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31 Aug, 2019 09:52

‘Anti-Semitic’: Benjamin Netanyahu slams HBO series about murder of Palestinian

‘Anti-Semitic’: Benjamin Netanyahu slams HBO series about murder of Palestinian

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has called for a boycott of the producers of a HBO series which, he says, is “anti-Semitic” and “slanders Israel.”

Netanyahu took to Facebook to call for a boycott of “propaganda” Channel 12 and its owner Keshet for creating the show ‘Our Boys’, which he says “besmirches the good name of Israel.” He urged his followers to stop watching the channel, especially those who have a ratings meter in their homes. 

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‘Our Boys’ tells the story of the murder of Palestinian Mohammed Abu Khdeir, who was kidnapped and burned alive by two Israeli teenagers and an adult in 2014. 

Netanyahu slammed the series for not focusing on the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teenagers, who had been killed by Hamas militants before Khdeir’s kidnapping, sparking riots and Israel’s war on Gaza in 2014. 

Netanyahu was criticized at the time for using the Jewish boy’s deaths as a pretext to carry out raids and arrest hundreds of Palestinians, and for the subsequent assault on Gaza, which saw 1,462 Palestinian civilians, including 551 children, killed by the Israel Defense Forces. The assault also destroyed much of Gaza’s infrastructure and homes, with over 6,000 air strikes in 50 days. 

“We were drawn to understanding the perpetrators of this murder more than we were interested in understanding the victimhood of our side,” Hagai Levi, one of the filmmakers, told Drama Quarterly about the motivation for the show.

Netanyahu is no fan of Channel 12 and said he was “used to them blackmailing me on a daily basis.” On Friday the High Court rejected a petition by his Likud party to stop the channel from publishing matters about corruption cases against him. 

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Families of victims of terrorism in Israel have also written a letter criticizing the series, saying it gave the wrong impression of Israelis. “The balance is not clear to someone viewing the show, who thinks ‘we murder them, they murder us’,” Merav Hajaj, whose daughter, a soldier, was killed in a Palestinian car-ramming incident in 2017, told Reuters. 

The Netanyahu government arguably tainted its own reputation internationally for its treatment of Palestinian protesters at the Great Return March demonstrations over the last 17 months, in which over 200Palestinians, including medics and journalists, have been killed by Israeli forces. 

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