Responding to a proposal made by the Religious Zionists of America, leading Members of Congress have introduced a bipartisan bill requiring the U.S. government to offer a $5-million reward for information on or the capture of the Palestinian terrorists who kidnapped and murdered Naftali Fraenkel, a 16 year-old American citizen, and two other teenagers, Gil-Ad Shaer and Eyal Yifra, in Israel last month.
U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and U.S. Representatives Brad Sherman (D-California) and Doug Lamborn (R-Colorado) introduced the Naftali Fraenkel Reward Bill on July 9th, following repeated calls by the Religious Zionists of America for s
“It is gratifying to see Congress presenting legislation that would give a significant reward for information leading to the capture of Naftali Fraenkel’s killer," said Martin Oliner, chairman of the Religious Zionists of America (RZA). "Senator Cruz and Representatives Sherman and Lamborn deserve the heartfelt gratitude of the American Jewish community, and of all Americans, for taking this important step for justice."
In three op-eds published widely in the American Jewish press in late June and early July, RZA national board members Moshe Phillips and Benyamin Korn urged the Obama administration to offer a reward through its Rewards for Justice Program (www.rewardsforjustice.net), which advertises multimillion dollar rewards for information leading to the capture of terrorists who harm American citizens abroad.
In the publication, Phillips and Korn wrote, "Now that the Israeli government has publicly identified the kidnappers by name, how can the administration justify refusing to offer a reward?…There is simply no excuse in the world for the Obama administration not to offer a reward in the Hamas kidnapping, just as the U.S. offered rewards in [other, similar cases]...Reporters at the daily White House and State Department press briefings should be asking why no reward has been offered. American Jewish leaders should be calling the White House to demand that rewards be offered. Anyone who cares about justice should be calling or writing their Members of Congress to ask the same thing."
Phillips and Korn also pointed out that although more than 100 Americans have been murdered by Palestinian terrorists since the 1970s, "not one of the more than 100 murdered Americans is even mentioned by name on the U.S. government's Rewards for Justice web site…None of the killers are mentioned by name either--even though many of them have been publicly identified by the Israeli government..." and only one of the many attacks in which Americans have been harmed by Palestinian terrorists is even mentioned on the website.
In a statement by Senator Cruz, he said, “The Israeli government’s aggressive action against both the kidnappers and Hamas is a just and appropriate action to both bring the terrorists responsible to justice, and to degrade their capability to launch further attacks. No one doubts Israel’s ability to carry out this mission, but given Naftali’s citizenship, I believe the United States should demonstrate our clear support for Israel by offering a reward as we traditionally have in terrorist attacks involving Americans. This support should be understood in the context of our partnership with the nation of Israel in the fight against radical Islamic terrorism, which is our fight as well. I’m proud to work with Congressman Lamborn on this legislation.”
Supporting Senator Cruz, Congressman Lamborn added, “It is an honor to once again partner with Senator Cruz on anti-terrorism legislation. This bill will require the Secretary of State to use the Rewards for Justice Program to offer a five million dollar reward for information that leads to the capture of the terrorists responsible for the death an American citizen, ensuring that they will never again be allowed to murder innocent teenagers. The silence from the Obama Administration is truly appalling. Doing nothing in the face of such a heinous action is not an option. That’s why Senator Cruz, Congressman Sherman, and I are working on moving this solution forward in a bipartisan manner.”
“It is gratifying to see Congress presenting legislation that would give a significant reward for information leading to the capture of Naftali Fraenkel’s killer,” said Martin Oliner, president of the Religious Zionists of America (RZA). “Senator Cruz and Representatives Sherman and Lamborn deserve the heartfelt gratitude of the American Jewish community, and of all Americans, for taking this important step for justice.”