J Street mourns the death of Mohammed Abu Khudair

July 2, 2014

We condemn, in the strongest possible terms, the murder of a 16-year-old Palestinian, Mohammed Abu Khudair, in what may be a revenge killing for the murders of three Israeli teenagers.

As police investigate to get to the bottom of this awful crime, Israeli and Palestinian leaders must take steps to calm the situation before violence spirals out of control. There is no place, and there should be no tolerance, for acts of violence, lawlessness or incitement.

When leaders on both sides use heated and intemperate rhetoric, they help create an atmosphere which extremists on both sides are eager to exploit. This is a time for responsible leadership. The word “revenge” should have no place in anyone’s vocabulary right now.

We welcome Prime Minister Netanyahu’s condemnation of this murder and his call for a swift and thorough investigation into this senseless act.

Though we understand the deep emotions in both the Jewish and Palestinian communities of Jerusalem, we urge them to see each other’s common humanity. We echo the moving statement by the uncle of Naftali Fraenkel, one of the three murdered Israeli teens: “There is no difference between blood and blood. A murderer is a murderer, no matter his nationality and age. There is no justification, no forgiveness and no atonement for any murder.”