The problem with Israel is not the left or the right, the settlers or the Arabs, the secular or the Haredi. It’s the centrists. How can you encounter a proposition like Israel with equanimity? What cool detachment is required to forgo zeal in the most zealously disputed land on earth? Be for it or be against it, but be something.

The weary pragmatism of the Israeli center takes human form in Simon (Shlomi Elkabetz), the lead character of HBO’s Our Boys. This 10-part miniseries in Hebrew and Arabic documents the real-life murder of a Palestinian teenager in a summer 2014 revenge attack. Simon, a portmanteau character meant to represent several Israeli domestic-intelligence agents, profiles the killers and is first to determine that they are Jewish terrorists. Initially, his theory is dismissed by everyone from his superiors to his mother because, as another officer explains: “Jews don’t do something like this.”


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