HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH FILM FESTIVAL
THE GATE KEEPER plus Q&A
Dir: Dror Moreh
Year: 2012 95min
In an unprecedented and candid series of interviews, six former heads of the Shin Bet—Israel's intelligence and security agency—speak about their role in Israel's decades-long counterterrorism campaign.
Dror Moreh's The Gatekeepers is a rare glimpse into the untold history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict from the point of view of the Shin Bet. In this series of one-on-one interviews, combined with never-before-seen archival footage, Moreh gives us unfettered access to the decisions, rationalisations, and regrets of Israel's most powerful homeland security officials. As these veteran intelligence chiefs speak with detachment about their participation in some of Israel's most controversial counterterrorist initiatives, their steely singularity of purpose—to maintain the state's security—remains constant. But hard questions arise. What constitutes acceptable 'collateral damage'? What is the virtue of a 'proportional' response? The Gatekeepers offers many explanations, but no apologies
Israeli law has long shielded the Israeli security apparatus, including the Shin Bet, from accountability for rights violations. Human Rights Watch has documented many Israeli attacks–including several cases discussed in The Gatekeepers–in which civilians were unlawfully killed. Yet there have been few credible Israeli investigations into such attacks and the people behind them. Similarly, Israeli human rights groups have documented that in more than 650 cases of alleged abuse of detainees by Shin Bet interrogators, there have been no criminal investigations. Meanwhile, Israeli courts continue to use 'secret' evidence in trials that the Shin Bet has provided against Palestinians, including human rights defenders.
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