The head of the World Bnei Akiva youth movement called for the “enemy’s blood” in revenge for the murder of Eyal Yifrah, Naftali Fraenkel and Gil-Ad Shaer on a Facebook post he wrote after the discovery of the slain teenagers.
In a post written Monday, World Bnei Akiva secretary- general Rabbi Noam Perel wrote: “Three corpses of our youths were found dumped in a field,; an entire nation and thousands of years of history demands revenge.
The government of Israel is convening for a vengeance hearing which is not about mourning. The Master of the house has gone crazy at the sight of the corpses of his sons. A government should turn the army that was searching into vengeful soldiers; soldiers who will not stop at 300 Philistine foreskins.”
The last line referring to “Philistine foreskins” is a biblical reference to the book of Samuel, in which the future King David wages war against the Philistines, killing 200 of them and bringing back their foreskins as proof for King Saul.
Perel concluded: “The humiliation will be atoned by the blood of the enemy and not by our tears.”
He subsequently deleted the post and issued an apology, saying his comments were misunderstood.
“My words have been misrepresented due to their biblical and poetic style. I deeply and unreservedly apologize for the anger that this has caused,” Perel wrote on Thursday.
“Particularly in times of national tragedy, it is incumbent upon leaders and educators to be more precise and careful in words than I have demonstrated.”
Bnei Akiva is a national-religious youth movement with branches in Jewish communities around the world.
Meretz MK Michal Rozin strongly criticized Perel’s comments Thursday and called on Education Minister Shai Piron to condemn them as well.
Referring to the large number of calls for revenge for the murder of three teenagers by Israelis on social media pages, Rozin said it was imperative that such comments be decried.
“In these explosive days, with the precarious security situation and social networks brimming with tens of thousands of calls for revenge for the murder of the three boys, many of them from Israeli youth, the need to condemn incitement and calm people down, is urgent” Rozin said.
One Facebook group called Revenge against Arabs has more than 3,500 likes, The People Demand Revenge Now has over 3,600 likes, The People of Israel Demand Revenge has some 5,700 likes, and Bibi, the People Want Revenge has over 4,644 likes.
A group called Revenge Won’t Bring Back the Boys has 915 likes.
On Wednesday night, Chief Rabbi David Lau spoke out against calls for revenge, saying it is wrong in terms of morality, ethical values, and Jewish law.
“We must rely on the security services to do their job properly and not think at all about independent and dangerous revenge operations, which could endanger lives across the entire region,” Lau said.
“God is a God of vengeance.
Our revenge will be the punishment of the murderers and continuation of the wonderful path of unity and strengthening [of] the Jewish faith.”