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November 22, 2015 5:52 pm

Following Outcry, Obama Administration Acknowledges Murder of American Jew Killed in Palestinian Terror Attack

avatar by Ruthie Blum

Email a copy of "Following Outcry, Obama Administration Acknowledges Murder of American Jew Killed in Palestinian Terror Attack" to a friend
Ezra Schwartz was killed Thursday in a terrorist attack in the West Bank. Photo: Facebook.

Ezra Schwartz was killed Thursday in a terrorist attack in the West Bank. Photo: Facebook.

“We were deeply saddened to learn about the death of Ezra Schwartz, an American citizen from Massachusetts who was murdered in a terrorist attack on Thursday while in Israel to pursue his studies,” the State Department said in a statement sent Friday to reporters, according to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA) on Sunday.

“We extend our deepest condolences to the victim’s family, friends, and community as well as the family and friends of the four other people killed in yesterday’s tragic events,” the statement said, according to JTA.

The press release came more than 24 hours after a shooting attack near Hebron claimed the lives of three people — among them 18-year-old Schwartz — and a stabbing attack against Jews praying at a makeshift synagogue in an office building and shopping center in Tel Aviv left two men dead.

The statement was released after American Jewish groups expressed outrage at the lack of official US response to the killing of one of its citizens and wounding of five others at the hands of Palestinians – while the murder of an American student by ISIS terrorists in last Friday’s Paris attacks was swiftly denounced by the White House.

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On Friday morning, the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations included criticism of both the US administration and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon in its condemnation of the previous day’s terrorist attacks in Israel and its condolences to the victims’ families. Its statement reads:

Conference of Presidents leaders Stephen. M. Greenberg, Chairman, and Malcolm Hoenlein, Executive Vice Chairman/CEO condemned in the strongest terms the continuing series of outrageous terrorist attacks against Israeli civilians including the murders of five people yesterday and the wounding of many others. Among those killed was Ezra Schwartz, an 18-year-old American studying in Israel. He along with friends was engaged in a service project and was returning when he was killed. These barbaric attacks have taken a heavy toll of innocent Israelis going about their daily lives at work, at prayer, or traveling to family celebrations. Yet, the international community cannot find the words to unequivocally condemn these violent acts and those responsible for inciting them, including Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.

We are deeply disappointed that the United States government has not issued a statement despite the death of an American citizen. The statement by Secretary General Ban Ki-moon of the United Nations deplores the deaths but does not indicate who was responsible. His statement cites the fact that a Palestinian was killed, but not that it was at the hands of another Palestinian. All of those who are so quick to condemn Israel for exercising its obligation to defend its citizens while facing the same terror that we saw in Paris and other parts in Europe recently, to which the whole world responded with appropriate outrage, have remained silent. Can it be that because the victims are Israelis that it is not worthy of comment?

This year marked the 70th Anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz and other concentration camps. As we mark this sad anniversary we recall the pledge taken at the time of “Never Again.” We are again reminded of its significance when we see the world silent in the face of the murder of Jews. We demand that the United States government and others around the world who are truly committed to the war against terrorism speak out and act to hold accountable those who engaged in terrorist attacks, wherever they take place and that those who aid, abet, and incite them be held to account.

We express our deep condolences to all the families of the victims and pray that they were will be comforted amongst the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem.

Shortly thereafter came the State Department press release. Though it is not clear whether it was an afterthought, brought about by widespread Jewish outrage, particularly on social media, its final sentence contained a sentiment that continues to arouse the ire of the government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu – one that puts Palestinian terrorism and Israel’s response to it on equal footing.

“These tragic incidents underscore the importance of taking affirmative steps to restore calm, reduce tensions and bring an immediate end to the violence,” it concluded.

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  • Sam Harris

    The President is a sick man.

  • Roy Weiner

    G-d bless the Kraft family, owners of the New England Patriots,who last night on national television before the game of the week had a moment of silence for Ezra.

  • Reform School

    It took the Racist-in-Chief 24 hours to overcome his rage from being told his hostility toward Israel had caused the death of another Schwartz? If those who never put their lives on the line via military service, never having had skin in the game, place more emphasis on color than on character, shouldn’t lack of military service disqualify one from serving as Commander-in-Chief? To what extent is Obama’s hostility toward Netanyahu driven by Palestine vs. Israel, Islam vs. The World, Harvard vs. M.I.T., Barry Soetoro vs. Ben Nitay, etc? https://youtu.be/YQx3XMkiVbg

    • HaroldT

      The biggest disgrace is that 70% of American “Jews” voted for him.
      And as Kerry did with Israel, why has he not demanded from France a proportionate response ?

