One of the most interesting parts of the television series Our Boys, created by a Palestinian and Israeli team, was the judgement of the court. It was read by an elderly Justice with stern cadences of belief in its truth. Yet, “the truth” was not endorsed by either side.
The judge noted that the days in Jerusalem after the kidnapping of the 3 Israeli boys had been tense. People gathered in frenzied crowds yelling “Death to Arabs.” 3 Jewish boys took this literally. They were good boys from fine families. They were deeply religious. The judge did not say it, but I will, they were “Our boys.” Though so was the young Palestinian victim and the 3 Jewish boys that had been kidnapped.
As the judge did say, “This was the shaft through which the 3 plunged into the dark tunnel of hatred and racism from which they emerged that night, yet the troubling thought persists from what well did the 3 drink such quantities of hatred and racism that blinded them so terribly that bashing and suffocating the head, and burning a human being created in God’s image, seemed to make sense? What did the defendants learn and internalize at the various stages of their education and upbringing that enabled the unbearable lightness with which they took the life of a young Arab boy?” These are profound thoughts. But there is little evidence anyone paid attention. They were too consumed by hatred. Not long afterwards the country was plunged into war—again.
At the end of the film we do not see justice. We do not see revenge? We don’t see the majesty of the law. Guilt is not important. The sentence is not significant. The mathematics of crime and punishment is false. All we see is a mother’s pain. Her son is dead and he was killed horribly. Nothing else matters. The mother’s pain is real and it endures. Nothing else endures. Nothing at all.