When I served as the chairman of the Department of Military Strategy and Operations at the National War College, we used short segments from movies such as Crimson Tide and Dr. Strangelove to stimulate discussions with our students. Later, the Errol Morris classic, Fog of War was added to the list. Today, all students in military colleges and universities, perhaps all military officers, and without question, all 535 members of Congress and senior leaders in the Obama Administration should watch The Gatekeepers. It is the best documentary on national security I have ever seen.
This Oscar-nominated documentary features interviews with all surviving former heads of Shin Bet, the Israeli security agency, accounting for every year from 1980-2011 except 1987. Were it not based on the interviews with these top Israeli counterterrorism officials, the film would be have been panned as anti-Semitic, revisionist claptrap. Instead, the New York Times film critic A. O. Scott said it was “the best documentary of 2012”, and the Wall Street Journal film critic Joe Morgenstern declared it “one of the best 10 films of 2012”. The National Society of Film Critics selected it as the Best Documentary of 2012.
The Gatekeepers not only provides a superb analysis of the Israeli-Palestinian issue, but also brings current US counterterrorism policy into focus. If you plan on thinking, talking or writing about either issue in 2012, you must see The Gatekeepers.