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July 3, 2014 1

Anti-Israel Groups React To Slain Israeli Teens With Deafening Silence

Ali Abunimah tweet

A tweet by Ali Abunimah after the boys’ bod­ies were found on June 30, 2014.

Key groups and indi­vid­u­als that com­prise the domes­tic anti-Israel move­ment in the United States failed to con­demn the tragic mur­der of three Israeli teenage boys, Naf­tali Fraenkel, Gilad Shaar and Eyal Yifrach, fol­low­ing their kid­nap­ping by Hamas ter­ror­ists on June 12.

The bod­ies of the Israelis were dis­cov­ered on Mon­day after an 18-day search con­ducted by the Israeli military.

An ADL review of the social media pro­files and web­sites of more than 25 of these lead­ing anti-Israel groups and activists reveals that all except one group failed to acknowl­edge the kid­nap­ping or con­demn the mur­ders. Many had the audac­ity to chal­lenge the fact that the teens were even kid­napped at all.

In a July 2 state­ment, ADL’s National Direc­tor, Abra­ham Fox­man con­demned the silence of these groups and activists, saying:

“It is shock­ing and shame­ful that the same groups who swiftly con­demn in the strongest terms any per­ceived mis­deed by Israel do not seem to have an ounce of moral out­rage left to speak out against the mur­der of three inno­cent Israeli teenagers. It is easy for these groups to pay lip ser­vice to prin­ci­ples of jus­tice, human dig­nity and nonviolence…Those prin­ci­ples appar­ently do not extend to Israel.”

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July 1, 2014 2

Looking for Meaning in the Tragedy of Eyal, Gilad and Naftali

Today, thou­sands across Israel gath­ered  to remem­ber and mourn Naf­tali Fraenkel, Gilad Shaar and Eyal Yifrach, who were found dead 18 days after their abduction.

eyal-gilad-naftali-israeliens-kidnappes

Con­cern for the fate of the 3 teens, Naf­tali, 16, Gilad, 16 and Eyal, 19, mobi­lized Israelis and their sup­port­ers around the globe.   Prayer vig­ils and ral­lies were held, social media cam­paigns launched, across Israel vol­un­teers lined up to search for the boys and to pro­vide sup­port and sus­te­nance to the fam­i­lies and the searchers.

Now, just as Israelis united in sup­port for the boys, they are join­ing together to mourn and search for mean­ing in this tragedy.

Many are tak­ing lessons from the teens’ fam­i­lies whose com­po­sure and pub­lic strength through­out this ordeal inspired and amazed.   As colum­nist David Wein­berg relates in Yis­rael Hayom:

“(The) bereaved par­ents mod­eled for us not just indomitable per­sonal char­ac­ter. They mod­eled for us spir­i­tual strength; a healthy blend of reli­gious devo­tion and ratio­nal­ity. Of this-worldness and other-worldness. Of prag­ma­tism and val­ues. Of self-interest and self­less­ness. Of coolly cal­cu­lated tac­tics and naturally-flowing love…They gave Israelis a model for reli­gious com­mit­ment, national unity and broth­erly love not only in times of cri­sis but also in every­day life; through­out all reg­u­lar sea­sons of our rough-and-tumble spiritual-social-political life.”

Mem­ber of Knes­set, Dov Lip­man, writes in The Jerusalem Post, that while the cri­sis height­ened the sense of Jew­ish unity, it is always there:

“I view these last 18 days as a gust of wind.  The air is always there but it takes a gust of wind to remind us that air sur­rounds us at all times. The unity, love and car­ing among Jews is always there. These last 18 days sim­ply reminded us of this phenomenon.”

And for Amer­i­can immi­grant to Israel, Judy Krasna, reflect­ing in The Times of Israel , the mes­sage today is about Israeli unity and resiliency:

“After eigh­teen years in Israel, I have learned that we honor our dead by liv­ing. No one that I know wanted to go to work today, but every­one that I know went any­way. It’s what we do in the face of tragedy. We func­tion. We may take a break to cry every once in a while, but we do what we need to do. Our thoughts are never far from those three boys and their fam­i­lies; there are no dis­trac­tions great enough to dull our pain…So today I am going to leave my house. If I start to cry in the mid­dle of the pro­duce aisle, no one will look at me as if I have lost my mind. Chances are that a total stranger will offer me a tis­sue to wipe my tears and then take out a tis­sue to wipe her own.”

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June 18, 2014 9

Social Media Campaigns Glorify Kidnapping of the Three Israeli Teens

Along­side the out­pour­ing of con­cern on social media for the safe return of the three Israeli teens kid­napped last Thurs­day, includ­ing a twit­ter cam­paign with the slo­gan #bring­back­our­boys, exists a cyn­i­cal, hate­ful and dan­ger­ous cam­paign prais­ing the kid­nap­ping.

The pro-kidnapping mes­sages, being pro­moted by some Pales­tini­ans and oth­ers across the Arab and Mus­lim world, are con­veyed through pic­tures, car­toons, blog posts, memes and even songs.

The most promi­nent is the “Three Fin­gers” cam­paign, rep­re­sent­ing the three kid­napped youths. This is a vari­a­tion on the four-finger salute adopted by the Egypt­ian Mus­lim Broth­er­hood in their fight against cur­rent Pres­i­dent and for­mer gen­eral Abdul Fatah Al-Sisi, and in sup­port of ousted pres­i­dent Muham­mad Morsi. Social media images depict adults and chil­dren per­form­ing a three-finger salute in sol­i­dar­ity with the kid­nap­pers. In some pho­tos, objects, such as three bananas, are used as props to recre­ate the salute, and sim­i­lar themes have also appeared in car­toons in Arabic-language newspapers.

The other ele­ment to the pro-kidnapping cam­paign is the invo­ca­tion of for­mer Israeli sol­dier Gilad Shalit, who was held cap­tive by Hamas for five years and released in 2011 in exchange for Israel free­ing 1027 Pales­tin­ian ter­ror­ists. A Face­book page titled “Three Shal­its” calls on the pub­lic to share pic­tures of them­selves hold­ing up three fin­gers in sup­port of a sim­i­lar exchange of the kid­napped Israeli teens for addi­tional Pales­tini­ans in Israeli jails. Some of the cap­tions sug­gest that each kid­napped boy should be released in exchange for 1027 Pales­tini­ans, bring­ing the total num­ber to 3081.

The pro-kidnapping social media cam­paign also includes a song prais­ing the kid­nap­pers called “A Hand­ful of Shal­its.” The singer says “We’ve got you all, Shal­its,” which is fol­lowed up by a call to Pales­tini­ans in Israeli pris­ons that their release is near.

A dif­fer­ent, and no less dis­turb­ing cam­paign, also exists on the other extreme in the form of a Hebrew Face­book page call­ing for “the exe­cu­tion of one ter­ror­ist every hour until the teens are released.” The page has already gar­nered almost 20,000 likes, and con­tains selec­tive Bib­li­cal quo­ta­tions and other state­ments to sup­port vio­lent reprisals to the kid­nap­ping of the three Israeli teens.

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