Condemnations, Condolences Pour in From U.S., Europe

YERUSHALAYIM (Hamodia Staff) -

Condemnations of the murder of the three Israeli teenagers and condolences to their families were arriving to Israel from the U.S. and Europe on Monday night soon after the news broke.

U.S. President Barack Obama expressed his condolences to the three bereaved families.

Jewish community leaders responded with heartfelt expressions of grief and condolence for their fellow Jews in Israel.

Agudath Israel of America issued a particularly strong statement decrying the inhumanity of the abduction and killing:

“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.”

Robert G. Sugarman, chairman, and Malcolm Hoenlein, executive vice chairman, of the 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 Frankel, kidnapped on June 12th, have been found dead in the Chevron 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.”

The Anti-Defamation League joined in the expressions of mourning:

“We are shocked and deeply saddened to learn that our worst fears have been realized,” said ADL chief Abe Foxman in a statement.

“In the 18 days since these boys were abducted, Israel and its supporters around the world came together to pray for their safe return.

“Unfortunately, Eyal, Gilad and Naftali will not be returning home to their families or to their studies.

“We extend our sincerest condolences to the Yifrach, Shaar and Frankel families. We take this opportunity to affirm our solidarity with the State of Israel at this difficult time and to condemn all those who engage in and support terrorism. We reiterate our support for Israel’s right to self-defense.”

Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird said: “I was personally dismayed to hear the horrific news that three Israeli teenagers, Naftali Frankel, Gilad Shaar and Eyal Yifrach, were found murdered near Chevron.

“My prayers and heartfelt condolences go out to their families and friends and all Israelis who have been emotionally awaiting their safe return. Canada will be represented at the shivas by our ambassador to Israel, to pay our respects and mourn with all Israelis.

“Terror must never be allowed to stand in the face of any country or people that aspires to bring peace and prosperity to their citizens. Israel is a country that faces unimaginable threats from terrorist organizations, like Hamas, on a daily basis.

“Canada hopes that the perpetrators of this heinous act are swiftly brought to justice, and we call on the Palestinian Authority to work with Israeli authorities toward this end.

“We stand with all Israelis on this painful day, and we offer Canada’s unwavering support as they mourn the loss of three young men who were taken from their families and friends far too early.”

British Prime Minister David Cameron said on Monday night: “I am deeply saddened by the news that the bodies of the three Israeli boys kidnapped on 12 June have been found this evening,”

“This was an appalling and inexcusable act of terror perpetrated against young teenagers. Britain will stand with Israel as it seeks to bring to justice those responsible. Tonight my thoughts and prayers are with the families of Gilad, Naftali and Eyal. No parent should have ever to suffer such heartache or grief.”

The French foreign minister Laurent Fabius issued a condemnation of the killings and condolences for the families.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban-ki Moon condemned the murders, saying “there can be no justification for the deliberate killing of civilians.”

The U.N chief added that he believes “this heinous act by enemies of peace aims to further entrench division and distrust and to widen the conflict. It must not be allowed to succeed,” and he called on all parties to refrain from any actions that could further escalate this highly tense situation.”

The Vatican condemned the killing as a “hideous and unacceptable crime” and an obstacle to peace.