ADL Condemns Possible Revenge Killing of Arab Teen from East Jerusalem

New York, NY, July 2, 2014 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today strongly condemned a possible revenge killing of an Arab teen from East Jerusalem, along with an alarming surge of incendiary calls for revenge by some Israelis, which have followed the discovery and burial of the three Israeli teens abducted by Palestinians.

Israeli media is reporting that 16-year-old Muhammad Hussein Abu Khdeir, from the Beit Hanina neighborhood in East Jerusalem, was allegedly kidnapped Tuesday night.  Israeli police are investigating if a body found in the Jerusalem Forest early Wednesday morning is that of the Arab teen. 

Incendiary calls for revenge and attacks on Arabs were featured at a Tuesday night rally in Jerusalem, on social media and in “price tag” attacks on Arab property since the discovery of the bodies of three kidnapped Israeli teens earlier this week. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has called the apparent attack on the Arab teen “abominable,” and has condemned calls for revenge. 

Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director, issued the following statement:

While we await the police investigation into the apparent abduction and possible murder of an Arab teen, we cannot wait to speak out against incendiary calls for violence and revenge by some Israelis.

We all feel outrage and heartbreak over the murder of Naftali Fraenkel, Gilad Shaar and Eyal Yifrach. Yet there is no justification for vigilante violence and acts of revenge targeting Arabs. Any loss of life -- be it Israeli or Arab -- is a tragedy.  Vengeance is not a part of Judaism or Jewish tradition.

In their eulogies, the parents of the three Israeli teens spoke of unity and love, with no calls for vengeance.  It is a sad reality that among many Palestinians, the public messages have not been about love and peace but about hatred and conflict.  

We support the Prime Minister’s call for a swift and intensive probe into the apparent attack in Beit Hanina. Whoever is responsible must be brought to justice. 

ADL is the world’s leading anti-hate organization. Founded in 1913 in response to an escalating climate of anti-Semitism and bigotry, its timeless mission is to protect the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment for all. Today, ADL continues to fight all forms of hate with the same vigor and passion. A global leader in exposing extremism, delivering anti-bias education, and fighting hate online, ADL is the first call when acts of anti-Semitism occur. ADL’s ultimate goal is a world in which no group or individual suffers from bias, discrimination or hate.