Jewish Terrorists

I had planned to put out a post tonight marking the ending of the Shiva for the three murdered boys, and commenting on the mood within our nation.  The breaking news tonight makes that discussion seem inappropriate right now.  Perhaps in a day or two.  For now, I would like to share these thoughts.

muhammad abu khdeirThere is still a gag order preventing the press from releasing details, but it seems that six young Jews have been arrested on suspicions of kidnapping and murdering 16-year old Muhammad Abu Khdeir last week, in revenge for the murder of our three boys several weeks earlier.  Muhammad was murdered several hours after Eyal, Gil-Ad and Naftali were buried.

If this is true, then the killers are Jewish terrorists. There is no other word for it, and they must be treated as such.

They must be tried, and if the evidence supports it, convicted and sentenced according to the full severity of the law.   There is no justification and no excuse for murdering an innocent child, no matter how understandable our grief or anger.  There is no difference between a Jewish and an Arab terrorist, just as there is no difference between a Jewish and an Arab victim.

And if indeed Muhammad was murdered by Jewish terrorists, that means there are terrorists among us, and this is a stain on all of us.  As the Bible teaches in the context of the commandment known as Egla Arufa (Deuteronomy 21:1-9), if someone is murdered near our communities, the entire community bears some of the blame.  We must all do some soul-searching to ask how it is that such people can come from our communities.  This cannot be allowed to ever happen again.
At the same time, it’s important to remember that although the Jewish terrorists are no different than the Arab terrorists, as a nation we are still very different from our enemies.  Let’s compare:

        • Three Jewish teenagers were murdered by Palestinian terrorists.
  • There were celebrations in Gaza, the Palestinian Authority governing party glorified the crime and launched facebook campaign celebrating the “victory” with three-finger salutes (while mumbling a six-word “condemnation” in English and continuing to celebrate in Arabic).
  • The murderers have still not been found.
  • Meanwhile, the people of Israel, and Jews all around the world, prayed and mourned.


  • An Arab teenager was murdered by Jewish terrorists.
  • There were swift condemnations by both the Prime Minister and the President of Israel, the family of Naftali Frenkel, and Israelis from across the political and ideological spectrum.
  • The Israeli police launched a swift investigation, and arrested six suspects within four days.
  • Meanwhile, thousands of Arabs are rioting violently and calling for a third intifada.

We are not like our enemies.  It’s our responsibility to make sure it stays that way.

18 thoughts on “Jewish Terrorists

  1. Sarah

    This should be taken down because the investigation concluded that the boy was killed by his own family because he was gay. Please take this down to avoid further spreading suspicion that the Jews had anything to do with this.

    1. rabbihaber Post author

      I’m sorry Sarah, but what you write is not true. The government has officially announced that six Jews have been arrested and at least one already confessed to the crime. This is being reported by all reputable news outlets. See, for example,

      If you can produce evidence to back up your claim, I will remove the article.

      Sadly, though, it is true. A Jew, or more than one, murdered this child. Denying it or sweeping it under the rug makes us no better than our evil enemies.

      1. Mike

        First, I don’t personally condone killing – especially not children. But since I’m writing to a Rabbi’s page – let’s talk Torah.

        The Gmara discuses if a Goy raids the land of a Jew (for the purpose of stealing), then the Jew is COMMANDED to kill him on the spot – not for the purpose of “killing” – rather for the purpose of determent to others who would potentially follow in their footsteps. In this case, the killers of Eyal, Gil, and Naftali we’re not caught – but there are many just like those killers from the Muslim/Arab people who follow in their footsteps. Local stats released by Israeli internal security services state around 40 kidnappings we’re stopped. Israel went to war over 3 soldiers kidnapped in Lebanon- and released 1,200 convicted Muslim prisoners for Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit. So the first purpose of kidnapping was not killing – rather releasing other killers.

        The killing of an Arab child (for the purpose of killing) is WRONG. But since we know who the killers are, and we know their intentions, it does NOT follow under Egla Arufa.

        But after living in Israel for 20 years and seeing thousands of Jews killed over the years (Rockets, Bus Bombs, Kidnappings, Soldiers, etc) on a general basis – allow me state that as a “deter” only, the childs death (however horrible it was…) hopefully (now that its done anyway) will serve a much bigger purpose. Fact is, there are 1.2 billion Muslims worldwide and university and CIA statistics show that between 25%-30% of the Muslims have “radical” views.

