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Israel Documentary 'Israel's Next War' Focuses on Religious Right

Image: Israel Documentary 'Israel's Next War' Focuses on Religious Right
File picture dated September 28, 2000 shows Israeli troops running as clashes erupt outside the Al-Aqsa mosque compound in Jerusalem's Old City following a controversial visit to the holy site by then Israeli leader Ariel Sharon. (Awad Awad/AFP/Getty Images)

By    |   Sunday, 19 Oct 2014 01:30 PM

The documentary "Israel's Next War" ran as an episode of the PBS series "Frontline" in April 2005, and was directed by Israeli Dan Setton. It focused on the rise of the religious right movement and the potentially negative role it could have in peace negotiations with the Palestinians.

Setton had previously won a Peabody Award for an earlier documentary, "Shattered Dreams of Peace," which examined the breakdown of events from the 1993 Oslo Peace Accord through the start of the Second Intifada.

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With renewed momentum for peace in the region, Setton studied another group who could affect the progress, a group of young Israeli radicals who aligned with the Kahanist ideology that calls for "violent Jewish self-defense and expelling all Arabs from the Holy Land," according to PBS.

Since 2000, this group had illegally appropriated more than 100 remote outposts in the West Bank.

"The issue of Jewish fundamentalists, Jewish extremists, has been on the agenda in Israel for the past couple of years," Setton told "Frontline" in explaining the reasons for the documentary. "During the Intifada they gained momentum and became vocal. I thought it was important to try go deep inside their world."

Five months after PBS aired the documentary, Israel's Channel 2 broadcasted a longer version. The national newspaper, Haaretz, titled its review of the movie, "A Horror Film," and suggested that the ideologies put forth weren't exclusive to Israel, and had largely come from American Jewish immigrants.

Setton disagreed and argued that such an ideology is common in Israeli society. While he acknowledged that he had no confirmed numbers, he told PBS at the time that the "latest polls show that 30 percent of the people in Israel support the idea that the land belongs exclusively to the people of Israel, to the Jews, and that the state should be exclusively Jewish."

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The documentary "Israel's Next War" ran as an episode of the PBS series "Frontline" in April 2005, and was directed by Israeli Dan Setton. It focused on the rise of the religious right movement and the potentially negative role it could have in peace negotiations with the Palestinians.
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2014-30-19
Sunday, 19 Oct 2014 01:30 PM
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