Opinion: U.S. Jews Should Respond To The Murders With More Than Tears


eyal-gilad-naftaliBy Moshe Phillips and Benyamin Korn

Jews throughout the United States will hold memorial services this week to mourn the murders of the three Israeli teenagers. There will be tears, there will be prayers, there will be words of consolation. And then the mourning needs to be followed by action — political action.

The murder of the three Israeli boys is not just an Israeli problem. It is an American problem, too — both because one of the victims was an American and because the U.S. government plays a major role in shaping what happens between Israel and the Palestinians. That’s where  the American Jewish community comes in. American Jews need to undertake focused political action to urge the Obama administration to help Israel in its fight against the Hamas terrorists.

So far, the administration’s response to the crisis has been deeply disappointing. Despite the kidnappings, President Obama continues to recognize and support the Palestinian Authority-Hamas unity regime. The annual U.S. aid package of $500-million to the Palestinian Arabs continues, even though Hamas is now indirectly benefiting from that aid.

Worse, the administration did not fully take Israel’s side in the pursuit of the kidnappers. In the midst of the ordeal, the State Department called on Israel to show “restraint” in its actions against Hamas. President Obama, in his statement following the discovery of the bodies of the three victims, called on “all parties” to refrain from steps that would “destabilize” the situation. Such language has always been a thinly-disguised code word for urging Israel to go easy on the terrorists.

Since one of the kidnapped boys was an American citizen, the Obama administration could have done what it routinely does in such situations — offer a multimillion dollar reward for information leading to the capture of the terrorists. Yet even after the names of the kidnappers were publicly revealed, the administration refused to offer a reward.

The U.S. government website offering the rewards, www.rewardsforjustice.net, has a section called “success stories.” The majority of the victims in those cases were from a single case which is rather similar to the kidnapping in Israel — it too involved Islamist terrorists

Here are a few practical steps that concerned Americans can take:

1.  Call or email the White House (202-456-1111 / http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact/submit-questions-and-comments) and urge the president to withdraw America’s recognition of the Palestinian Authority-Hamas unity regime.

2.    Call the Congressional switchboard (202-224-3121) and ask to be connected to your Member of Congress. Urge your congressmember to support suspension of U.S. aid to the Palestinian Arabs.

3.    Call the Department of Justice (202-514-2000), which administers the Rewards for Justice program. Urge that a reward be offered for information leading to the capture of the murderers of 16 year-old U.S. citizen Naftali Frankel and the other two boys.

Mourning is important. A community in pain needs to express its anguish. But there is a time for mourning, and there is a time for action. We have mourned, we have cried. Now is the time to dry our tears and pick up the phones.

The authors are members of the board of the Religious Zionists of America.

{Matzav.com Newscenter}


  1. Thats all you can think about doing? Just making phone calls? Nothing more to pressure the US, to support Netanyahu, to build new settlements, to rally the worlds support, the pressure PA to disassociate from the KKK-like HAMAS, to strenghen the yishuvim, to invest in Yehuda and Shomrom, to legally pursue HAMAS and PA in court in Israel, US and Europe— the RZA is lame. The rewards for justice program is a joke and the dozens of US victims who have asked for help have been demoralized by US governments nonaction.

  2. America doesn’t care. You can phone them as much as you like. It was defending your country that put a target around America’s neck .

  3. Thank You. There are times when we want to do something but have no idea where to start. This is a great start

  4. Sue the government to give the families of these kedoshim the money that was given in aid to support the terrorists.

  5. It didn’t help Pollard, Rubashkin, Gross, little boy from Texas, etc… Writing & calling the “White House” never accomplishes anything. The “White House” has their own plans. Calling your “Congress” “person”, for a Frum Jew, is also a waste because we all live in districs where they are Democrats & they won’t go against or critisize the Democratic President. Schumer has been silent. Nadler has been quiet. Menedez, nothing. Singer? Rangel? Lol.
    Teffila is the only useful solution.

  6. the only answer is annihilate every cancer, terrorist in this world, OR if moshiach comes and destroys all evil. If we are chosen why does the world despise us so, we have done only good,

  7. With all due respect, phone calls are not “practical steps”. Maybe they will make the callers feel warm and fuzzy inside that they did something proactive.

    As for accomplishing anything politically, although calling makes your voice heard, it all depends if someone is really listening on the other end.

    Like #5 correctly states, calling the White House about three Jewish boys is a waste of time. If you call the White House about Trayvon Martin or global warming, THEN your call will perhaps be noticed!

    Likewise with Members of our Federal Legislature: Calls to Members who care about we care about, its like preaching to the choir. Calls to Members who are more interested in global warming will give it the old “I’ll let the Senator/Congressman know your opinion” lie.

    Usually it is an underling and gofers that take these calls anyway. Unless it is a particular issue that the Member is laser-focused on, the person answering the phone is just giving you plain ol’ lip service.

    Unfortunately, that is the sad reality….