        In short, those numbers suggest that the entire population of the United States (with all of its illegal immigrants combined), hence over 350+ million people – are a danger (not only to the region) but to this world.

        My advice Rabbi is Instead of condemning a specific symptom – perhaps you should come up with ideas to put out the fire before it spreads. Otherwise, this entire blog is nothing more than loud noise in the backround screaming “PROBLEM” but not “SOLUTION”.

        As a Jew, I expect Rabbi’s to provide SOLUTIONS and not more PROBLEMS.

        Btw – this is a great watch:

      2. rabbihaber Post author

        Mike, I didn’t mean to imply that there is a halachic case of Egla Arufa here. You are correct; there is no such halachic status here. All I meant to say was that this law teaches us a moral principle – if a murder takes place in our community, we share in the blame.

        I am not a pacifist, and I did not call for military restraint. At this very moment our soldiers are lining up outside the Gaza strip and we are bombing them repeatedly. I support this completely.

        Having said that, though, your hope for “something good” coming out of a murder performed by Jews is – in my opinion – exceedingly dangerous. It may have been sentiments like that that helped encourage the crime. Let’s leave the deterrence to the army. If you have an idea, speak to the government about it.

        You want a plan to start putting out the fire before it spreads? I just gave you one.

  2. Benji Lovitt

    I agree with the previous comment. EVEN IF it were found that Jews didn’t kill this boy, there is no shortage of other horrible events going on around Israel being perpetrated by racist and bloodthirsty Jews. We need to look in the mirror and hold ourselves accountable.

  3. Pinchas Eliyahu

    You are a Rabbi, you should know that the killing of a NON JEW, by a Jew (kal v’chomer if he is an adult member of an enemy nation that is actively at war with us) is NOT murder. Maybe it is an unjustified killing, maybe it is against the Torah and even a Biblical Prohibition, maybe it is a foolish act that damages our image but MURDER it is not and will never be. Please stop distorting the Torah….

    1. rabbihaber Post author

      Pinchas, this is incorrect.

      Killing a non-Jew is murder according to halacha, even though there is no chiyuv mitat bet din. See Rambam Hilchot Rotzeach 1:1 and 2:11 and the Kesef Mishneh there. See also Tosafot Yevamot 61a dh “v’ein”.

      If the victim is a member of a nation at war with us that may change things ONLY if the killer is a soldier being sent by our government. That is true – IDF soldiers who kill Palestinians in combat are certainly not murderers!! But that is not true of private individuals.

      The person or people who killed Muhammad Abu Khdeir are murderers according to halacha.

      1. Ron Cohen

        Look at this picture of the “poor kid” while the searching went on for the three Israeli boys. .he’s waving three Fingers dressed in a kafia
        Can’t post the pic here but you can find it on my fb

  4. Lee

    Rabbi, while I appreciate your post, I have to question why you label Arabs “our enemies.” It is that point of view that breeds further distrust, contempt and hatred. Also, while there may be truth to the differences you list, it comes off as a justification — that even though Jews committed an act of terror, we are still “better” than the Arabs.

    You can always find people who rejoice at the pain of others, be they Arab or Jew. I aspire to find those who share in my sense of humanity and build a future with them. By pointing out differences, we will never find peace.

    1. rabbihaber Post author

      I accept your point – I should have been more careful with my language. I did not mean to refer to all Arabs as “our enemies”. That is absolutely not the case.

      We do, however, have many enemies, and I was referring to them. I include in that not only Hamas but also the Palestinian Authority and many elements in Israeli Arab society that identify with and support them. I include in that also those who are participating in and encouraging the inexcusable riots currently taking place around the country.

      When referring to those enemies, I state unequivocally: we are better than they are. Tragically, the recent crime brought us down a bit closer to their level. My point is that we must reverse that before it becomes a pattern, God forbid.

  5. Hanan

    I don’t understand, why is kidnapping a kid and murdering him (as atrocious as it is) an act of terrorism as opposed to outright murder? Is every murder now a terrorist act?

    1. rabbihaber Post author

      If the murder is committed for political/ideological reasons, and with the goal of instilling fear among the population of the victim, it is terrorism.