  • Reform School

    It took the Racist-in-Chief 24 hours to overcome his rage from being told his hostility toward Israel had caused the death of another Schwartz? If those who never put their lives on the line via military service, never having had skin in the game, place more emphasis on color than on character, shouldn’t lack of military service disqualify one from serving as Commander-in-Chief? To what extent is Obama’s hostility toward Netanyahu driven by Palestine vs. Israel, Islam vs. The World, Harvard vs. M.I.T., Barry Soetoro vs. Ben Nitay, etc?

  • Simone Miller

    It breaks my heart that the President of the United States is so slow to comment when Jewish lives are lost. Why are French lives more valuable than Jewish lives Mr President?

    • Robin

      All lives are more important to Obama than Jewish lives, not just French.

    • HaroldT

      Well did you or most of your friends vote him in a second time?

  • Greg

    I believe it was intentionally ignored until Christian groups also demanded. What a disgraceful situation that Americas once good name is further damaged by a Government that care no more for the welfare of their citizens then Palestinian Islamic terrorists care for their children Am Yisrael Chai

  • Lauren Goldman

    Perhaps the delay was due to Obama spending the day on his kilim, praying for the safety of the ‘palestinians’ from the murderous Israelis’ disproportionate response to terrorists. It appear that to him, any response to muslim terror is ‘disproportionate.’

  • Nancy B

    Thanks for this article. Last night I happened to be up late and saw Obama’s Press Conference from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. I was infuriated that he spoke of the terrorist killings of Nohemi Gonzalez in Paris and Anita Datar in Mali but not one word about the terrorist killing of Ezra Schwartz! Here is the parts of Obama’s press conference that I took directly from the White House Transcript. https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2015/11/22/remarks-president-obama-press-conference

    “Of course, given the events of this week, much of my work here in Asia focused on the urgent threat of terrorism. Today, families in too many nations are grieving the senseless loss of their loved ones in the attacks in France and in Mali. As Americans, we remember Nohemi Gonzalez, who was just 23 years old, a design major from California State University. She was in Paris to pursue her dream of designing innovations that would improve the lives of people around the world. And we remember Anita Datar of Maryland. She’s a veteran of the Peace Corps, a mother to her young son, who devoted her life to helping the world’s poor, including women and girls in Mali, lift themselves up with health and education.

    Nohemi and Anita embodied the values of service and compassion that no terrorist can extinguish. Their legacy will endure in the family and friends who carry on their work. They remind me of my daughters, or my mother, who, on the one hand, had their whole life ahead of them, and on the other hand, had devoted their lives to helping other people. And it is worth us remembering when we look at the statistics that there are beautiful, wonderful lives behind the terrible death tolls that we see in these places.”

  • Why does the entire Obama admin. never (not a single one of them)think spontaneously of doing the decent thing? They always have to be prodded & petitioned before they even say the fewest words of sympathy. So different from the day young Ahmed took his clock to school …

    • Jerry

      Not to be redundant but the racist-in-chief will NEVER, EVER treat anything that happens to a Jew as important! Those who have their hands out looking for something free, got the leader THEY wanted!! There are a lot more of THEM than US, until the money runs out!

  • Tony Trenton

    The ‘fake PA’ Muslims, were invented 50 years ago by the Egyptian Terrorist Arafat. After he was thrown out of Jordan !!!

    These persons have NO legitimate right to any portion of the Jewish Land Of Israel.

    Their Murderous intent has no place in our society !!!

    • Amen!!! The failure to acknowledge the history of Arab terrorism in Israel is basic to the Obama Administration’s fantasies about the root causes of the conflicts that face Israelis daily. There is no historic “Palestinian people,” or Palestinian nation. The Arabs living in what are now Israel and Jordan were given Jordan as their homeland during the 1948 partition of the region into two nations…Israel and Jordan. Arafat and his terrorist thugs attempted to overthrow the government of Jordan and failed. They were exiled from Jordan for their attempted coupe and shifted their strategy to portraying Israel as an occupying power when Jews had lived in their homeland for at least 3,000-years. The generally antisemitic Western Media (see Hitler, Adolph and The Holocaust) and Obama, who is at best an Islamophile and antisemite, has compounded the crime!!! CDE

  • Ephraim

    I am sure it stuck in his throat to say anything at all about his hated Jews. He probably had his fingers crossed behind his back, the Nazi pig. It is so wonderful to have such a dedicated antisemite in the White House.

