President Obama Calls Ezra Schwartz's Parents To Offer Condolences by the Forward

President Obama Calls Ezra Schwartz's Parents To Offer Condolences

Image by Getty Images

President Barack Obama called the parents of Ezra Schwartz, the 18 year-old American student murdered last week in a Palestinian terror attack in the West Bank, to offer his condolences.

In the telephone call Monday, the president said that Schwartz’s Israel studies had strengthen United States-Israel ties.

“The president offered his profound condolences and condemned in the strongest terms the terrorist attack that took his life,” a senior administration official told JTA. “The president also underscored that Ezra’s studies in Israel strengthened the bonds between Israel and the United States and, as we mourn his death, those bonds only grow stronger.”

READ: 8 Heartbreaking Photos of Ezra Schwartz

Schwartz, from Sharon, Mass., was on a gap year studying at a yeshiva in Israel. He was to start business school at Rutgers University in New Jersey in the fall.

The Obama administration condemned the attack on Nov. 20, a day after it occurred, but a number of Jewish groups and commentators complained that the condemnation had not come quickly enough and that it had come from the State Department spokesman, rather than the White House.

There were further complaints when Obama, in remarks during a news conference in Malaysia on Sunday, singled out for mention two other Americans killed in recent terrorist attacks, in Mali and Paris, but did not mention Schwartz.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry also spoke with Schwartz’s parents, Ari and Ruth Schwartz.

“Just yesterday, I talked to the family of Ezra Schwartz from Massachusetts, a young man who came here out of high school ready to go to college, excited about his future,” Kerry said Tuesday at a meeting in Jerusalem with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. “And yesterday, his family was sitting at shiva and I talked to them and heard their feelings, the feelings of any parent who lost their child.”

President Obama Calls Ezra Schwartz's Parents To Offer Condolences


Your Comments

The Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. All readers can browse the comments, and all Forward subscribers can add to the conversation. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Forward requires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not and will be deleted. Egregious commenters or repeat offenders will be banned from commenting. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and the Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.

Recommend this article

President Obama Calls Ezra Schwartz's Parents To Offer Condolences

Thank you!

This article has been sent!