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The 50 Years War: Israel and the Arabs (1999)

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Credited cast:
Abba Eban Abba Eban ... Himself
Will Lyman ... Narrator (voice)


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The Real Stories behind the headlines
28 January 2001 | by rjspenceSee all my reviews

For anyone who's the least bit interested in international history and politics this is a fascinating documentary. The story of the Israeli-Arab conflict from 1947 to 1998 has been written about in newspapers and depicted in newscasts. Always, however, one has been left with the incomplete story, or a story reported with a slant. Here is something very different. The politicians, the generals, the terrorists, the peacemakers, the citizens - so very many of the important people who were involved in this history provide us with insightful present-day interviews into what was happening when they themselves were making history over the past 50 year period. To hear President Jimmy Carter explain how and why Anwar Sadat almost stormed out of the Camp David peace talks before a deal was reached makes and how he managed to salvage this situation at the last minute; to hear the top military brass of Syria explain why he was terrified at the prospect of a face to face meeting with Israelis (because it has never before happened) - these are the kinds of glimpses into history that make this documentary the success that it is. It is near-perfect.

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