Dror Moreh’s thought-provoking documentary, The Gatekeepers, brings together six former Shin Bet leaders and gives them a platform to discuss how Israel’s Security Service has dealt with difficult decisions dating from the ’67 war to the present day, writes Sarah Rothberg.

Avraham Shalom (1980-1986), perhaps the most unashamed of the group, reflects on the decisions made during the infamous 300 bus affair, where he ordered the execution of two Palestinian terrorists that had hijacked an Egged bus.

Where Shalom fails to evoke empathy, Ami Ayalon (1996-2000) succeeds. He comes across as extremely astute and displays a deep sense of care for both the future of Israel, as well as a Palestinian State.

The film examines deeply the thought processes of each of the six men. The most recent head, Yuval Diskin (2005-2011), shows great concern over the influence his position held: “What’s unnatural is the power you have.”

Diskin discusses the idea of “collateral damage” when making a choice between taking out a target if it means innocents will die in the process.

Moreh’s Academy Award-nominated film also analyses the relationship between Shin Bet, the equivalent of MI5, and the Israeli Government. What is interesting to learn is that on occasion when a tough decision is made by the Security Service it is not always backed by Israel’s leaders.

The six speak with a wisdom only gained through hindsight. However different they are, each describes a longing to continue to reach for peace – no matter how far off that may seem.

Watch the trailer here:

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