Norway Jews demand dismissal of Bnei Akiva official who urged vengeance

(JTA) — Norway’s Jewish community is seeking the dismissal of the secretary general of the World Bnei Akiva movement after he called for the murder of three Israeli teens to be avenged with blood.

Rabbi Noam Perel made the call in a Facebook post on Monday hours after the bodies of three Israeli teens were discovered in a field north of Hebron, 18 days after they were reported missing. Israel said Hamas terrorists abducted and killed the teens.

In an open letter sent Thursday to World Zionist Organization and Jewish National Fund officials and to other leaders of Scandinavian Jewish communities, Ervin Kohn, president of the Jewish Community in Oslo, demanded that Perel be dismissed.

While the killings invoke “all kinds of feelings of rage in each and every one,” Kohn wrote, Perel’s message “goes against everything we believe in and the moral attitudes we try to instill in our children.”

Perel deleted and apologized for his post, in which he wrote, “The travesty will be atoned for with the enemy’s blood, not with our tears. A whole nation and thousands of years of history demands revenge. The government of Israel is convened for a meeting of vengeance that is not a mourning sitting. Leaders have gone crazy at the sight of the bodies of our sons, a government that would make the army of searchers into an army of avengers.”

Bnei Akiva is a worldwide religious Zionist youth movement.

Early Wednesday, an Arab boy was abducted from an area north of Jerusalem. A burnt body was found hours later in a forest near the Israeli capital.

Israel police suspect it was a reprisal attack by Jewish Israeli extremists seeking to avenge the abduction and killing of the three Israelis.

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