      1. Hanan

        That just begs the question. Why not call this what it is, an act of vengeance and thats all? Would this particular act have happened if not for the three boys murdered earlier? Of course not. Political and ideology are there all the time yet seldom if ever do you see murder being a tool on the side of Jews to instill fear for political or other ideological reasons.

  6. Dov Blair Epstein

    Accused, tried , and executed in the media court. No proof is needed, just symmetry. The police are backed against the wall, and need to produce “terrorists.” The police also denied legal access to MINORS. The police also coerce unadvised minors, threaten them…remember the girls arrested from our ignonimous retreat from Gaza…denied legal access…threatened…you people are no experts on anything but opinion, but you will accuse to attain symmetry, to be loved by the Jew hating leftists. There is NO proof Jews did this.A confession? The police couldn’t find their elbows in the dark. The video is no proof, but you want to believe. Shame on you.Rabbi Haber, “The government has officially announced that six Jews have been arrested and at least one already confessed to the crime. This is being reported by all reputable news outlets. See, for example,
    If you can produce evidence to back up your claim, I will remove the article.

    Sadly, though, it is true.” Sadly , it’s true? what that a confession was coerced, cause Bibi needs symmetry, or the cops need symmetry?Sadly, it’s true. a confession? You don’t know how the police work here.Sadly ,it’s true, that for you to believe this is not sad, it’s shame.

    1. rabbihaber Post author

      I haven’t tried or convicted anyone. In your rush to accuse me of pandering to leftists (I’ve been accused of many things before but I think this is a first!) you apparently didn’t bother to notice that I qualified my statement with “if this is true” and “if they are convicted”.

      I also have complaints, sometimes harsh ones, against my government, legal system and security forces. But fundamentally I believe in Israeli democracy. If the police announced that they have arrested suspects, I trust them that they have evidence against those suspects. If they announce that one has confessed, I believe them. And most importantly, I trust that the suspects will be given a fair trial with due process.

      Apparently you don’t share that trust. So we disagree.

      1. Mike

        Relative to the Rabbi’s reply to my earlier post where he stated the following:

        “Having said that, though, your hope for “something good” coming out of a murder performed by Jews is – in my opinion – exceedingly dangerous. It may have been sentiments like that that helped encourage the crime. Let’s leave the deterrence to the army. If you have an idea, speak to the government about it.”

        1. First, we are at WAR. It’s not a WAR on land – cause even if PEACE on LAND concessions were to be made, they will never accept our existence into their society (and/or as next door neighbors even in a land they govern), and we will never accept marrying into their families nor do we want to live by them. There is no room for plaurism as exists in the US. “Peace Sells” but the truth is, NOBODY IS BUYING.

        2. We all know that even to make peace, they would need to disarm Gaza / Hamas and all military regiments. That means tons of bloodshed – cause they will never accept this. Til they are disarmed, no Jew will accept the notion of any “peace” initiative. So the real PROBLEM is Israeli Gov is limited in what it can do – and the international community will not allow us to announce publicly that the peace process is nothing more than a SHAM. I should also note that the Palestinians are NOT united. Gaza used to belong to Egypt – hence the Arabic spoken in Gaza is different than in the West Bank (i.e. Ramalla) cause that was formerly controlled by Jordan.

        3. In 24 years of living in Israel, I’ve seen very few “Jewish Terror Attacks”. Ami Pauper, Baruch Goldstein, and perhaps these kids. Perhaps their were more – but they are limited in numbers.

        As for the Arabs – they them kill us, go to prison for a couple of years, and then somebody else kills some more using children’s bodies or soldiers dead bodies (i.e. Lebanon 2) or Gilad Shalit – as a bargain chip to get out of prison – and Israeli’s accept that. The Gov needs to stop the insane “wheeling and dealing”. Just last week, it was reported that the murderer of a top police official in Hebron during Pesach was a criminal released in one of those prisoner swaps. That’s the PROBLEM – and the solution is STOP RELEASING PRISONERS.

        Blood in ancient Aramaic is “money” or “bargain chip”. That being said, Judaic law rejects releasing for more than its worth – and the Israeli Gov needs to abandon the concept of releasing thousands of vicious animals for Jews.

        4. Israel gives money to the “Palestinian Authority” – who in turn gives Arab prisoners money for being in prison. The amount of money for each prisoner is determined by the amount of years they are sent to prison. So the harder the crime, the more money their families receive. The average income in Gaza is $300 a month. Some prisoners get 12,000 NIS for multiple life sentences. The average lifer (for one murder) is 7,000 NIS.

