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Mon Feb 25, 2013, 11:14 AM

In "The Gatekeepers," Israeli Security Chiefs Say What US Leaders Can't

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"What's unnatural is the power you have to take three people, terrorists, and take their lives in an instant," says Yuval Diskin, the 12th director of the Shin Bet, Israel's internal security service, during the opening sequence of The Gatekeepers. His blunt testimony sets the grave and mournful tone that defines the rest of this illuminating and devastating film.

The Oscar-nominated documentary, directed by Israeli filmmaker Dror Moreh, uses interviews with all six living ex-directors of the Shin Bet to paint a stark portrait of the agency and how it figures into the Jewish state's past, present, and future. For those who haven't heard of this security service, here are a couple lines from my crib sheet: Imagine the FBI, only tremendously more efficient, brutal, and terrifying. Now, imagine if the war on terror were half a century old, and if we had drone strikes and black sites in Florida and Montana.

That's what the Shin Bet is like for Israelis.

It's a juggernaut of counterterrorism and intel gathering. Shin Bet directors answer directly to the prime minister. The agency's greatest blunder was their failure to protect Yitzhak Rabin, the Israeli leader who came closest to making peace with the Palestinians, from being murdered by a right-wing Israeli terrorist.

"I didn't want any more live terrorists in court," explains Avraham Shalom, who led the organization from 1980 to 1986. "In the war against terror, forget about morality." He's talking about the agency doctrine of targeted assassination against Islamic

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http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2013/02/film-review-gatekeepers-documentary-israel-shin-bet-palestine

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Reply In "The Gatekeepers," Israeli Security Chiefs Say What US Leaders Can't (Original post)
Purveyor Feb 2013 OP
leveymg Feb 2013 #1
Lone_Star_Dem Feb 2013 #2

Response to Purveyor (Original post)

Mon Feb 25, 2013, 11:34 AM

1. Like 9/11, there was little or no internal accountability for the Rabin assassination

One reads this report from 1996 through today's eyes, and the the parallels between the two events, both in terms of the institutional failures that caused it and the lack of public disclosure and real consequences, are startling: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/shin-bet-under-fire-over-murder-of-rabin-1344650.html

The (Rabin assassination) commission had a narrow brief in investigating the immediate security breakdown on 4 November, when Rabin was shot three times in the back as he left a "Yes to Peace, No to Violence" rally in Tel Aviv. Israelis were astonished last year to see on an amateur video that Amir was able to dawdle for 40 minutes as he waited for his victim without anybody asking what he was doing. There were only two bodyguards with Rabin as he was shot, neither standing directly behind him.

The report said: "The Shin Bet had abundant information about the intensification of threats against the lives of prominent persons, first and foremost the Prime Minister. The Shin Bet did not do enough, in terms of adjusting its protection method to the new risks, to cope with the worsening threat, and did not ensure that its bodyguards properly understood the severity of this threat."

The commission rejected the thesis that the need for politicians to have direct contact with the public made the task of protecting Rabin impossible. It said the failings were organisational: it mentioned a number of times the unwillingness of all the security services to direct efforts towards detecting and stopping a Jewish assassin.

The commission was not mandated to deal with the build-up of violent opposition to Rabin's policy of partial withdrawal from the West Bank. Its definition of a conspiracy to assassinate was narrowly defined.



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Response to Purveyor (Original post)

Mon Feb 25, 2013, 02:50 PM

2. Locking.

It's the consensus of the the GD hosts this post would be better placed in the the I/P forum.

Israel/Palestine forum link: http://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=forum&id=1134

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