“Our Boys” May Be Good Television, but Its Message Is Unquestionably Anti-Israel

The miniseries Our Boys—created, directed, and acted by Israelis and released simultaneously in the U.S. and Israel—takes place in the summer or 2014, on the eve of the Gaza war. At its heart is the abduction and brutal murder of Mohammed Abu Khdeir, an Arab Jerusalemite, by three religious Jews, and the police who identify and capture the perpetrators. While calling the series “a drama of uncommon power,” Stephen Daisley finds it deeply flawed:

What Our Boys does not tell is the story of Eyal Yifrach, Gilad Shaar, and Naftali Fraenkel. They were the Israeli teenagers whose deaths inspired [Abu Khdeir’s murderers]. The yeshiva students were abducted while hitchhiking home from Alon Shvut in Gush Etzion, a hill-scattered region south of Jerusalem and frequent target of Palestinian terrorism. Despite police efforts, their mothers’ appeals, and prayer vigils in Rabin Square, their bodies were found dumped in a field eighteen days later. They had been shot at close range.

The yeshiva boys of Gush Etzion, like thousands of other Israeli victims of homicidal Palestinian anti-Semitism, do not long detain the plot of Our Boys. [We] learn nothing about them. On the other hand, we learn that Mohammed, the Arab victim, went to the mosque faithfully, that he was planning to meet up with a girl from Turkey, and that he preferred flirting with her on WhatsApp to working for his father.

This is a series that communicates a particular perspective on Israel to a particular audience, namely Americans. Brian Lowry has given the game away on CNN.com, writing that the series “puts faces on a conflict often seen—especially in the U.S.—from a distant aerial view.” . . . [W]e can infer that what he means by “distant aerial view” is a view insufficiently sympathetic to the Palestinians. Our Boys does put faces on the conflict—but its Arab faces are almost entirely sympathetic while its Israeli faces are crazed settlers, racist cops, and a smattering of well-meaning liberals trying their best in a suffocatingly hateful society.

Critics have accused the drama of moral equivalence, but in truth there is no equivalence: the introspection is entirely one-sided. All the harsh truths are broken to Israelis, all the urgent conversations about race and hatred are to be held in Hebrew. With the macho-liberal bravado of the Israeli center, Our Boys tells Israelis to shape up but has nothing to say to Palestinians.

Read more at Commentary

More about: Palestinian terror, Protective Edge, Television

While Israel Is Distracted on Two Fronts, Iran Is on the Verge of Building Nuclear Weapons

Iran recently announced its plans to install over 1,000 new advanced centrifuges at its Fordow nuclear facility. Once they are up and running, the Institute for Science and International Security assesses, Fordow will be able to produce enough highly enriched uranium for three nuclear bombs in a mere ten days. The U.S. has remained indifferent. Jacob Nagel writes:

For more than two decades, Iran has continued its efforts to enhance its nuclear-weapons capability—mainly by enriching uranium—causing Israel and the world to concentrate on the fissile material. The International Atomic Energy Agency recently confirmed that Iran has a huge stockpile of uranium enriched to 60 percent, as well as more enriched to 20 percent, and the IAEA board of governors adopted the E3 (France, Germany, UK) proposed resolution to censure Iran for the violations and lack of cooperation with the agency. The Biden administration tried to block it, but joined the resolution when it understood its efforts to block it had failed.

To clarify, enrichment of uranium above 20 percent is unnecessary for most civilian purposes, and transforming 20-percent-enriched uranium to the 90-percent-enriched product necessary for producing weapons is a relatively small step. Washington’s reluctance even to express concern about this development appears to stem from an unwillingness to acknowledge the failures of President Obama’s nuclear policy. Worse, writes Nagel, it is turning a blind eye to efforts at weaponization. But Israel has no such luxury:

Israel must adopt a totally new approach, concentrating mainly on two main efforts: [halting] Iran’s weaponization actions and weakening the regime hoping it will lead to its replacement. Israel should continue the fight against Iran’s enrichment facilities (especially against the new deep underground facility being built near Natanz) and uranium stockpiles, but it should not be the only goal, and for sure not the priority.

The biggest danger threatening Israel’s existence remains the nuclear program. It would be better to confront this threat with Washington, but Israel also must be fully prepared to do it alone.

Read more at Ynet

More about: Iran nuclear program, Israeli Security, Joseph Biden, U.S. Foreign policy