Australia and New Zealand pay respect…and a message from Hebron

July 1, 2014 by Henry Benjamin
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The Australian and New Zealand Jewish communities have sent messages of condolence to the families of Naftali Frenkel, Gilad Sha’er and Eyal Yifrach…


The Hebron Jewish Community  [David Wilder]:

The Hebron Jewish community, together with all am Yisrael, mourns the horrendous murders of these 3 young men, killed because they were Jews, living and studying in Israel.
We expect the Israeli government and security forces to not only find and eliminate the terrorists who perpetrated these murders, but also continue to search for for, and destroy any and all terror organizations, such as Hamas, the Islamic jihad, and break off all relations with Abu Mazen and the PA, who formed a unity government with Hamas only a few weeks ago.
Our enemies must know that we will not turn the other cheek. There is a price to pay for killing Jewish children in cold blood.

Also offering condolences and a message  was the The Australian Government  [Foreign Minister Julie Bishop]

I am deeply concerned by the deteriorating security situation in the Middle East.

The Australian Government extends its heartfelt condolences to the families of the three Israeli teenagers senselessly murdered after their kidnapping almost three weeks ago.

We condemn all acts of violence, especially where it affects innocent civilians.

The Palestinian Authority must make every effort to apprehend those responsible for these crimes.

I call on both sides to refrain from any escalation of violence that would only serve to make the resolution of differences between Israel and Palestinians more difficult.

The Executive Council of Australian Jewry [Robert Goot]:

The Australian Jewish community and people of goodwill everywhere, will be shocked by the tragic news of the dastardly murder of three Israeli teenagers.

We express our profound condolences to the families and to the President and the people of Israel.

Although no one has yet admitted responsibility for this heinous crime, Hamas and other Islamist groups make no secret of their true goal, which is to subject Israel’s majority Jewish population to  murder and forcible expulsions.

If any person still doubts the genocidal intent of Hamas, as clearly expressed in its charter, let the names ”Eyal Yifrach, Gilad Shaar and Naftali Frankel” be burned into that person’s memory.”

The Zionist Federation of Australia [Dr Danny Lamm]:

 ”We were heartbroken and horrified to receive the news that the bodies of three Israeli teens, Eyal Yifrach, Gil-Ad Shaer and Naftali Frenkel, were found last night near Hebron. We are now seeing the true face of evil with this senseless murder of teenagers.While Hamas celebrates one can only hope that these terrorists murderers are swiftly brought to justice. The true face of Hamas has yet again been cruelly exposed to the world.

We urge all leaders throughout the world to condemn the kidnapping and brutal murder of these innocents.

We stand with the three families in solidarity and we pray that they know no more heartache. May their memories be a blessing.”

ZFA’s Executive Director Ginette Searle, who is currently in Israel said: For 18 days, Israeli society has been focused on the fate of the three teenagers. The now ubiquitous #bringbackourboys appears everywhere, on buses, on posters on the streets, on placards on the fences of private homes, and all over social media. The solidarity rally in Tel Aviv’s Rabin Square on Sunday evening attracted some tens of thousands of people. Having arrived in Israel 3 days after their disappearance, I have barely had a conversation in which the boys were not mentioned. It was in the forefront of the minds of the entire country.

Last night, as the news broke, communities took to the streets in spontaneous gatherings to mourn Eyal, Gilad and Naftali and show solidarity.

Their murder is a most despicable act of terror against innocent children. Our hearts go out to the grieving families and their communities.

PA President Abbas had condemned the kidnapping, He must now condemn and dissociate from Hamas, dissolve the so called “unity government”, and assist Israeli authorities in bringing the terrorist perpetrators to justice. The UN must now issue unconditional condemnations of Hamas.

As Israel mourns, and international leaders unite in expressions of outrage, support and condolence, we hope that the IDF operation “Brothers keeper” will bring the perpetrators of this heinous crime to swift justice.”

The Australian Ambassador to Israel via Twitter [Dave Sharma]:

Shocked, saddened & outraged at reports that bodies of 3 kidnapped boys have been found. Condemn their murder wholeheartedly.

