THE 50 YEARS WAR: ISRAEL AND THE ARABS PART 3 OF 15
The 50 Years War concentrates on political events (mostly wars) and is choke-full of archival footage, revealing interviews with just about every principal participant, and is as unbiased as one can possibly get without being accused of some hidden agenda. It is quite long (5 hours) and is split into six 50-minute episodes ranging from the U.N. partitioning in 1947 to the breakdown of the Oslo Accords that began in 1998.
There is very little about the Israeli Defense Forces, which is somewhat odd given the social and political role the IDF plays in Israel. There is no glorification of combat either despite the stunning tactical and strategic achievements of that small army. In fact, the documentary very quickly disposes of fighting and jumps into the politics of negotiations (or shunning).
The film does show something that many would rather forget: the fact that the endless plight of the Palestinians has been prolonged by their own leaders and the surrounding Arab states, not just Israel. The film frankly depicts how the Palestinian extremists tried to take over Jordan and, having failed, how King Hussein drove them out for destabilizing the country. It then shows how they tried to do the same in Lebanon where they ran into the opposition of the Christians who had their own ax to grind with the Muslim Lebanese. So the Palestinians were driven out of there as well. Not to mention (and the film does not) that other Arab states strongly discouraged the refugees from settling permanently within their borders, both because they would be an expensive drain on the economies (at least for a while) and because they could still be useful against Israel.
Branislav L. Slantchev