NYS Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver:
The tragic news of the murder of the three Israeli students is profoundly disheartening. My thoughts and prayers are with the families of these bright and innocent young men, as well as with the State of Israel and parents everywhere who want nothing more than to raise their children in world free from violence and hate.
The kidnapping and coldblooded murder of Jewish boys by Hamas makes clear to the world yet again that attempting to tame savagery with reason is utter futility. Hamas will never embrace peace and civility.
I call upon President Obama and Secretary of State Kerry to end the futility and break off all negotiations with the Palestinian Authority until it ceases to be a haven and a shield for Hamas terrorists.
These murders will be met with swiftness and severity, and a message will remain clear that the Jewish State will never be driven from the civilized world.
Statement from Agudath Israel:
Agudath Israel of America joins Jews and civilized people the world over in anguish and agony over the news of the vicious murders of the three boys kidnapped on June 12, Naftali Fraenkel Gil-ad Shaar and Eyal Yifrach, Hy”d.
This horrific act is, in the end, not a crime against Israel or Jews alone, but against humanity – in both senses of the word. It bespeaks the deepest and most revolting inhumanity imaginable, the seizing of innocent, idealistic young people and the casual snuffing out of their lives and futures.
Hamas and its allies, which now include the Palestinian Authority, are ultimately responsible for these premeditated, heinous murders. The hatred and incitement that have characterized so much of the campaign to establish a new Arab state alongside Israel are what have yielded these young lifeless bodies, and all the death and destruction born of Arab terrorism over the years.
There are those who believe that all people are, deep down, good. Hamas and its friends, along with other terrorist groups and rogue nations like Iran, give the lie to that lovely but naïve fantasy.
It is our hope that the nations of the free world and their leaders fully confront that fact and comprehend its implications.
Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations:
Robert G. Sugarman, Chairman, and Malcolm Hoenlein, Executive Vice Chairman, of Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations Issued the following statement:
“We are horrified and devastated by the reports, now confirmed, that the three boys Eyal Yifrach, Gilad Shaar, and Naftali Fraenkel, kidnapped on June 12th, have been found dead in the Hebron area. We have communicated our condolences and solidarity to the families and Government of Israel and pray that they will be comforted amongst the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem. Those responsible for this heinous and barbaric crime and those who aid and abet them, support them, and inspire them must be brought to swift justice and be punished to the fullest extent of the law. It is time that the world stand in unity against those who advocate and execute, as well as justify, the murder of innocent young people who are brutally butchered in Israel or anywhere. It cannot be met by indifference or pro-forma expressions of sympathy. For too long the threats against Israel, including missiles and terrorism, have elicited limited responses, with the roles of victims and perpetrators inverted. It must stop.”
“For now we mourn together with all the people of Israel and all who value human life. May their memories be for a blessing.”
NYC Councilman David Greenfield:
Councilman David G. Greenfield releases the following statement after reports that the bodies of the three kidnapped yeshiva students, Gilad Shaar, Naftali Frenkel and Eyal Yifrach, have been found:
“Today is a tragic day for all people of good conscience,” said Councilman David Greenfield. “Only barbarians would kidnap and murder innocent children in cold blood. The international community must unite to find the individual terrorists responsible and bring them to justice. More immediately, the Palestinian Authority must immediately withdraw from their coalition with the terrorist organization Hamas that praised these horrific acts.”
Statement By Senator Felder:
“The Jewish people and the world-at-large have suffered a terrible loss with the brutal murders of these bright, kind, and promising young men. There are simply no words to describe the profound devastation we are all feeling at this moment.
If any good can be found in this unspeakable tragedy, it’s that people from around the world – Jew and non-Jew alike – came together to express solidarity with the families and the Jewish nation during this terrible time, and to take a definitive stand against terrorism.
My heart goes out to the Frankel, Yifrach and Shaar families. May Naftali, Eyal and Gilad’s memories be for a blessing, and may the Frankel, Yifrach and Shaar families know of no more sorrow. Hashem Yinkom Damam.”
Brooklyn Boro President Eric Adams:
“Brooklyn mourns the loss of life that was discovered today in Israel, as three teenagers, one of whom with significant ties to our borough, were found deceased. Their disappearance had a deep impact on many Brooklynites, not only our Jewish brothers and sisters but people in general that believe in basic human decency. Protecting innocent children is paramount; it is a fight we are engaged in from Nigeria to Nostrand Avenue, from Israel to India Street. I urge the international community to demand that justice prevail.”
Council Member Stephen Levin:
“I am appalled and outraged by this vicious and ruthless act of terrorism. This tragedy touches the lives of people throughout the world and my prayers are with the families and loved ones of the three students. Those who believe in the value and sanctity of human life must unite to bring the terrorists who committed these horrendous acts to justice.”