    • Robin

      What more can you expect from this Muslim.

      • Florres

        It was a Christian race baiter named Wright who trained him not a Muslim at all.

  • Veta Cohen

    We are facing the hypocrisy of all nations and international organizations.

    As long as we stand together we can face the difficulties.

  • Charie Hall

    Not “finally”. This came up at the Thursday State Department press briefing and even the questioner acknowledged that it probably was not possible for the government to make a statement. The reason is that US privacy law prohibits acknowledging the death of a US citizen outside the country without the permission of the immediate family. Anyone who follows the State Department knows this as it has unfortunately come up repeatedly in the past year. As a result there is always a delay in responding. The author screwed this up and needs to retract.

    • Nancy B

      Chari, I’m not at all sure why the State Dept. was unable to reach Ezra’s family as several journalists were able to contact them without any difficulty!

  • Michael Kraft

    This whole issue is overblown. Did you double check or even attend the Friday noon press briefing?

    Here is an excerpt from the Friday noon press briefing, which is available on line:
    ” … about the death of Ezra Schwartz, an American citizen from Massachusetts, who was murdered in a terrorist attack on Thursday while in Israel to pursue his studies. Again, we extend our deepest condolences to the victim’s family, friends, and community as well as the family and friends of the four other people killed in yesterday’s tragic events. The Secretary is also concerned about the five other American citizens who are victims of the attacks and wishes each of them a full and complete recovery.

    “We continue to condemn in the strongest possible terms these outrageous terrorist attacks. These tragic incidents underscore the importance of taking affirmative steps to restore calm.”
    Thus a statement WAS made at the usual time for making comments or answering questions. The pronouncements are originally drafted in one bureau or another and then have to be cleared with other parts of the department that are involved, such as the counterterrorism bureau,and the intelligence bureau. (At one stage in working in the Counterterrorism office, I had to draft and clear press guidance.)The process starts as soon as enough information comes in, usually early in the morning. (long before the organizations made their statements.)
    A question did come up at Thursday’s briefing, shortly after the news reports came in, and Kirby said that the department was trying to confirm the information. Reporters then dropped the subject That is not unusual. Reporting from the embassy often runs behind the press because they need to confirm information when they talk to the families. In short, the administration made a statement at midday and the State Departmentapparently phoned it or a similar one to some reporters. Thus, someone dropped the ball on the original statement and all the frothing by some of the commentators and jumping to conclusions was unwarranted.

  • ART

    The administration has also done all it could to block suits by US citizens against the plo, hamas,fatah, iran.

    • Florres

      While everyone else gets paid off, especially Muslims.

  • marv

    It was only a Jew.
    The nerve of that Jew to call on the heavenly forces (by praying) in Tel Aviv
    Did he not realize that this is an affront to all the peace loving Palestinians who claim the (all) the land west (and east) of the Jordan River?
    His death is due to the understandable pent up rage of those who have not been allowed to perpetrate Paris type massacres though out Israel, America and other civilized countries.

    As leader of the civilized world President Obama should be condemned for having been quiet and not having shown more compassion to Ezra’s murder. The sadness must go to the murder’s family as their son managed to kill only one Jew.

  • If Ezra Schwartz had been Black, and had beat up a store owner and attacked a police officer, Mr. Obama would have attended his funeral and invited his family to the White House.

    • Florres

      There is no connection, the police are pretty bad, Israel is ALL GOOD.

  • BS”D
    The problem is that the victim might not look like the president’s son (l’havdil) if he had one.

  • Florres

    That’s how anti-Semitic genocides always happen. The ‘good guys’ only pretend to care, if you force them, otherwise they are on the side of the racists.

  • David Levavi

    Belated regrets be damned. The state Department is institutionally anti-Semitic. It opposed the founding of the State of Israel in 1948 and it has done everything in its considerable power to destroy the Jewish state since. Foggy Bottom is a fetid swamp that needs to be drained.

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