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Israel Documentary Reviews: Viewers on 'Elusive Peace: Israel and the Arabs'

Image: Israel Documentary Reviews: Viewers on 'Elusive Peace: Israel and the Arabs'
President Bush, center, puts his arms around Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas, left, and Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, right, following the conclusion of their joint statements at Bahar Palace, Wednesday, June 4, 2003 in Aqaba, Jordan. (UPI/Landov)  

By    |   Sunday, 19 Oct 2014 01:38 PM

The three-part 2006 documentary "Elusive Peace: Israel and the Arabs," produced by PBS, follows the period between 1999 and 2005, when a constantly escalating and seemingly neverending cycle of Middle East violence made the Arab-Israeli peace talks dangerous.

The film focuses on the final years of the Arab-Israeli peace process from the point of view of American presidents and Israeli prime ministers and their advisers, as well as those behind the suicide bombs and assassinations, and shows the progression of peace talks against the backdrop of the rising Palestinian intifada.

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"I will keep this short and sweet," wrote Amazon.com reviewer Hamid Nabhani on Jan. 7, 2009. "PBS puts out many great documentaries and this is one of them. It is a very well-done and thoroughly researched documentary containing interviews with many key participants. I was glued to my television for the entire three hours. My attention span usually doesn't last past 20 minutes. Get this DVD!"

The seven reviews posted on Amazon, written between 2007-13, were largely positive.

"This DVD provides an exceptional look into the most recent peace process in the Middle East," wrote Richard M. Lagiewski on Aug. 22, 2007. "It also gives insight into the main players and how they go about negotiating such a difficult process. The footage of the players that don't always make the mass media coverage is very in-depth and makes you feel like you're there in the midst of the negotiations. [It's] very detailed and fast moving at the same time — one cannot [help but] come away feeling more educated and informed about the trials and tribulations of this neverending story."

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One criticism, from Amazon reviewer Daniel W. Stoker on Dec. 28, 2008, thought the interviews were solid, but felt that "there is not much background info." Still, "the documentary deals mainly with recent (1990-2005) developments in the conflict. [It's a] great DVD for those who have a knowledge of the conflict."

The film is broken into three parts around President Bill Clinton from 1999-2000, Yasser Arafat from 2001-2002, and Israeli Prime Ministers Ariel Sharon from 2003 to 2005.

The documentary won the 2007 Alfred I. DuPont-Columbia University Award for broadcast journalism.

"I was very impressed with this impartial account of the Arab world and the Israelis, and the peace that always seems to be just beyond their grasp," wrote reviewer Aurelie Ledoyen on IMDB.com. "You learn about Jerusalem, and which parts of that holy city are important to Muslims, and which are important to the Jews. ... I never knew that Bill Clinton and Colin Powell had done so much to aid in this effort of peace between the two; and I am proud of them both."

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The three-part 2006 documentary "Elusive Peace: Israel and the Arabs," produced by PBS, follows the period between 1999 and 2005, when a constantly escalating and seemingly neverending cycle of Middle East violence made the Arab-Israeli peace talks dangerous.
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