If you do throw your hat into the ring, you invite the scorn of two writers, Raphael Magarik at Open Zion, who didn’t like our take on the Boianjiu story, and New Jersey Jewish News editor Andrew Silow-Carroll. Can you take the heat?
In large part because it is told from the soldier’s point of view, anti-Zionist blogs like Mondoweiss declared the story “propagandistic fiction”; on the New Yorker’s own site, commenters called the story “one-sided” and “Nakba-Denying IDF porn.”
…the story is nothing like that. Rather, a troubled female officer heads a four-person checkpoint along a road upon which (irony alert) no one travels. Three Palestinians — two adults and a child — approach the checkpoint and politely request that the soldiers suppress their “demonstration” so that their grievances make it into the newspapers. The ensuing action plays out like an outtake from Catch-22— the officer is seen reading carefully through the absurd army instructions about when to use shock grenades, rubber bullets, and tear gas to put down a demonstration, while the Palestinian trio patiently awaits her decision.
Some critics insist the story unduly celebrates Israel’s vaunted “rules of engagement,” intended to minimize civilian casualties. Maybe it’s my pro-Israel bias, but I thought the story suggested exactly the opposite….