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July 4, 2014 7:55 am

Murder of Israeli Teens is a Line in the Sand

avatar by Ronald S. Lauder

Ceremony for Gilad Sha'ar. Photo: Tamir Orbaum / Tazpit News Agency.

In the days since the discovery of the bodies of the three murdered Israeli teenagers, Naftali Frankel, Gilad Shaar, and Eyal Yifrach, world Jewry has stood united with their families in shock and grief. Our hearts go out to them, and we mourn with them for their young sons whose lives were so brutally taken.

The World Jewish Congress, representing Jews in 100 countries, stands side-by-side with the families and the people of Israel at this terrible time. I and other WJC officers have written expressing our condolences to the family, and our worldwide network has helped organize activities in almost every community, including memorial services, events, statements, and letters. Our online condolence book is filling to the brim with thousands of messages of love, comfort, and support for the families.

Further, our representatives in Israel will be visiting the three shiva houses, and will present the families with a compilation of the missives and events generated by our communities around the world.

WJC’s mission is to enhance solidarity among Jewish communities throughout the world and strengthen the bonds of Jewish communities and Jews in the Diaspora with Israel. We see our task as advocating for, protecting, and defending the Jewish people. We are activists; we don’t let injustice rest.

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The philosopher and statesman Edmund Burke said: “In order for evil to flourish, all that is required is for good men to do nothing.” For us, this heinous crime demands a strong reaction by the international community against those who want to deny our children their future. Those who would wreak havoc on the Jewish People have revealed their true colors: human life means nothing to them. They must be brought to justice swiftly.

Hamas is a terrorist organization. It must be dismantled, we must struggle relentlessly against those who support the terrorists. In pursuit of this goal, we have urged the United States and the European Union, along with the rest of the world, to halt all financial support for the Palestinian Authority until Hamas is excluded from it. The Palestinians must decide: endorse violence and terrorism – or fight it with vigor and determination.

May the families be comforted among the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem.

Ronald S. Lauder is president of the World Jewish Congress. This article first appeared on his blog at worldjewishcongress.org.

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