Today, the leadership of the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America issued the following statement:
Today, we mourn the loss of Hallel Yaffa Ariel, a 13-year-old Israeli girl who was heinously attacked by a Palestinian terrorist in the bedroom of her family’s home in Israel. The Orthodox Union extends its deepest condolences to the Ariel family and we pray that God and the nation of Israel will comfort them in this time of terrible tragedy. We commend the Israeli security forces that responded quickly and saved the lives of others.
We also must say this: When violent attacks occur around the world, standard response is to state that the catalyst for the tragedy is inexplicable. Today, that is not the case at all. There is no doubt that the terrorist’s action was a result of the incessant incitement against Israelis that is spread in all quarters of Palestinian society by its leadership. This incitement is from time to time criticized, but only half-heartedly and almost always paired with an “explanation” that some activity by Israel is equally at fault.
The murder of a 13-year-old in her bedroom must shock the conscience of all people of good will and put an end to this trope. It is time for international leaders to not only clearly condemn this attack, but to assign responsibility properly; cease to blame Israel for its children being murdered; and take concrete action to impose consequences upon a Palestinian leadership that enables the murder of innocents.