If there is a scintilla of good emerging from Israeli and Palestinian tensions following the murders of four teenage boys, perhaps it happened last Sunday.
That was when Yishai Fraenkel, the uncle of Naftali Fraenkel, one of three Jewish teens murdered by Palestinian terrorists, telephoned Hussein Abu Khdeir, whose 16-year-old son, Mohammed, was burned to death in an apparent revenge killing, allegedly at the hands of Jewish extremists.
Mr. Fraenkel called Mr. Khdeir to offer his condolences. Jerusalem’s Mayor Nir Barkat also made a phone call of condolence to the Khdeir family.
Just hours before, two Palestinians who live in Hebron paid a shiva call to the mourning Frankel family. In an interview with Israeli media outlets, Mr. Fraenkel was quoted as saying “There is no difference between those who murdered Muhammed, and those who murdered our children. Those are murderers, and these are murderers. And both must be dealt with to the full extent of the law.”
Indeed, the Fraenkel family also said, “There is no difference when it comes to blood. Murder is murder. There is no justification, forgiveness, or atonement for any murder.”
We hope that these messages from people who share the difficult bond of grief can reach leaders and peoples on both sides.
We hope that this is at least a start toward the de-escalation of the violence and that it may lead to peaceful dialogue. Perhaps it can be in the memories of four teens: Naftali Fraenkel, Gilad Shaer, Eyal Yifrach, and Mohammed Abu Khdeir.