Why is HBO’s ‘Our Boys’ Facing Calls of Boycott from Israel?

Published September 2nd, 2019 - 10:53 GMT


Since “Our Boys” series was aired earlier this month on HBO, Israel’s right-wing activists have harshly criticized the show and attacked its producers accusing them of focusing on the Palestinian side of the story while ignoring the other narrative.

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The HBO-produced show, “Our Boys”, has been co-created by Israeli and Palestinian filmmakers who confirmed their commitment to present a dramatized rendition of June 2014 events that led to the Gaza war, by having an Israeli producer for the Israeli part of the story and another Palestinian producer for the Palestinian part.

The events included the kidnapping and murder of Mohammed Abu Khdeir, the 14-year-old Palestinian boy who was burnt alive by Israeli teenagers. His brutal murder was believed to come in response to the abduction and murder of three Israeli teens which escalated tensions and triggered Israel’s attack on Gaza.

The 10-episode series “Our Boys”, categorized as the first entirely Hebrew/Arabic-language series to be aired on the US cable giant, has been described as one of the few, if not only, international shows depicting real events and not weaponizing political agendas to narrate a story.

The show has been praised among Palestinians and Arabs. However, Israelis said it focuses on the Palestinian point of view without providing enough on the other one.

The right-wing in Israel led by the Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu has triggered calls to boycott the show and the producing company, HBO, for the “anti-semitism” it contains.

In a post he shared on Facebook and deleted later, Netanyahu also claimed “Our Boys” features anti-Israel propaganda as “it is distributed internationally and besmirches the good name of Israel,".

While some attributed Netanyahu’s attack to the fact that the show addressed leaked reports of the police investigation into corruption charges against him.

In response, Hagai Levy, one of the show's creators said the “portrayal of the Abu Khdeir family is not a portrayal of a grieving family, but a broader story of a private person who sunk into grief and almost reluctantly became a political figure, a symbol”.

Netanyahu’s remarks were widely condemned and have sparked conversation on Netanyahu’s pre-election assault on the media.


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