Lori Lowenthal Marcus @LoriLMarcus
This review should be required reading for every viewer of the series “Our Boys.” And for all who, wisely, choose not to see it.
“Our Boys”: The HBO Series Uses a Jewish Tragedy to Condemn Israeli Society
It’s a despicable misrepresentation of truth.
Whoever had any part in producing the new HBO 10 part series teasingly titled “Our Boys” should be profoundly ashamed – and whoever is misled into believing that they will have an opportunity to see a fair re-creation of the events in 2014 that began with the kidnapping and murders of three Israeli teenagers leading up to the Gaza war of that horrible summer deserves a fair warning: This is perhaps one of the most outrageous and deceitful distortions of a historically significant moment in the story of Israel’s struggle with barbaric acts of terrorism.
The way the story played out in fact begins with three 16-year-old religious Israelis, Eyal Yifrach, Gilad Shaar, and Naftali Fraenkel, (full disclosure: Naftali was my cousin) deciding to hitchhike at Alon Shvut in Gush Etzion. Picked up by Arabs, they almost immediately realized they were being kidnapped and one of them was able surreptitiously to call the police. The police heard gunshots but didn’t know anymore. The entire country joined in a paroxysm of fear, prayer and hope. The mood of Israel was perhaps the finest example of its potential for unity, total and complete caring and sharing as one national family.
The three-week countrywide search for the boys and the passage of days seemed interminable. The ending, finally finding the bodies of the three victims, brought unparalleled grief and mourning not only to all Israelis but to Jews around the world. The thought that three young innocents could suddenly and inexplicably no longer carry on with their lives, that their families would no longer hug them or watch them grow to maturity touched a national nerve and their murders became traumatic for a whole people.
Surely anyone choosing to make a documentary-type series would have an inordinate amount of material for a profoundly moving movie. More, these three teenagers were exemplary and unique with fascinating stories about their special talents and their almost saintly character. Their parents, too, were people of extraordinary achievements and the ways in which they subsequently dealt with their tragedies were the basis for countless numbers of inspirational interviews and articles.
None of what I suggested made it into HBO’s “Our Boys.” Not the boys, not the parents. In fact the story as HBO chooses to tell doesn’t even begin with its true beginning. You see there was another tragedy that followed. Three days after the revelation of the murder of the three Israelis a 16-year-old Palestinian, Mohammed Abu Khdeir, was the innocent victim of a revenge killing by three crazed Jews, a murder that horrified the entire country.