JERUSALEM (JTA) — The leaders of World Bnei Akiva said they will hold an emergency meeting on whether or not to remove the movement’s secretary general following his call for avenging the murder of three Israeli teens with blood.
The governing body of the worldwide religious Zionist youth movement will hold the meeting in Israel within the next two weeks on the future of Rabbi Noam Perel, Haaretz reported Sunday. Perel apologized for his inflammatory statements for the second time on Sunday.
“The call for the Israeli government to look after the lives of our children must not be confused in any way with any suggestion of revenge, words which should not be used by any person, and certainly not educators and leaders,” Perel said in a statement, according to Haaretz. “I cannot express to you how badly this error has caused me to feel, and especially its unintended consequences.”
Bnei Akiva, which has approximately 30,000 members, operates separately from Bnei Akiva of Israel.
Perel deleted and had apologized earlier for his Facebook 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.”
The post came hours after the bodies of the three Israelis were discovered in a field north of Hebron, 18 days after they were reported missing. Following the teens’ funerals, a Palestinian teen was kidnapped and murdered in what is likely a revenge killing.
Norway’s Jewish community has called for Perel’s ouster.