The taller man is Rabbi Yakov Nagen (his Facebook page is here), and the other man is his friend Ibrahim, a Palestinian. I’m no fan of religion, as it’s divisive and wrong, but if those divisions can be breached with a hug, that is a good thing.
Israellycool provides a translation of Nagen’s words:
The families of the boys – a return call
A short time after they found the bodies of the three boys, my friend Ibrahim from East Jerusalem called me to express his deep sorrow over the killings, and to convey that his heart is with the boys’ families.
I never imagined that a few days later, I would have to call him to express my deep sorrow for the murder of Mohammed Abu Khdeir from East Jerusalem, and to convey that my heart is with the boy’s family.
May their memories be a blessing.
And shortly before I got the picture above, Malgorzata sent me the latest picture of Hili and Cyrus, who are now becoming friends. It was taken by Andrzej, who captioned it, “This is a picture I was dreaming about: galloping together.”
The parallel, though unintended, is clear. If Andrzej’s dream can come true, why not the other?
There is more hope here, here, here, and here. By the way, although I appreciate the sentiments of the Rabbi Levanon in the last link (see below) I disagree strongly about his advocacy of the death penalty—for anyone:
Rabbi Elyakim Levanon, one of the leading rabbis of the settlements in Judea and Samaria, has called for the imposition of the death penalty on the murderers of Muhammed Abu Khdeir, the Arab youth who was burnt alive last week.
Speaking to Walla news website, Levanon said Jewish law is not merciful when dealing with “such a cruel murder,” regardless of whether the victim was Jewish or not.
That same article reports other rabbis decrying the murder of Abu Khdeir. I was surprised to learn that Israel does indeed have a death penalty for things like treason and genocide, but in fact only one person has ever been “civilly” executed by the State of Israel: Adolf Eichmann. (One Israeli soldier was executed in 1948 by firing squad for treason.)