Daily Israel Report

Kidnapped Teen's Mother Speaks Out at the UN

"It is wrong to take children and use them as an instrument in any struggle. You are responsible for human rights."
By Tova Dvorin
First Publish: 6/24/2014, 12:25 PM

Racheli Frenkel, the mother of kidnapped teen Naftali Frenkel (16), addressed the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) on Tuesday, urging them to rally the international community to place pressure on Hamas to release the kidnapped teens. With her were Bat Galim Sha'ar and Iris Yifrah. 

"I have come here today as a mother," Frenkel said, tearfully. "Twelve days ago,  my son Naftali, and two other teenage students, Eyal Yifrah and Gilad Shaer — whose mothers are sitting behind me — were kidnapped on their way home from school. Since then, we’ve heard nothing — no news, no sign of life.

Frenkel spoke a little about each of the boys, humanizing them in the face of the delegitimization and smear campaign presented by the UNHRC for the 90 minutes prior. 

"With your permission, I’d like to tell you about the boys. My son Naftali is 16. He loves to play guitar and basketball. He’s a good student and a good boy - a combination of serious and fun. Eyal loves to play sports and cook. Gilad is an amateur pastry chef, and loves movies.

"My son texted me - said he’s on his way home - and then he’s gone. Every mother’s nightmare is waiting and waiting endlessly for her child to come home."

"We wish to express our profound gratitude for the waves of prayers, support and positive energy, pouring in from around the world."

"Being in this assembly, I wish to thank the UN Secretary-General for condemning the abduction of our boys, expressing his solidarity with the families, and calling for their immediate release."

"And I thank the International Red Cross for stating clearly that international humanitarian law prohibits the taking of hostages, and for demanding the immediate and unconditional release of our boys."

"At the same time, I believe much more can be done - and should be done - by so many. That is why we three mothers have come here today - before the United Nations, and before the world - to ask everyone, to do whatever they can, to bring back our boys."

Frenkel then bravely took to task the justification of the abduction as a vehicle of Palestinian Arab 'frustration.'

"Mr. President, it is wrong to take children, innocent boys or girls, and use them as instruments of any struggle. It is cruel."

"This council is charged with protecting human rights. I wish to ask: Doesn’t every child have the right to come home safely from school?"

Naftali Frenkel (16), Gilad Sha'ar (16), and Eyal Yifrah (19) were kidnapped by Hamas terrorists thirteen days ago from a bus stop and hitchhiking post in Gush Etzion, while attempting to make their way home from school. 

The international community has had a decidedly blasé attitude toward the kidnapping, with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon saying that he is "unsure" the abduction really happened and UN officials urging Israel to show "restraint" in cracking down on the terrorists responsible. 

Some progress appears to have been made, however. On Monday, the United Nations Security Council failed to agree on a statement that would have condemned Israel over the deaths of Palestinian Arabs as part of its security operation in Judea and Samaria, dubbed 'Operation Brothers' Keeper.' 

Despite this, the UNHRC meeting held just before Frenkel spoke featured an ongoing barrage against Israel, with several countries making wild claims against the Jewish state, including that it had occupied Syria and Lebanon and that it is participating in ethnic cleansing. 



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