Kidnappings and murder of 3 Israeli teens affect some in Overland Park

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OVERLAND PARK, Kan. -- The Jewish Community Campus held a memorial service Wednesday to honor three Israeli teenagers who were all kidnapped and murdered.

Although it happened thousands of miles away, the tragedy is impacting people all over -- including in the Kansas City area.

"It's just a terrible thing," said Lori Barnett, whose oldest son, Jason, served as a paratrooper in the Israeli army. He's now a reservist, and her younger son was visiting Jason at the time that the three teenagers were kidnapped.

"My heart sank," Barnett said when she heard the terrible news.

"Well, I was horrified," said Rabbi Mendy Wineberg.

He says although Eyal, Naftali, and Gilad were murdered in Israel, the impact goes beyond the borders.

"That terrorism and darkness -- it's something that affects everybody," said Rabbi Wineberg. "We felt it here in Kansas City with the shooting here at the JCC, so there's no difference where it happens or to who it happens."

"The first thought that comes to your mind is they were kidnapped because they were Jewish," said Barnett. "They did nothing wrong, it was just because of who they were."

Rabbi Wineberg says Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's plan to take action against Hamas, the terrorists behind the murders, is not retaliation, it's punishment.

"These are three boys who were killed on the way home from school," said Wineberg, who says it’s the community's job to remember the innocent lives lost.

"This is something that we all have to care about as human beings, and do something to keep their memory alive as a blessing," he added.

"When I emailed my son and I told him about our service here, I asked him how are things in Israel, and he said we get one day to mourn, and the next day we begin to live life again," said Barnett.

A memorial service for the murdered Israeli teenagers was held Wednesday at 7 p.m. at the Jewish Community Campus.

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  • Jessie Raines

    Violence begets violence. It doesn’t matter if it’s against a Palestinian or an Israeli. I think about the houses and settlements that have been bulldozed, food supplies/sources destroyed, cisterns destroyed, and children killed by the Israelis, and it doesn’t seem to matter to people. Why? Because of religion. The people that suffer in this brutal war are innocent people. Eliminate the governmental factors and the people live well together. I maintain Tue same standard for both sides: kidnapping/killing those teens was wrong, just like every murder before then on both sides.

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