Israel: Facing the Future

Wed Apr 17, 9-10pm, BBC2

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Time Out Ratings

<strong>Rating: </strong>4/5


It’s saying something when the most optimistic appraisal of Israel’s prospects for a peaceful future comes from a former director of Mossad. And when that appraisal is that a deal between Israel and its neighbours will be reached, but ‘not before one minute to midnight’. John Ware’s careful documentary illustrates the apparent impossibility of maintaining Israel as both Jewish and democratic in an atmosphere of militarism, extremism and siege mentality, all synthesised into the bleak potency of religious nationalism.

An hour is hardly long enough to cover the myriad confusions over identity, land and ideology, and the focus inevitably falls on the West Bank. But it’s as balanced as one could reasonably expect and features enlightening diversions into the popular culture of music and soap opera. The conclusion: only by curbing its obsession with the past can Israel really face the future.


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