Nava Mizrahi for Israel and the Arabs, Elusive Peace

Brook Lapping   |   UK

Sharon (2003-2005) President Bush was determined to stay out of Middle East peace-making. But his war in Iraq forced him to court Arab allies. He needed to push Israel's Prime Minister Ariel Sharon back toward peace - but then Sharon moved the goal posts. The final programme in a major three-part documentary series, Israel and the Arabs: Elusive Peace, in which Presidents and Prime Ministers, their generals and ministers - and those behind the suicide bombs and assassinations - tell what happened behind closed doors as they try to get the peace process up and running after two years of intifada. Reasons for Submission: Local Israeli researcher was Nava Mizrahi, whose persistence and knowledge of the Israeli archives was unique. Nava's masterpiece is in episode 3. She made so many demands the government archive finally left her to copy things herself. She discovered film from the Aqaba summit of the top Israeli and Palestinian security ministers discussing together how to deal with Hamas. They had no idea they were being filmed. It was the biggest scoop in the series. Nava spent weeks persuading the government press office to release film of Prime Minister Barak playing the piano. The director was scornful – “we'll never use that” – then we interviewed Barak, and he talked about how he played Chopin while waiting for his first meeting with Yasser Arafat. We built the whole opening sequence around it – and used piano playing as the link between sections. Two days before the online, we heard that Barak needed to approve the use – and he denied it. The archive said Barak hated to be filmed playing, and no other shots existed. We rang Nava in panic. She said calmly “I have seen some elsewhere, let me think.” The day of the online a tape arrived from Israel of 20 seconds of Barak playing the same piece – it fitted perfectly.