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Bring Back Our Boys Rally
Over 250 members of the Greater Washington Jewish community chanted, waved signs and withstood the brutal heat in front of the Israeli embassy in D.C. on June 18th night to show their support for the three Israeli teenagers who were kidnapped June 12th.
Speaker after speaker called Eyal Yifrah, 19, Gilad Shaer, 16, and Naftali Frenkel, 16, a part of their family and said they would not rest until they were returned home safely.
"I am not an Israeli, but these are my sons. These are my brothers, and these are my boys," said Rep. Ted Deutch (D-Fla.).
"They are not soldiers. They are not combatants. They were just kids coming home from school," declared Rabbi Adam Raskin of Congregation Har Shalom in Potomac. "They are our kids. This is a kidnapping from our family," he said, asking, "Can you imagine the anguish and the pain of their parents?"
The vigil was sponsored by the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington, the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington, and The Israel Forever Foundation. Speakers included area rabbis, two members of Congress, a Presbyterian minister and Israeli Ambassador Ron Dermer.
Ron Halber, JCRC executive director, called the kidnapping "nothing more than a moral outrage and an act of barbarism," and said the Jewish community here stands in "complete and total solidarity. We will not stop advocating until we bring our boys home.
It's not just the Jewish community, noted Presbyterian Minister Roy Howard of St. Marks Church in North Bethesda. "We are united with Israel, the Jewish people," he declared to the crowd. "They are not my boys, but I stand in solidarity with you."