The Australia/Israel and Jewish Affairs Council   [Mark Leibler and Dr Colin Rubenstein]:

AIJAC mourns Israeli students Gil-ad Shaar, Naftali Frenkel and Eyal Yifrach and condemns, in the strongest terms, their cowardly, despicable murder. We call for the perpetrators and their facilitators to be swiftly brought to justice.

Our thoughts, prayers and deepest condolences go to the brave families of these precious teenagers as they confront this unspeakable tragedy. We stand united with the people of Israel, Jews around the world and freedom loving people everywhere in grieving with their families. May they be comforted among the other mourners of Zion and Jerusalem.

Strong evidence suggests that the perpetrators of this terror attack were members of Hamas, acting on repeated encouragement from top Hamas leaders to kidnap Israelis. This attack, and the disturbing level of approval for it in Palestinian society, is a product of the culture of incitement and hatred that has been ingrained in the population through official Palestinian institutions. This must cease for there to be any chance of peace.

Yet again, this horrendous act of terrorism shows the true face of Hamas. We join in calls for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to immediately terminate the unity agreement that tacitly has enabled an unreconstructed Hamas to escalate its violent activities

United Israel Appeal [Harold Finger]:

“We express our deepest sympathy and profound condolences to the parents, siblings and all the families on the kidnapping and senseless murder of Gil-Ad Shaer, Eyal Yifrah and Naftali Fraenkel.

Although we are so far away, we share in their pain along with the pain and grief of the entire nation. Our hearts are broken – at the same time united, with the hearts of the boy’s families as we mourn and cry with them.

We stand strong together with the President and the State of Israel at this tragic time of mourning and loss and strongly condemn the senseless and despicable act of terror against these children.

Baruch Dayan Ha’emet, may their memories be blessed and may this never happen again.”

Wellington Regional Jewish Council, New Zealand [David Zwartz]

Hatred that descends to kidnapping and then to murder is abhorrent and gut-wrenching to us as Jews and as parents. 
From this part of the distant Jewish Diaspora we send our thoughts and our sympathies to the bereaved families.

The Jewish National Fund [Dan Springer]:

It is with deep sadness that we heard this morning of the shocking deaths of Eyal, Gilad and Naftali.Our condolences go out to their parents, families and friends. We join them in their mourning and grief, together with all the Jewish People and the civilised world.
The New Zealand Jewish Council [Stephen Goodman and Geoff Levy]:
The New Zealand Jewish Council on behalf of the Jewish Communities in New Zealand, extends its deepest condolences and sympathy to the families of Gil-Ad Shaer, Eyal Yifrah and Naftali Fraenkel who were kidnapped and murdered near Hebron.

This senseless act of terror brings to the world’s attention the mindset and actions of those who are part of the terror groups and brings to all of us the realization that the perpetrators must be brought to justice and that the acts of the kidnappers universally condemned if their conduct and actions are to be stopped.

The Zionist Council of Victoria  [Sam Tatarka]:

Words fail to adequately describe the sense of loss and devastation we all feel on hearing the much feared news that Eyal Yifrach, Gil-Ad Shaer and Naftali Frenkel were murdered and buried in a shallow grave shortly after they were kidnapped by Palestinian terrorists 18 days ago.  President of the ZCV Sam Tatarka said “The three boys were making their way home from school when their lives were taken and the lives of their families changed forever.  The perpetrators of this monstrous crime will surely be brought to justice however nothing will fill the void in the hearts of those who loved them”.

The Zionist Council of Victoria mourns the loss of these boys.  The solidarity of the Jewish people and our friends and supporters from the community at large offers some solace in the face of this terrible evil.

B’nai B’rith Australia and New Zealand [Dr Dvir Abramovich and Morris Tobias]:

“We are horrified and saddened at this tragedy and condemn in the strongest possible terms this heinous and senseless murder. As fathers and mothers, our heartfelt thoughts, prayers and condolences are with the grieving families who are broken and whose anguish and suffering is unimaginable. It is our hope that the terrorists who committed this sickening crime are brought to justice and that the international community swiftly and unambiguously stands together against those who would support the perpetuation of such an evil act. We reiterate our solidarity with the nation of Israel at this difficult time of mourning and loss.”

