Bank. This month AIPAC's volunteers will descend upon upon the Capital to push for a bill that will exempt the $3.8 billion US aid from the cuts required by the 'sequestration'.

        March 11, 2013 at 10:56 am |
  5. Abe

    Time is not the friend of Colonial powers like Israel ! Just how long can you colonize people before before your end comes !! Well ask the experts , ask England and if that's too modern ,ask the Roman Empire ....that might be in with your view of the world !!!!

    March 6, 2013 at 10:48 am | Reply
  6. Geoffrey

    End the occupation. Then in a few years when Israel’s sworn enemies are in control of the areas and threatening Israel with destruction, Israel will be justified in the eyes of the world to push them all into the Sinai desert or Transjordan, where they should be anyway.

    March 7, 2013 at 8:42 am | Reply
    • Frank M.

      Agreed. But only if Israel is threatened.

      March 7, 2013 at 5:17 pm | Reply
    • Talib

      Geoffrey, the Arab states have relinquished any hope of eliminating Israel. The US provides Israel with tens of billions of dollars in free grants annually, along with the most sophicated weaponry comparable to our own.
      The modern era is far different than the mid-20th Century when the Middle East was the battlefield played out during the Cold War between Russia and the US in order to gain influence and domination over crude oil and natural gas resources. The most powerful Arab states (namely Egypt, Jordan, and Syria) received aid (military, technological, strategic, infrastructure via the building of the Aswan Dam, etc.) from the USSR. While the other Arab states, Turkey and Iran participated in the Baghdad Pact which allied them initially with Great Britain,and later inherited by the US. After Nasser's death, Sadat broke free of Soviet influence and the USSR lost their footing in the region-leaving the US as the lone hegemon in the region. The Arab states are well aware of the military deficit between themselves and Israel and are no longer interested in actively pursuing the destruction of Israel as this is a recognizable futile objective, particularly as Israel possesses nuclear warheads (thanks to the Johnson Administration who reniged on the previous agreement under the Kennedy administration which would allowed Israel to obtain the latest military technology in exchange for dropping their nuclear program. However, the Johnson administration allowed Israel to acquire both; our weapons and nuclear weaponry). Even if other Arab states were to obtain nuclear capability, the threat of mutual nuclear annihilation would belay any military actions.

      March 9, 2013 at 9:59 am | Reply
      • bankrupt1

        Did they threaten our government to get that? Assassinations? or otherwise?

        March 10, 2013 at 4:32 am |
      • Carl

        bankrupt1.. No they didn't. But, AIPAC used the money America gives to Israel and funnelled back to the law makers to get all the favors.

        March 12, 2013 at 4:55 pm |
  7. bankrupt1

    how can they have a 6 day war when they have been in a constant state of war for 60 years. more like the 60+ year war.

    March 10, 2013 at 4:16 pm | Reply
  8. bribarian

    Who cares what this clown watches, I pictured him just conjuring up more holocash films with his team of scammers.

    March 10, 2013 at 9:50 pm | Reply

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