click here to jump to start of article
Join Our Newsletter

Get latest articles and videos with Jewish inspiration and insights​

A Horrific Murder
Chief Editor's Blog

A Horrific Murder

Let us hope that 16-year-old Mohammad Abu Khdeir was not killed by a Jew.


If there is one thing we as a nation has experienced this week, it is the searing pain of the heinous murder of a loved one. If 16-year-old Mohammad Abu Khdeir was killed by a Jew seeking revenge, which according to news reports the police suspect but have not yet confirmed, this is a horrific crime that Jews across the spectrum condemn vociferously. Such barbarity can have no foothold in our nation.

As Naftali Frankel’s uncle, Yishai Frankel, said on Israeli television, "Any act of revenge of any kind whatsoever is completely inappropriate and wrong. Murder is murder. One should not differentiate between bloods, be it Arab or Jew.”

The police do not yet know what happened and we cannot rush to conclusions. Rumors are swirling; it may have been an honor killing. It would be utterly shocking if a Jew would do something like this. 

It is instructive to note the immediate reactions to the murder in Israel. Prime Minister Netanyahu expressed shock and outrage, telling the police to expedite the investigation into the “abominable murder.” Leaders from across the political spectrum denounced the murder, and citizens expressed sheer disbelief that a Jew could commit such a crime. There was no dancing in the streets, no passing out candies, no celebratory high-fives. Just shock and outrage at this abhorrent act.

Now compare the reaction on the Arab street to the murders of Naftali, Gilad and Eyal. Instead of shock and horror, there was celebration and the making of two new heroes.

The past few weeks the Jewish nation unified in prayer, abiding faith and love, and the additional performance of mitzvot, demonstrating the heart and soul of the nation. This is who we truly are. We are a people who sanctify life. We dare not descend to the level of barbarity so commonly seen by those who worship death.

Let us hope that the police investigation reveals that Jews are not behind this heinous crime.

United in Grief: A compendium of articles and reflections

July 2, 2014

Give Tzedakah! Help create inspiring
articles, videos and blogs featuring timeless Jewish wisdom.
The opinions expressed in the comment section are the personal views of the commenters. Comments are moderated, so please keep it civil.

Visitor Comments: 44

(31) David, July 7, 2014 10:35 PM

Unfortunate comment

Your headline states we should hope it wasn't a Jew who did the killing. A boy is dead, The party or parties will be found and punished according to the law, the same law for all citizens of Israel. No matter if the victim is this or that, or the killer is this or that. If we are going to hope for something, let's hope for HaShems guidance and assistance to make Israel the place it should be: A homeland for a righteous people. Disappointed in your comment.

Jon Kurovsky, July 19, 2014 7:56 AM

Really, the same law??

"the same law for all citizens of Israel" ?? How is this, Jew's serve in the military, does everyone in Israel? If a Jew builds a home on property, with a receipt of purchase and an Arab states it was his great, great grandfathers, the Jew will now be allow use of that property, ever. If he built on it, it will be destroyed. Yet we have tens of thousands of Arab homes built and left alone? Arab throws a rocks, Jew, who may have been hit, it told by Israeli police, he should leave since he's causing a problem, by being Jewish, in Israel. The same law? Israelis pay tax, fee's, Arabs, well known for not paying for basic services, which won't be turned off, since it would look bad. The Jew that doesn't pay, service is shut off. One of my biggest complaints of our home land is that a Jewish home land, where the law is not applied fairly, for a people ruled by Torah, which I pray we are, seems wrong and corrupt. How can we be the light, when our own Judges are so often against us, the Jews. No my friend, not the same law, not the same everyone.

(30) Allen Z. Hertz, July 7, 2014 3:38 PM

Same standard for Jewish crimes and other crimes

There has been a truly horrific killing by some vengeful Jews. In this context, it is important to remember the dictum that, from the perspective of modern human-rights methodologies, the meaning of "antisemitism" includes: "persistently targeting Jews and/or Israel and persistently applying to Jews and/or Israel a standard more exigent than regularly applied to other people and countries, in the same or similar circumstances." Premeditated murder is most assuredly a heinous crime in every country. A murder motivated by religious and/or nationalistic passion is no less blameworthy. We would not want to excuse an horrific murder, committed by Jews any more than we would want to excuse a similar or identical crime committed by others. But, there is certainly no reason to rush about placing extra emphasis on our natural repugnance for such a truly terrible crime, just because the perpetrators are Jews. A murder is a murder is a murder!

(29) jacob, July 7, 2014 3:15 AM

Our call to greatness: unity & emuna, instead of hatred.

if indeed Jews have committed this murder, and unfortunately, it unfortunately seems to look more and more that that might be the case, we must conclude that the perpetrators have not acted in the spirit of Torah Judaism, and that they have not only destroyed a unique life, i.e. Hashem's creation, but that they have brought great shame & sadness upon us. Whatever political motives they might hold, whatever circumstances (our murdered 3 boys) might explain such a taste for vengeance, there can be no excuse to act like our enemies. The IDF & responsible justice institutions need to offer a resolute and strong response. It is not up to us to act upon our emotions and instinct: we are not animals. Instead, we must pray for the neshamot of our 3 boys, their family, as well as for this Arab boy and his relatives, and the unity of our people. It is through our humanism, our unity and devotion to Hashem that we, as Jews, have survived all empires that sought to annihilate us, In these hours of crisis -a 3rd intifada looming-, that Hashem calls upon us to act without greatness. The challenge Hashem has set before us can be overcome, by reacting with grace, emuna, and love, instead of giving in to our instincts of hatred, violence and stupidity. Even if this is a difficult challenge, it is one that can bring us closer to Hashem, closer as a united people….The 18 days of the 3 boys's disappearance were our finest hours: prayer & unity. Let' continue on that path..

gloria, July 8, 2014 5:06 PM

Amen!! love your response!!

He is The Judge and therefore we must Not allow our emotions get in the way. Many are quick to be so politically -correct they quickly point out the ifs and buts..thank God we are Not the Supreme Judge and trust in Him for His Justice to prevail. <3 Israel has a right to defend itself and the whole world needs to learn from such a valuable lesson they teach us on "how to love our enemies"...they have lived it long enough. Lord have mercy. <3

See All Comments

Submit Your Comment:

  • Display my name?

  • Your email address is kept private. Our editor needs it in case we have a question about your comment.

  • * required field 2000
Submit Comment