B’nai B’rith Anti-Defamation Commission and B’nai B’rith Australia- New Zealand express their grief and shock over the murder of three kidnapped Israeli teens

The B’nai B’rith Anti-Defamation Commission and B’nai B’rith Australia-New Zealand have today expressed their sorrow and horror over the murder of Eyal Yifrach, Naftali Fraenkel and G

The Jewish Community Council of Victoria [Nina Bassat]:The Jewish Community Council of Victoria (JCCV) has expressed its devastation, grief and outrage on the much feared news of the murders of Eyal Yifrach, Gil-Ad Shaer and Naftali Frenkel.Nina Bassat AM, JCCV President said, “These innocent students were kidnapped and murdered only because they were Jewish.  What unfathomable inhumanity.”

“The Victorian Jewish community grieves for the loss of these young people as we think about what might have been.  We mourn for their families and hope our prayers bring them some solace.  And we seek justice for those responsible for such evil.”

“Tragedies such as this take us to the edge of despair.  But, as always, as a community we pray for peace for the sake of our children and our children’s children.”

The New South Wales Jewish Board of Deputies [Yair Miller]:

There can be no justification for this heinous crime and our hearts break for the families of these three innocent victims and all the citizens of Israel. The genocidal intentions of our enemies are laid bare with this sort of action and  we hope that all people of good conscience will join us in expressing their outrage. This reminds us all of where the consistent demonization and dehumanisation of Jews and Israelis by extremist Palestinian leaders and media can lead.”

May the memory of Eyal, Gilad and Naftali be a blessing to their families and all the people of Israel. We continue to pray for peace.

Federal Labor MP Michael Danby:

It was with great sadness to hear that our three boys were found murdered near Hebron. At this time we express our condolences to the families and friends of Gilad, Naftali and Eyal who were murdered for simply being young Israeli boys. This heinous crime has sent shockwaves throughout the Australia Jewish Community and so together we join those in Israel to mourn the killing of these three young teenagers.

Since 2003 Hamas has been proscribed as a terrorist organisation by Australian governments of all persuasions. Taking the lives of three teenage boys will not be forgiven nor forgotten and is an awful reminder of the daily dangers facing Israel and its citizens. Indiscriminately murdering minors is the worst form of terrorism and to see the response from Hamas of praising and affirming their commitment to violence against Israel should be enough of a catalyst for Mr Abbas to the end his Unity government with this plainly terrorist organisation.

Neither of the Middle East correspondents in Fairfax’s Ruth Pollard and Newsltd’s John Lyons mentioned, tweeted or in any way focused on the national emergency of the kidnap of these teenagers. This is remarkable, especially for Mr Lyons given his concern in the Australian and the ABC’s 4corners program where he commented on Palestinian teenagers who were arrested and brought to court for nationalistic rock throwing on Israeli highways.

For a crime such as this, justice seems unattainable, however, ensuring that more Israeli children do not suffer the fate of Gilad, Naftali and Eyal is the priority of the Israeli government and Jewish people all across the diaspora.

Thank you to all who signed the petition to the Australia government, given the new reports that our boys were shot shortly after being kidnapped it is shattering that we were too late.

The New Israel Fund Australia [Liam Getreu]:

We are devastated to learn of the deaths of the three young Israeli kidnapping victims, Naftali Frankel, Gilad Shaer and Eyal Yifrah. They were murdered by extremists determined to shed innocent blood and to perpetuate conflict.

We join with their families and with everyone mourning these three young men. And we ask that every leader, Israeli and Palestinian, take every step necessary to maintain calm and prevent more loss of life. We owe it to the memories of these young men, and to the countless others who have died in this conflict, to do all we can to bring peace and reconciliation and an end to the bloodshed between our two peoples.

May their memory be a blessing.

The Organisation of Rabbis of Australasia [Rabbi Meir Kluwgant]:

A few short hours ago, Israel and the world  was blighted by the tragic news that the bodies of the three boys kidnapped  in Israel 18 days ago were found in caves near Chevron.