World Jewish Congress:
News that the three Israeli teenagers kidnapped by terrorists on 12 June 2014 from a hitchhiking point in Gush Etzion near the West Bank city of Hebron were murdered was met with shock and outrage by the leaders of the World Jewish Congress (WJC). WJC President Ronald S. Lauder said the thoughts of the entire international Jewish community were with the families of Naphtali Fraenkel, Gilad Sha’ar and Eyal Yifrach. The bodies of the three were discovered on Monday near the site of their abduction.
Israeli authorities have evidence that the abduction was done by members of the Islamist Hamas movement, which runs the Gaza Strip and recently entered into agreement with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah group.
“We are beyond shocked, outraged and heartbroken by these despicable murders. Once again, Hamas has revealed its true colors: This group blatantly disregards human life, and it doesn’t even refrain from hijacking innocent teenagers. Those who committed this heinous crime must be hunted down and brought to justice.
“Clearly, Hamas is a terrorist organization, and it must be dismantled, and it is the responsibility of Mahmoud Abbas to remove all Hamas-linked officials from his government immediately and fight terrorism vigorously and urgently. Abu Mazen needs to show leadership now,” Lauder declared.
He also urged the international community, and in particular the United States and the European Union, to halt all financial support for the Palestinian Authority until Hamas is excluded from all government bodies. “This murder must spur the world into action, and the fight against fanatic, extremist groups such as Hamas must be stepped up urgently,” said the WJC president.
NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer:
I am appalled and deeply saddened by the news that the bodies of three missing Israeli boys – Naftali, Gilad and Eyal – have now been found. This deplorable crime, the murder of innocent children, has no place in any civilized society. My heart goes out to the families and friends of these boys as they deal with unimaginable grief and sorrow, and I stand with Israel in demanding that those responsible be brought to justice.
Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz:
Calling the deaths of these three Israeli teenagers a senseless act of terrorism does not seem strong enough. This was an act of barbarism: blatant, premeditated cruelty that shows no respect for human decency or for human life.
I join all good people in the U.S., Israel and throughout the world in condemning this tragic turn of events. We hope and pray that those responsible will be captured quickly and punished appropriately. We send our fervent prayers to the families of Gilad Shaar, Eyal Yifrach and Naftali Fraenkel and join them in their unimaginable grief. Their sons were our sons and their pain is our pain.
Let us all hug our own children a little tighter today in memory of these three boys. At the same time, let us rededicate ourselves to the pursuit of peace, a mission that must never be abandoned even in the face of the deepest despair.
The Simon Wiesenthal Center:
The Simon Wiesenthal Center expresses its condolences and total solidarity with the families of Eyal Yifrach, Gilad Shaar and Naftali Frenkel whose bodies were recovered near Hebron. “This is not a time for ambiguity, but for decisive action. Those are our children who were murdered by Hamas. But make no mistake – the leadership of that terrorist organization is already planning the next attack against women and children,” they continued. “President Obama must act by sending an unmistakable message to President Abbas: Are you the leader of a government that seeks peace or the leader who accepts murderers of children as part of his government?”
“President Obama must tell Abbas to End Unity Government with Hamas or US Aid to PA Will End,” said Rabbi Marvin Hier and Abraham Cooper, dean and associate dean (respectively) of the Simon Wiesenthal Center said today. “Mashaal’s Endorsement of Israeli Teens’ Kidnapping is an organization of terror and murder worthy of any contact with the United States or the European Union,” they said. “President Obama must tell the Palestinian people that peace and Hamas are mutually exclusive and that the US will no longer agree to any contact with a Palestinian government where any member of Hamas – whether political, military, or technocrat,” Hier and Cooper concluded.
Assemblyman Dov Hikind:
I am heartsick over the news from Israel.
These three boys—innocent in every way—united us. They brought us together in prayer and the common purpose of self determination. Of demonstrating our humanitarianism in a world too often besieged with the inhumane.
Today we stand with our heads hung low, but not in shame.
We cannot fathom the hatred of those who would perpetrate such an act. We cannot fathom those who applaud such things, celebrate the murder of innocents because of their religion or nationality. Because they are Jews.
It is not just about those who would murder us but those who would ask us to exercise restraint. To be so naïve is to be a willing victim. We must learn something from history.
It was only months ago that Abbas began to create a government with these savages—with people who don’t value human life. And too many applauded this. Too many forgot the lesson of “peace in our time” with those whose stated purpose is our destruction.
My hearts, and the hearts of our nation, are with the families of these three innocent boys, martyred because they chose to live in the lands of their forefathers. May G-d protect their families and console them with the other mourners of Zion and Jerusalem.
Council Member Chaim Deutsch:
“I was deeply saddened to learn of the horrific murder of Eyal Yifrach, Gilad Shaar, and Naftali Frenkel,” said Council Member Deutsch. “The world has watched the 18-day search for these boys with bated breath, hoping and praying for their safe return. This horrendous outcome is a painful and glaring reminder of the evil that exists in this world, and I join with my colleagues and the international community in demanding justice for the murdered young men. My heart and prayers go out to the grieving families.”
