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What is the Divine Message in Two Executions on the same day?

Two men were executed on city streets, on August 9, 2014, one in Miami Beach and one in a small Missouri town, on the same Sabbath morning, one at 9:00 am and the other less than three hours later. One has been determined by the police to have “no evidence of a hate crime” committed against him, and the other has received overwhelming worldwide media attention for exactly that, because a White police officer riddled with bullets the face and body of the unarmed Black teen.

NO EVIDENCE OF HATE CRIME IN RABBI'S EXECUTION

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The other unarmed victim of execution was a 60-year-old Rabbi walking in a placid Jewish Miami Beach neighborhood on his way to synagogue, assassinated by two Black youths carrying a loaded gun, while on foot, clad in brightly-colored shirts, proud to kill and walk away from the dead grandfather. Is there anything wrong with this picture, other than the assassinations of unarmed men? Is this merely a chance coincidence of tragedies, or is there a Divine message here?

The teen’s execution is the object of intense scrutiny by multiple law enforcement agencies and government officials, including the President of the United States, the FBI, the Missouri State Police, the Governor of Missouri, and the United States Department of Justice, operating under the banner of a “hate crime.”

On the other hand, the Rabbi’s execution is being investigated by the local police, claiming there is “no evidence of a hate crime.” The investigation has produced no suspects. The investigations of the entire string of crimes against Jews in North Miami Beach likewise remain unsolved. No FBI agents have been brought in to scour the confined area for clues. No Department of Justice officials are assisting the local police in locating and forcefully prosecuting the predators who first attacked Jewish cars on the Sabbath of July 26, writing “HAMAS” and “JEW” on the vehicles.

There is no concern about the federal prosecution of the next crime committed a day later in the dead of night, when the majestic front pillars of a Miami Beach synagogue were defaced with bright red swastikas and the word “HAMAS” once again appearing.

Without the heat turned to red hot pursuit of the criminals brazenly desecrating the synagogue, with their crimes being investigated solely as “criminal mischief” versus hate crimes, the felonies escalated days later to assassination of a Rabbi on a sunny Miami Beach street, just two blocks from the synagogue, while his grandchildren walked behind him as he was executed.

At the Rabbi’s memorial service the next day, August 10, the car of a mourner was marked with a now-familiar word, “HAMAS,” in the escalating stream of crimes against Jews.

Is there a climate of hate against Jews that is producing hate crimes in Miami Beach? Of course. To deny this premise is to obliterate the pattern of escalation of the crimes against property and person, the textual clues used like “HAMAS” and “JEW,” and the temporal contiguity of the crimes… July 26, July 27, August 9, and August 10.

In the brief span of two weeks, multiple Jewish-owned cars in proximate Jewish neighborhoods have been assailed with eggs, cream cheese, sharp objects, and anti-Semitic words; a stately synagogue was defaced with swastikas and “HAMAS” painted permanently on its pillars; two blocks down the same street, a father of six was assassinated in front of his grandchildren on their way to synagogue on the Jewish Sabbath; and the car of a mourner attending the memorial of the Jew massacred in broad daylight was marked with “HAMAS” upon it.

In conclusion, even if there were “no evidence of a hate crime” and serial hate crimes now being committed against Jews in the United States, in Miami Beach, perhaps there is a Divine message here – that Jews should be as protective and as prominent in defending the precious lives of our People as are other minorities victimized by hearts and fists bursting with hate. If we Jews do not heed this message, we bring upon ourselves the world’s disrespect for failing to descry the grave injustices that lead men to put other men into early graves because of their face or their faith.

Our voices should be a chorus against injustice to our own People … a chorus that rings around the world and all the way to Heaven.

POSTER - STRING OF MB HATE CRIMES V. JEWS

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IDF Raids Seek an American and Two Israelis Allegedly Abducted by Hamas

Saturday night, the IDF and Shin Bet arrested more than 80 Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad activists in Hebron in the disputed territories. This is in connection with the abduction of three youths, one American and two Israelis. The IDF has committed a paratroop brigade to the operation sealing off the area of the abduction. The IDF and Israel’s General Security Service (Shin Bet) launched a massive manhunt last Thursday for the alleged Hamas abductors of 16 year old American Naftali Frenkel and two Israelis, Gilad Shaar, 16 and Eyal Yifrach, 19. They were allegedly abducted while hitchhiking home from religious school in the Gush Etzion bloc between Bethlehem and Hebron.  According to a Washington Post report, one of the abductees got off a cell call saying, “we’ve been kidnapped”.

