How a country and its people respond to evil, even from within, says and means a lot.
Consider the following:
1. Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke today with Hussein Abu Khdeir, the father of Muhammad Abu Khdeir who was murdered last week.
“I would like to express my outrage and that of the citizens of Israel over the reprehensible murder of your son. We acted immediately to apprehend the murderers. We will bring them to trial and they will be dealt with to the fullest extent of the law. We denounce all brutal behavior; the murder of your son is abhorrent and cannot be countenanced by any human being.”
2. Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon posted a statement on Facebook condemning Mohammed’s murder.
“This is not our way, and the criminals who performed this heinous act brought disgrace upon the Jewish people and the state of Israel,” Avalon said. “They must be brought to justice and prosecuted to the full extent of the law, as an example to others. Israel and the Jewish people’s strength is based on the Jewish morals and values.”
3. Rahel Jaskow, a Jewish resident of Jerusalem:
“Whoever they are, whatever their motive — if they are guilty, I wish them exactly the same thing I wish the killers of our own three boys: justice, swift and strong,” Jaskow said. “If, in some parallel universe, I were the judge — Jewish or not — and the suspects were found guilty and were members of my own people, I would sentence them twice: once for the act itself, and a second time for dishonoring our people.”
4. Amira Hass, writing in Haaretz:
a. “The abduction and murder of three West Bank yeshiva students is viewed by the Palestinian public as just another incident in a routine of violence for which Israel bears primary responsibility.”
b. “As long as the bodies hadn’t been found, a great many Palestinians believed no abduction had ever occurred. In their view, the kidnapping was fabricated to thwart the Palestinians’ national unity government, undo the achievements (from the Palestinian perspective) of the deal to free kidnapped soldier Gilad Shalit, and harm Hamas.”
c. “In this atmosphere, Palestinians who believe it’s wrong to kill unarmed Israeli teens, even if they are settlers or study in the settlements, don’t dare to say so aloud.”
5. Frida Ghitis, writing for CNN Opinion:
“For some Palestinians, the kidnapping was cause for celebration. A new three-finger salute became popular, marking the capture of three Israelis. The Facebook page for Fatah, the Palestinian Authority’s main party, had a number of cartoons, including one showing the three teenagers as Jewish rats, wearing yarmulkes, caught on a fishing line.”
At least there was this:
“To his great credit, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas condemned the kidnapping. For that, he came under fierce criticism. Hamas, which is now part of the Palestinian Authority government in a unity deal with Fatah, made no effort to conceal its glee.”