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November 23, 2015 11:57 am

‘Monday Night Football’ Airs Moment of Silence for American-Jewish Teen Slain by Palestinian Terrorist During Gap Year in Israel (VIDEO)

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The crowd at the Patriots game on Monday night. Photo: Screenshot.

The crowd at the Patriots game on Monday night. Photo: Screenshot.

Tonight, as the New England Patriots prepared to face the Buffalo Bills at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts, a moment of silence was held for Ezra Schwartz, an 18-year-old American-Jewish student who was killed in a Palestinian terrorist attack on Thursday near Hebron.

Schwartz, from Sharon, Massachusetts — who was spending a gap year in Israel and studying at the Ashreinu Yeshiva in Beit Shemesh when he was killed — had been an athlete and avid Patriots fan. This spurred a number of people to appeal to New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft to ask if he could make a gesture in Schwartz’s honor and memory.

Former Knesset member Dov Lipman from the Yesh Atid Party, a resident of Beit Shemesh and a US immigrant to Israel, was among those who took the initiative to write to Kraft. Conveying his message through American Football in Israel President Steve Leibowitz — whose Jerusalem stadium is funded by Kraft and named after him — Lipman wrote:

Dear Mr. Kraft,

By way of introduction, I served in the Israeli Knesset and played in the flag football league here in Israel years ago. We thank you for all that you have done to make that league and the stadium become a reality.

I was with the boys of the Ashreinu school when they were told that their friend, Ezra, was killed and have been with them daily since. The one theme which comes out over and over again was his passion for the Patriots. One boy actually apologized to “his soul” for telling him to stop screaming with joy as he watched games in his dorm room at 3:00 a.m. Last night at the funeral, Ezra’s body was outside the building during the service so what did they put in the middle to represent Ezra? An Israeli flag and Ezra’s Patriots jersey (#87).

Many in Israel and around the world have been shocked that almost no media outlets covered the murder of this boy who came to Israel for a year of study and volunteering and was shot by a Palestinian terrorist while on his way to his volunteer activity.

It would mean so much to the people of Israel, to supporters around the world, and to Ezra’s family and friends if the Patriots could do something in his memory — perhaps a moment of silence before tomorrow night’s game, perhaps an EZRA patch on their jerseys for a game — whatever you believe is the right way to honor Ezra and to bring awareness to his story.

May we only share good news,

Dov Lipman

Member of the 19th Knesset

Kraft, a pro-Israel philanthropist and frequent visitor to the Jewish state, immediately embraced the idea, agreeing to hold the minute of silence at the start of tonight’s game to pay tribute to Schwartz, who was buried in Boston yesterday.

Schwartz was one of three people killed in the drive-by shooting and car-ramming attack, which took place at a busy intersection in Gush Etzion.

A graduate of the modern-Orthodox Maimonides School in Boston, Ezra was spending a year abroad at a yeshiva in Israel. He and five classmates were in Gush Etzion to tend to a nature reserve dedicated to the three teenagers kidnapped and killed by Hamas terrorists in the summer of 2014 – the event that triggered Operation Protective Edge in Gaza. Schwartz was killed and his friends wounded when the terrorist opened fire on them from his moving vehicle.

Speaking to The Algemeiner on Monday, mere hours before the moving event took place, Lipman said, “This is such a fitting tribute to Ezra and is so meaningful to his family and friends. Mr. Kraft is a first-class human being who does what is right and just. His support for Israel during these tough times has been unwavering and a pillar of strength for all of us. I am usually a Washington Redskins fan, but tonight — and possibly from now on — we are all Patriots. Let’s go Pats!”

The game, as well as the tribute, was broadcast on ESPN‘s “Monday Night Football.”

Watch a video of the moving tribute below:

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  • Florres

    So good.

    Maybe that’s why they keep winning, or maybe I can’t go there, not being religious.

    But makes me swell up, in the ole ducts.

  • Isaac

    I never liked the Patriots, Belicheck, or Kraft, but this tribute shows what a class act organization should be. I salute Kraft and the Patriots, and the NFL for making a statement where our President and our media fail to make one. Kudos to all who support this, and shame to those who ignore it!

  • David Raznick

    Now that’s the real meaning of a “MENSCH”

  • Shmuel Idler

    But why no mention of Israel? They just said that Ezra HY”D was studying abroad 5,500 miles away.

  • Bernie Dishler

    I think it was a beautiful gesture to honor the memory of Ezra. However, “studying abroad” and “5500 miles away” made me feel that they were afraid to mention Israel. If he was murdered in Paris, would they mention the site?

  • Michael Kaplan

    The moment of silence was appreciated. What really bothered me was that the statement was politically sanitized. It did not say that the young man was studying in Israel and was killed by a Palestinian terrorist.

  • Ellen

    It would have been a more meaningful statement and tribute had it been said where Eric was murdered and by whom.

    • Ellen

      Sorry -autofill- meant to read – Ezra – may his memory be a blessing forever.

    • Ellen

      November 24, 2015
      8:50 am
      It would have been a more meaningful statement and tribute had it been said where Ezra was murdered and by whom. May his memory be a blessing forever.

  • Thank you, Mr Kraft and Mr Lipman.

  • David Allen Flax

    What a class act by the Patriot organization and Mr. Kraft. I will now adopt the Patriots as my team. May the memory of Ezra Schwartz be for a blessing.

  • Scott

    Thank you Mr. Kraft. You’re a class act.

  • Rheachel Smith

    Blessings to Mr. Kraft for not being ashamed to show his true opinion. I knew there was a reason I loved those Patriots.

  • Max Genghis Cohen

    If Islam wishes to gain the respect of Western civilization then instead of yelling Allah Achbar as helpless people are murdered, Islam should resolve to teach its youth the greatness alleged to Allah, and how to emulate it, rather than wasting their lives in pointless terrorism.