The media may have purposely ignored the murder of Jewish American Ezra Schwartz, a victim of a Palestinian terror attack in Israel, but an entire stadium chose to do the right thing and honor a young man who was murdered simply because he was a Jew.
In a moving gesture, American football team New England Patriots held a moment of silence for Ezra Schwartz, an 18-year-old American-Jewish student who was murdered by a Palestinian terrorist on Thursday at the Gush Etzion junction, before they faced off with the Buffalo Bills at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts.
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 Member of Knesset (MK) Dov Lipman, 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 that such a gesture would be meaningful to Schwartz’s memory.
“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.”
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 Monday’s game to pay tribute to Schwartz, who was buried in Boston on Sunday.
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.”
By: The Algemeiner
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