An Open Letter to President Obama

Eyal Yifrach. Gil-ad Shaar. Naftali Fraenkel. What do these names mean to you? Let me give you a brief summary. They were teenagers. Their families loved them. Their friends cherished them. They enjoyed school. They were no different than the average American teenager. In fact, one of them was an American citizen. They lived in Israel, as well as in Judea and Samaria, pursuing the lifestyle of Jews long before our time. Not anymore.

Palestinian-Arab terrorists murdered these boys in cold blood. Kidnapped on the evening of June 12, Eyal, Gil-ad, and Naftali will never see their families again. Their innocent, young lives brutally taken by people that you swore to continue aiding with American tax dollars. Israel suspects that two Hamas operatives kidnapped these boys, but you have not made a single statement in support of Israel’s attempts to locate them. Even though Hamas continues to incite anti-Semitic terror, calls for the State of Israel’s destruction, and has a history of kidnapping and murdering innocent civilians well before you entered federal office, you remain adamant that funding these terrorists will eventually bring peace to the Middle East.

With all due respect, President Obama, you could not be more incorrect. You could not be more naïve. You could not be more mistaken by reality. You refused to make an official statement about the kidnapping of these boys, yet you expect the State of Israel to make concessions to pave the way for “peace” with a Palestinian government that includes the perpetrating terrorist organization that murdered Eyal, Gil-ad, and Naftali. You did not threaten to stop funding to the Palestinian Authority as long as its government is supported by Hamas. You failed to assure the Jewish community, both in Israel and America, that you would do everything in your power to assist Israel in bringing back our boys. Instead, they will never come home.

What message does this send the Jewish community, President Obama? You promised the Jewish people, both in America and in Israel, that you would stand idly by Israel and that you would support Israel’s right to exist in secure and recognized borders. You promised to lend Israel support at its time of need. You promised that you would maintain the unbreakable bond between the United States of America and the State of Israel. Today, you solidified your complete failure in upholding your promise to the Jewish people. Your words to President Peres were not enough. Where was your official statement? Where was your condemnation of Hamas when Israel deemed its operatives responsible for this despicable act? You were quick to send support to Nigeria when Boko Haram kidnapped hundreds of girls and boys, but you could not be bothered condemning the kidnapping and now murder of an American citizen, as well as two Israeli citizens. Why do you have a double standard against Israel when it comes to these matters? I cannot believe that you have thrown our biggest ally under the bus.

Eyal Yifrach. Gil-ad Shaar. Naftali Fraenkel. What do these names mean to us? They represent another three young, innocent souls who were brutally murdered simply for being Jewish, for simply living in their rightful homeland, and for simply existing. President Obama, I do not know where your dignity for human life is, but if you do not stand up justly in memory of these boys, then you will further lose the support of the Jewish community. We have had enough of your silence, of your inaction, and of your continuous double standards against Israel and our people. We shall never forget Eyal, Gil-ad, and Naftali, and we will ensure that you will not either.

About the Author
Elliott Hamilton is a JD/MPH candidate at Boston College Law School and Tufts University School of Medicine. He was credited as a researcher in the 2016 film "Hate Spaces: The Politics of Intolerance on Campus."