Gary Willig

We Must Condemn the Murder of Mohamed Abu Khdir

The abduction and murder of Mohamed Abu Khdir is a reprehensible and sadistic act that must be condemned by all decent people. With the new information that it was likely committed by Jewish extremists it is even more incumbent on us to condemn it in the strongest possible terms.

I could talk about how this killing of an unthreatening teenager was stupid and hurt Israel in the short and long-term, but that is beside the point. Murder is murder. And the murder of a child is worse still.

Each new detail revealed to the public is harder to stomach than the last. Burning a person alive is a particularly barbaric method of murder. We have had our share of crazies in the past, such as Baruch Goldstein and Yigal Amir. But this is a new and frightening low for a brand of extremist that has mostly limited itself to vandalism in recent years. It goes beyond rioting, beyond price tag attacks, and beyond the chaos of vigilantism.

The people who killed Mohamed are monsters, and I am thankful that Israeli society seems to recognize that as a whole. From the Prime Minister, to the chief Rabbis, to average citizens marching against the idea of hate, Israel has been full of condemnation of the hatred and violence that led to this murder. Even the more right-wing political parties have condemned the murder and the phenomenon of citizens taking the law into their own hands.

This condemnation from all sides is important because if it is not shunned, the extremism will only grow. Rather than allow that, we must nip this extremism in the bud.  We must condemn it as strongly as we condemned the equally sadistic murder of Gil-Ad, Eyal, and Naftali.

Abraham is considered the first Hebrew, but it was many generations earlier that all human beings were created in the image of Hashem. Our enemies may forget that, but we should never forget, even in our deepest anger and grief.

About the Author
Gary Willig is a researcher at the Center for Near East Policy Research and a student of communications at Bar Ilan University