Hamas is believed to be behind their abduction.  At a Sunday Cabinet meeting, Israeli PM Netanyahu said:

Those who perpetrated the abduction of our youths were members of Hamas; the same Hamas that Abu Mazen (Abbas) made a unity government with. This has severe repercussions.

The WaPo report cited Israeli American Naftali Bennett, economics minister in the Netanyahu ruling coalition, saying: “We will respond with an iron fist to terror.”  Thousands of Israeli prayed for the safe return of the three youths at the Kotel, Western Wall, of the Temple in Jerusalem. The National Council of Young Israel in New York issued a call for a Prayer Service for the safe return outside the Israeli Consulate in Manhattan on Monday, June 16th. The announcement used the Twitter hashtag, #BringBackOurBoys.

Hamas issued a statement praising the abduction.   According to an updated report by The Daily Mail, Senior Hamas spokesperson, Sami Abu Zuhri in Gaza called the accusation by PM Netanyahu “silly”. Really?   While cooperating with the Palestinian security service, Israel also relies on their own resources in the West Bank to identify the abductors and the possible location of the three teens. This despite PA senior official Hanan Ashrawi cited  by The Daily Mail saying , “this is something we have no information on”.  However, what can you expect from the Palestinian unity government with Hamas.  Its Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah acknowledges that it has no control over Gaza.

Secretary of State Kerry issued a statement today saying:

The United States strongly condemns the kidnapping of three Israeli teenagers and calls for their immediate release. Our thoughts and prayers are with their families. We hope for their quick and safe return home. We continue to offer our full support for Israel in its search for the missing teens, and we have encouraged full cooperation between the Israeli and Palestinian security services. We understand that cooperation is ongoing.

We are still seeking details on the parties responsible for this despicable terrorist act, although many indications point to Hamas’ involvement. As we gather this information, we reiterate our position that Hamas is a terrorist organization known for its attacks on innocent civilians and which has used kidnapping in the past.

Three Israelis? Frankel is a US citizen. The Daily Mail noted Frankel’s mother’s   public message to her son that reflected the concerns of many Israelis and Americans:

Mommy and Daddy and your brothers love you until the end of the world and you should know that the people of Israel are doing all they can to bring you back home.

Israelis and Americans are more than concerned about the fate of three abductees given prior occurrences, including former IDF Sgt. Gilad Shalit snatched during a cross border raid in 2006 and released in an exchange for more than 1,027 Palestinian prisoners in 2011.

Then there is the case of 13 year old Israeli American Koby Mandell and Israeli Yosef Ishran abducted and murdered while on a hike in the disputed territories near the Israeli settlement of Tekoa in May 2001. Mandell’s family had made Aliyah to Israel in the mid-1990’s. The US Congress passed the Koby Mandell Act in 2004 that authorized the Justice Department to arrest foreigners, including Palestinians, who had murdered Americans overseas.  The Koby Mandell Foundation was established in his memory to provide bereavement counseling to the parents and widows of terrorist victims.

In 2012, 52 members of Congress signed a letter sponsored by the Endowment for Middle East Truth (EMET) urging the Department of Justice’s Office for Justice of Victims of Overseas Terrorism (OJVOT), which was formed in 2005, to implement The Koby Mandell Act.  Sarah Stern of EMET said that the letter was to “ensure that the investigation and prosecution of terrorist attacks against American citizens overseas remain a high priority within the Department of Justice.”  Z Street, of which this writer is a board member, was one of several sponsors of the EMET letter to prod Attorney General Holder to recognize the responsibilities of OJVOT.

Sherri Mandell in a Jerusalem Post oped during the EMET 2012 campaign cited the dismal OJVOT track record since the law’s enactment in 2004:

The OJVOT is supposed to investigate, apprehend, indict, extradite and punish terrorists. At least 54 American citizens have been killed, and 83 wounded here in Israel. Neither the OJVOT nor the Department of Justice has done anything to enforce American law in these cases. The only terrorist prosecuted under the law was the killer of a Christian missionary in Indonesia. I’m happy that the killers were prosecuted, but still one wonders. Why is there no communication, investigation, prosecution, or indictment here in Israel? The OJVOT is supposed to protect us. Instead it neglects us.

We sincerely hope the massive IDF-Shin Bet dragnet can free American Naftali Frenkel, Israelis Gilad Shaar, Eyal Yifrach and capture their abductors. In view of the abject failure of the US government to pursue justice for the families of the US victims in Israel and the disputed territories, we trust the Israeli government can bring these perpetrators to justice.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared on The New English Review.