Ruti and Udi Fogel
Ruti and Udi Fogel Israel news photo: INN

Jews around the world are marking 30 days since the murder of five members of the Fogel family in Itamar on Sunday. A new Torah study hall was dedicated in Itamar in memory of Rabbi Udi Fogel, and thousands of people are expected to take part in ceremonies in the United States as well.

In addition to Jewish support, the mourning Fogel family has received condolences from Members of Parliament in Europe, and even from an Arab activist in Jordan.

Flemish Members of Parliament Filip Dewinter, Frank Creyelman and Tanguy Veys of Vlaams Belang, a right-wing Belgian political party, sent their “sincere condolences” to relatives of the Fogel family on Sunday. “This crime affects us deeply,” they said.

“It is clear that the Islamic hatred and terrorism spares nobody and knows no mercy,” they continued.
“However, one must never bend for this terror, whether it appears here in Europe or in distant Israel. Knowing that throughout the world people struggle every day against the threats of Islam, one must draw the strength to persevere and to never give up.”

Another European politician, Heinz-Christian Strache, Chairman of Austria's Freedom Party, had previously sent condolences as well. Strache avoided political sentiment, saying, “It is very difficult for me to find the right words of condolence in the face of this crime... I am with you and the settler families in this difficult time.”

Perhaps the most unexpected show of support came from a Jordanian man identifying himself as “a Palestinian, writer, and political activist.” The man, Mudar Zahran, wrote to Udi Fogel's father, Chaim Fogel, saying, “I am writing to you today to express my sincere apologies and condolences for the terrible crime that claimed the lives of your loved ones.  

“No word of apologies or condolences could ever match the magnitude of the heinous crime committed; nonetheless I wish to tell you that there are Palestinians who would never deny you your right to live in peace on your own land.  I also would love to assure you that my group and I, all Palestinian intellectuals, do strongly and passionately support your right to live and rule over your own soil undisturbed and un-terrorized.”

Zahran later said, “While no words can make up for your pain and suffering, one thing you should take in pride, is the fact that your loved ones have been killed because they loved their land and embodied their faith... We support you unconditionally.”

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