Israeli families criticize HBO series on murder of Palestinian teenager

A new HBO drama is being criticized by Israeli activists and families for its look at the 2014 murder of a Palestinian teenager by Orthodox Jews in Israel. 

The backlash against “Our Boys” started earlier this month, The New York Times reported, when 120 families of Israeli soldiers and civilians killed by Palestinians demanded in a letter to HBO that the 10-part series note that Palestinian terrorism is statistically more prevalent than terrorism on the part of Israelis.

Yair Netanyahu, son of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin NetanyahuBenjamin (Bibi) NetanyahuMORE, then tweeted last week, “The series tells the whole world how the Israelis and Jews are cruel and bloodthirsty murderers, and how the Palestinians are badly done by and oppressed.”

Matan Peleg, the director of Im Tirtzu, a right-wing political group that is supporting the relatives and families who signed the letter, also called any comparison between Palestinian and Israeli terrorism “morally reprehensible,” the Times reported.


And in a since-deleted Facebook post, Avihu Gamliel, who was identified in local media reports as the brother of a member of a militant Jewish group in Israel, posted mug shots of the show's three Palestinian directors and said that followers should “remember these faces well,” according to the newspaper.

Some Palestinians have also criticized the show because its directors worked with an Israeli production company. 

Other critics have argued that the series does not delve into the Israeli occupation and that it blames some of the frenzy ahead of the murder on three Israeli mothers, whose sons’ kidnapping and murder by Palestinians was said to inspire the revenge attack against the Palestinian teen.

Muhammad Abu Khdeir was murdered five years ago by an Orthodox man and his two teenage nephews, who were all convicted and imprisoned. The murder came just two days after three Israeli teens’ bodies were found.  

The cases partially inspired the violence in the summer of 2014 that resulted in a 50-day war with Gaza, the Times noted.

Hussein Abu Khdeir, Muhammad’s father, said he and his wife, Suha, watched a few of the show’s episodes about the death of their son and its ensuing investigation.

“We cried a lot,” he told the newspaper. “It took us back five years.”

The Hill has reached out to HBO for comment.