Congressman Peter Roskam

Representing the 6th District of Illinois

Roskam Remarks on Israeli Teenagers Killed by Hamas

Jul 1, 2014

Dear Friends,

I am deeply saddened to join with you today in mourning the tragic loss of three young lives.  Naftali Frankel, Gilad Shaar, and Eyal Yifrach were victims of a senseless crime.  To their families and friends, I send my deepest condolences.  For our two countries, I pray for peace and direction for the United States and Israel.

It is especially painful that the events bringing us together today came at the hands of terrorism.  These three young students took no part in any conflict, yet they were targeted as enemy combatants.  As a father, this devastating cruelty weighs heavily on my heart. 

My wife Elizabeth and I pray for peace and healing for those suffering from this brutal loss, for the boys’ families, and for this one.  Whether we are gathered in Chicago or Hebron, New York City or Jerusalem, we are all visited by our own mortality today, reminded that we live in a dangerous, deeply imperfect world.

We don’t yet know the full picture about the perpetrators of this horrendous crime.   We may never know what business innovation, what medical breakthrough, what acts of public distinction could have been achieved in these promising young lives.  But we can be secure in our knowledge that the U.S. and Israel will continue to support each other, and we can be firm in our resolve to come together to find more compassion, and more patience, and more wisdom as we strive to work through our differences, to forgive our trespassers, and to create a better world that knows a just and lasting and secure peace.

At a time when few things are certain, we can indelibly commit ourselves to ensuring that Naftali, Gilad, and Eyal’s lives were not lost in vain. 

I am grateful to the Israeli soldiers who worked tirelessly to locate and rescue these boys.  We all hoped for an outcome far different than the one we commemorate today.  I know the Israeli Government will commit every resource to bringing the boys’ attackers to justice.  Let us hope that justice is merely a beginning, and not an end, and that Naftali, Gilad, and Eyal’s memories live on in our actions from this day forward.

God bless.

Very truly yours,

Member of Congress