        SOLUTION – Supporting terrorists by the PA or any governing body (Hamas was elected by their local people…) or indirectly by Israel needs to be STOPPED.

        5. I don’t condone Jews killing innocent people, especially not kids. I don’t accept the notion that the Palestinians are “Amalek” who deserve genocide. But you mentioned the Israeli Gov as being the accepted governing force – so let me get to the point. Nobody trusts this or any Gov coalition or opposition (and with so many parties…nobody can even make a decision)

        6. All the above being said, I think those kids who killed that Arab simply don’t trust our Gov who finances the Arab murderers families, releases the Arab murderers and criminals from prisons after their buddies commit more kidnappings/murders, and without disarming – runs around Europe/America saying they are talking “PEACE”. Fact is, PEACE SELLS BUT NOBODY IS BUYING. So NO, I dont accept your suggestion of putting my trust in the Israeli Gov. They are part of the problem, not the solution.

        7. Only the religious Jews have a solution to the demographic problem. We need to get rid of the Knesset and put in a Kingdom (preferably son of David). That makes everybody a resident to the king and his offspring and prevents us from being out numbered democratically. I came to Israel and there was 4.5 million residents. Today there is over 7 million. In 25 years at the Arab birthrate, chances are they will be in a position to out number us at over 50% in the knesset. You see, today nobody accepts a KINGDOM as opposed to a GOV cause if your RIGHT WING you may like BIBI but not his son Yair. If your left, you may like Peres but not his offspring. In 25 years when the Arab citizens out numbers us, it will be interesting to see if we let them rule. You see, a REAL SOLUTION – but it demands UNITY.

        8. Now, lets talk about the 6 kids arrested. We dont know their names or backrounds. But let me ask you all a question. If somebody killed a sibbling of one of those kids arrested (sister, brother, daughter, etc) and later found out the Palestinian Gov paid hundreds of thousands to the killers family, and to make things worse – the Israeli Gov later let the killer go free – and then the killing of these 3 kids occurred – and something snapped in them – are they “Terrorists” or just VICTIMS themselves of an insane society?

        One one side you mention “Eglas Arufa” on its moral ground while also acknowledging that the murder of a child does not follow under the same guidelines. But lets face it, if we’re talking about society and morals – and linking the confidence that I or other Israeli’s should have in the Government, I think your post should talk more about the Israeli and PA’s Gov’s responsibility and mistakes – before judging some kids that we don’t even know all the facts surrounding the individual case.

        BTW – here’s a video to remind us all that what you see, and what the truth behind it – is always 2 different things….

        And finally – I don’t trust the Israeli police. Fact is, the cops didn’t react to the original phone call, after they clearly heard the words “I’m being kidnapped” and also clearly heard the arab instructions followed by gun shots. They didn’t pass the conversation on to other security forces.

        The security forces found the car used in the kidnappings just 2 days after the murders – which means they knew from blood stains, brain parts and other forensics – that those boys we’re dead. For 3 weeks, we all were led to believe their was hope. So no way do I trust those who make decisions on behalf of the Israeli Gov. They in my book are PART OF THE PROBLEM.

        Btw – 99% of Israel doesn’t trust the Gov – and as for the army (most Israelis do trust the army), its only as good as the orders given by the politicians. The only reason Bibi will order an attack on Gaza is to save face against Liberman and his political campaign for the next elections. You and I (and every Israeli…) knows that.

  7. Raphy

    You are a smart man rabbi. A terrorist is a terrorist. When we finally get rid of all terrorist whether jew or arab, only then will peace have a chance. Until then I stand strong with israel until then and pray for any bled shed on both sides. It doesnt matter that they rejoice and it doesnt matter that they want more blood. If there is 1 thing I learned from yeshiva university over the last 5 years, it is that we must look at who we are and we do instead of comparing ourselves and feeling that we deserve more or better. It has always been ourdown fall to want to be like the goyim. Its about time that stops. Am israel chai

  8. Dana

    Thank you. I have been needing a response like yours. I need to hear more outrage and sadness from Jews and Israel’s than justifications of another teenage victim another family’s grief and loss. We are all responsible if we allow this to happen.


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