Congressman Brad Sherman (D-CA):
“I am deeply saddened by the death of the three Israeli teens, one of whom was also an American citizen. There is substantial evidence that this murder is the responsibility of Hamas. We must bring to justice, not only the murderers, but their commanders. Earlier this month, I attended a press conference with my colleagues on the Foreign Affairs Committee calling for the safe release of these boys. We met with family of Israeli-American teen Naftali Frenkel. My deepest sympathies go out to the all the families and loved ones of the three boys.”
RCA and OU Statement:
We cry out in anguish and in outrage at the unspeakable horror of today’s announcement that the three teens, whom Jews and so many other people of good will around the world dared to hope would be found and returned safely to their families, were instead murdered in cold blood by their Hamas kidnappers, apparently shortly after their abduction 18 days ago.
The Rabbinical Council of America and the Orthodox Union, with the rest of acheinu kol beis Yisroel (our brothers, the entire nation of Israel), mourn this unthinkable tragedy, this worst possible end to the search for Naftali Frenkel, 16; Gil-Ad Shaar, 16; and Eyal Yifrach, 19. This is, unfortunately, only the latest episode in which innocent lives have been snuffed out by adherents of a murderous, amoral death cult sworn to the destruction of Israel, and the genocide of the Jewish people.
The Orthodox Union and the Rabbinical Council of America offer their profound condolences to the families of these three boys, whom we have all come to think of as our own sons. Naftali, Gil-Ad and Eyal were our family, our brothers. The world needs to recognize, as it often fails to do, the nature of the enemies that are arrayed against Israel and the level of inhumanity of which they are capable. We join in the call for swift and resolute punishment for the perpetrators of this atrocity, and call upon world leaders to continue to affirm that such heinous tactics have no place in the civilized world.
The recurring theme expressed by the courageous mothers of the teens, as they saw the throngs who joined with them in support, is the unity of the Jewish people. Before, we were unified in prayer and hope for the boys’ safe return. Now, tragically, we are unified in grief.
May the families, the people of Israel, all those who stood with the families and held them in their hearts and prayers, be comforted among the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem.
Young Israel Statement:
“The National Council of Young Israel expresses its deepest sympathies and heartfelt condolences to the Yifrach, Shaar, and Frenkel families, as well as to the State of Israel, on the tragic deaths of Eyal Yifrach, Gilad Shaar, and Naftali Frenkel.
“The barbaric and cowardly act that claimed the lives of Eyal, Gilad, and Naftali is a sobering reminder of the terrorist threat that the State of Israel perpetually faces and the callous disregard for human life that is constantly exhibited by the terrorists whose primary goal is to destroy the Jewish State and obliterate its citizenry. The perpetrators of this sadistic act must be held accountable and brought to justice, and the international community must respond accordingly and immediately condemn these brutal murders in the strongest terms possible. Civilized people all over the world should be outraged at the murder of these innocent children.
“The horrific murder of these three boys occurred in territory controlled by the Palestinian Authority, which has become a safe haven for terrorists that take great pride in murdering Jews. There need to be changes put in place to ensure that this gruesome and senseless murder of three Jewish teenagers is the last such heinous crime.
“We reiterate our call for the United States to halt all aid to the Palestinian Authority until they end their contemptible practice of naming streets after terrorists and promoting as heroes those who murder Jews.
“By entering into a unity government with the terrorist organization Hamas, the Palestinian Authority ran afoul of the provisions of the United States’ annual appropriations bills, which clearly state that no aid is permitted for a power-sharing government between the Palestinian Authority and Hamas, and that no aid is allowed for Hamas or entities controlled by Hamas. The United States must follow the law and cease sending funds to the Palestinian Authority in light of this egregious breach and in the wake of this unspeakable tragedy involving three innocent boys.
“In addition, if the Palestinian Authority does not break from Hamas and end the incitement that permeates its communities, the United States should take the necessary steps to downgrade the Palestinian Authority’s diplomatic status as a strong rebuke for embracing Hamas and glorifying terrorism.
“A public statement condemning a kidnapping is mere words, but the actions of naming streets after murderers and giving safe havens to terrorists needs to change now, and aid must be stopped at a minimum until these critical changes take place.
“We pray that G-d will grant the strength to the victims’ families to persevere and overcome their unspeakable anguish and profound grief. May G-d comfort the Yifrach, Shaar, and Frenkel families among the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem.”
Secretary of State John Kerry:
The news of the murder of these three Israeli teenagers — Naftali Fraenkel, Gilad Shaar, and Eyal Yifrach — is simply devastating. We all had so much hope that this story would not end this way. As a father, there are no words to express such a horrific loss that shakes all people of conscience. We pray for these three boys and their families, and together we grieve with all the people of Israel. Knowing that Naftali was also an American citizen makes this an especially heavy blow not just to Israel, but to the United States.
We condemn this despicable terrorist act in the strongest possible terms. The killing of innocent youths is an outrage beyond any understanding or rationale, and the perpetrators must be brought to justice. This is a time for all to work towards that goal without destabilizing the situation.
(YWN World Headquarters – NYC)