It’s the ultimate tear-jerker, the story of a nation distraught with worry, terrified with uncertainty and united in prayer for the lives of three boys abducted by evil terrorists. It’s the story of summer 2014, when Eyal Yifrach(16) Gilad Shaar, 16, and Naftali Fraenkel, 19, decided to hitchhike home from Alon Shvut in Gush Etzion. The three realized that they had been abducted, managed somehow to call police and then were cruelly murdered by the terrorists in the car with the gunshots caught live on the cellphone. It took three weeks to find their bodies- three weeks in which the people of Israel hoped, prayed and dreamed that the boys were somehow still alive until the awful truth became apparent.

It should and could be a story about Jewish solidarity, about prayer vigils and acts of kindness performed in the merit of the boys. It could focus on the teenagers themselves, boys who were exemplary and unique with fascinating stories about their special talents and their almost saintly characters. Their parents, too, are people of extraordinary achievements and the movie could focus on how they dealt with the crushing blow and what they did to perpetuate the memories of their children.

Somehow HBO succeeds in missing all of this in its new 10-part feature entitled “Our Boys.” The title is an example of the equivocation and subtle distortion employed by HBO. Just days after the grisly, premeditated abduction and murders, which were celebrated noisily by all the Arabs in Judea and Samaria, without anyone expressing reservations about the baseless murder of non-combatant children who had never held weapons in anger, three crazed Jews murdered an Arab boy, Mohammed Abu Khdeir, in a horrific manner. This revenge killing was immediately condemned by the entire Israeli public. No stipend was offered to the families of the murderers and they were sentenced to long jail sentences despite two of them being minors. No candies were handed out to celebrate the death of an Arab and no attempts were made to justify the senseless murder.

“Our Boys” however aims to equate between the two murders, to depict the cycle of violence both of Jews and Arabs as morally repugnant despite the huge difference between the level of violence and vitriol on both sides. The movie doesn’t even focus on the three boys or on their parents, but instead centers on the parents of the Arab boy and their bereavement. Viewers only see “our boys” who murdered the Arab boy and thus do not get a chance to empathize with the parents of the three boys or identify with their sorrow.

Thus, “Our Boys”, despite being produced both by Israelis and Arabs, manages to twist a Jewish tragedy into a condemnation of Israeli society, as if Israel itself were responsible for the abduction due to the act of vengeance perpetrated afterwards. The ability to pervert history is truly mind-boggling.

As reported by Vos Iz Neias