The Sacramento family of the Palestinian boy allegedly killed in revenge for the killing of three Israeli teens by Palestinians is mourning their lost cousin–and staging protests against the Israeli government. Earlier in the week, the Los Angeles-based aunt of one of the three Israeli teens killed, had spoken out, saying she hoped they were “the last three victims in this terrorism.” Instead of being united in grief, these families are divided.
The Palestinian family’s reaction mirrors that of Palestinians as a whole, and much of the sympathetic world in Europe and the Middle East: namely, the death of Mohammad Abu Khdeir requires that Israel be punished. The Israeli family’s reaction in California likewise reflects that of much of Israeli society, as well as Jews around the world–that violence as a whole must stop. The distinction between the two reactions is subtle–but crucial.
Indeed, while the Israeli government joined in condemning Khdeir’s apparent murder, and vowed to investigate the crime and punish the perpetrators, the Palestinian Authority actively celebrated the kidnappings of Gilad Shaar, Eyal Yifrach, and Naftali Fraenkel. While distance from the conflict might be expected to offer a sense of perspective, in fact the divergent reactions of Palestinian and Israeli society appear to be reflected in California.
A news report by the local Fox affiliate in Sacramento about a local interfaith gathering to remember Khdeir stated that the purpose of the meeting had been to “focus on the need for healing.” However, the camera then focused on a leaflet being distributed at the gathering, which called to “End Israel’s Killing Binge!!” (at 1:22 in the video below). With innocent death being exploited in that way, the hate and killing are unlikely to stop soon.