Amid car­nage, fam­i­lies of the mur­dered reach out to ‘en­emy’

The Jewish Chronicle - - NEWS - BY SHIRA RU­BIN

THE KILLING of Muham­mad Abu Khdeir, 16-year-old res­i­dent of East Jerusalem found in the Jerusalem for­est on Wed­nes­day,wasas­sumed­to­beare­tri­bu­tion at­tack for last month’s ab­duc­tion and mur­der of three Is­raeli teenagers.

While the mur­der of Is­raeli and Pales­tinian teenagers has un­leashed calls for vengeance on both sides, there have also been re­mark­able ges­tures of con­do­lence.

In re­cent weeks, some young Is­raelis have posted self­ies hold­ing up slo­gans such as “Is­rael de­mands re­venge” or “Hat­ing Arabs isn’t racism, it’s ethics,” which re­ceived tens of thou­sands of “likes.” On the day of the fu­neral of the Is­raeli teenagers, hun­dreds of young Is­raelis filled the streets of Jerusalem chant­ing, “death to Arabs”.

But there have also been many calls for co­ex­is­tence and mu­tual sym­pa­thy over the loss of young Is­raeli and Pales­tinian lives. Rachel Frenkel, mother of Naf­tali, one of the three mur­dered Is­raeli teens, re­leased a state­ment con­demn­ing the “shed­ding of in­no­cent blood in de­fi­ance of all moral­ity, of the To­rah, of the foun­da­tion of the lives of our boys and of all of us in this coun­try.”

And Suha Abu Khdeir, mother of Muham­mad, wel­comed the news that six Is­raelis had con­fessed to the mur­der and were un­der cus­tody, al­though she doubted that any real jus­tice would come of it. Prime Min­is­ter Ben­jamin Ne­tanyahu was joined by politi­cians and the coun­try’s chief rab­bis in con­demn­ing the crime and call­ing for an end to in­cite­ment on both sides. “If Jews are be­com­ing killers, they will be put to court like any killer,” said Ne­tanyahu in a press con­fer­ence in South­ern Is­rael, which had come un­der in­creas­ing rocket fire from Gaza.

The Abu Khdeir fam­ily hosted sev­eral Is­raeli politi­cians in their mourn­ing tent on Mon­day, al­though plans for Pres­i­dent Shi­mon Peres to visit were can­celled af­ter se­cu­rity con­cerns.

A large group of 350 Is­raelis from the Tag Meir coali­tion — an or­gan­i­sa­tion that op­poses the “Price Tag” at­tacks per­pe­trated by some set­tlers against Pales­tini­ans — vis­ited the Abu Khdeirs.

Last week, Tag Meir or­gan­ised a rally in Jerusalem at­tended by thou­sands who, ac­cord­ing to the or­gan­i­sa­tion, wanted “to speak out against the ugly vi­o­lence that has reared its head over the past week in Is­rael”.

Rachel Frenkel

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.