The Organisation of Rabbis of Australasia (ORA) condemns in the strongest possible terms these acts of terrorism and murder and expresses, along with all Klal Yisrael (the Jewish Nation) our deepest condolences to the families of these young boys.

This tragedy is one that has hit the very heart of the entire Jewish nation and we are all in a state of mourning, bereavement and shock.

We pray that justice finds the perpetrators of these heinous crimes;  and to the government and people of of Israel we say HaShem Yinkom Damam –the Righteous Judge will avenge their blood.

And to the world, we say: may this atrocity not fall upon deaf ears. A crime against all of humanity has been perpetrated.  Let us all, as one, call for an end to these senseless, wanton and vile acts of terrorism

Magen David Adom  [Roland Nagel]:

K’Ish Echad B’Lev Echad, as one person with one heart, we mourn together with our dear brothers and sisters in Israel and express our profound shock and outrage at the tragic and senseless murders of Naftali (HY”D), Gilad (HY”D) and Eyal (HY”D).

May the Al-mighty comfort the Fraenkel, Shaar and Yifrach families among the mourners of Zion and Yerushalayim and speedily bring peace to Am Yisrael.

Caulfield Synagogue, Melbourne [Rabbi Ralph Genende]:

It is with great sadness that I write to advise you that there will be a communal gathering tonight at 7.30pm at Beth Weizman to mourn the loss of Naftali Fraenkel, Gila Shaar and Eyal Yifrach.

At CHC we will be dedicating our tefillot and Torah learning this week in their memory.

Our thoughts go out to their families. We are with them in their pain and grief. In the words of Rabbi Jonathan Sacks: ” May He destroy death forever and may the Lord God wipe away the tears from all faces’. May the God of life in whose image we are, teach all humanity to serve Him by Sanctifying life”.

Chabad ACT [Rabbi Shmueli Feldman]:

In utter horror and profound grief we learned of the murders of the martyrs in the holy land of Israel, Yaakov Naftali Frankel, Gilad Michoel Shaar and Eyal Yifrach

Hashem Yikom Damam

The deaths of these three pure, innocent and holy boys represent a profound loss to Klal Yisrael – the Jewish people.

We join the world Jewish community in praying and grieving with the families.

We urge that these perpetrators of hate and violence be met with justice.

During this time of great mourning, let us take the Rebbe’s message to heart, and increase in acts of goodness and kindness towards one another, fortifying ourselves through Ahavat Yisrael – unconditional love to others.

As we stood united with all of world Jewry in praying for the return of our boys, we mourn with them their brutal, tragic deaths.

To the parents, grandparents, siblings and families of the boys,

May G-d console you among the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem. Our hearts are with you.

The Rabbinical Council of Victoria [Rabbi Meir Kluwgant]:

RCV condemns in the strongest possible terms these acts of terrorism and murder and expresses along with all of klal yisrael (all Jews) our deepest sympathies to the families of these young boys Gilad Shaar, Naphtalie Frenkel and Eyal Yifrach obm. This tragedy is one that has hit the very Heart of the entire Jewish nation and we are all in a state of mourning and bereavement.

We pray that justice finds the perpetrators of these heinous crimes; to the government of Israel we say ‘Kol Dmeie Achicha Tzoakim’ the voice of the blood of your brother(s) is calling out from the earth.

And to the world, we pray that this atrocity not fall upon deaf ears. A crime against all of humanity has been perpetrated; we must all as one call for an end to these senseless and wanton acts of terrorism.





2 Responses to “Australia and New Zealand pay respect…and a message from Hebron”
  1. Fionayael says:

    The innocent victims of this hateful and hate-filled crime are part of our community, our ‘family’.

    For their memory, I had to do something. So I gave to JNF and to my local community.

    Whether it is JCA, JNF or UIA, or your local synagogue, please consider giving something to honour Eyal, Gilad and Naftali.

  2. Lynne Newington says:

    It’s been such a long dark day hearing this news at daybreak, no words can express my deepest condolences to the mothers for these their sons, the families, community and your Prime Minister.
    For whatever reason I felt a blessed assurance they would be sooon found but in different circumstances attributed to the words of Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas in a receent interview.
    Can something good eventually come out of this terrible tragedy, we must look up, or at least try too.

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