Jewish Journal

This week in power: Boys found and Israel retaliates

by Danny Groner

July 2, 2014 | 8:20 pm

A roundup of the most talked about political and global stories in the Jewish world this week:

Burying the boys
The worst fears were confirmed earlier this week when the bodies of teenagers Eyal Yifrach, Gilad Shaar and Naftali Fraenkel, who were kidnapped last month, were found in a field north of Hebron. As word spread around the world, reports soon surfaced about what may have happened the night of the abduction. Some began to mourn. "Against this we must never forget the simple truth that those who begin by practising violence against their enemies end by committing it against their fellow believers. The verdict of history is that cultures that worship death, die, while those that sanctify life, live on. That is why Judaism survives while the great empires that sought its destruction were themselves destroyed," wrote Rabbi Jonathan Sacks in Times of Israel.

"As for the Palestinians and their inveterate sympathizers in the West, perhaps they should note that a culture that too often openly celebrates martyrdom and murder is not fit for statehood, and that making excuses for that culture only makes it more unfit," said Bret Stephens in The Wall Street Journal. "Surely there must be a retribution for a group that, whenever possible, acts on its sole declared aim: to destroy Israel and Jews. How best to balance revenge and restraint is the impossible challenge the government in Jerusalem and its armed forces must resolve," added Gary Rosenblatt in The Jewish Week.

Israel fights back
"The Israeli Air Force carried out what it called 'precision strikes' on 34 'terror targets' in the Gaza Strip overnight, and a Palestinian from the group Hamas was shot dead when he threw a grenade at forces carrying out an arrest raid," reported ABC News just after news spread of the discovery of the boys' bodies. Some commentators are calling for even more action. "Whatever your view on international law, the calls for restraint by Israel are perverse," wrote Jennifer Rubin in The Washington Post. "For now, the national mourning for the three teenagers is heartfelt and real. But as time passes, more Israelis will ask why their government is doing nothing to try to end a situation where Israeli teenagers are at constant risk of disappearing. And they won't be blaming only the Palestinians," said The Guardian's Anshel Pfeffer. Nevertheless, there are growing fears about revenge murders.

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Danny Groner is a contributing writer to the Jewish Journal. He has worked in journalism since he was a teenager, starting off as an intern for a local publication. During his...

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