UPDATE 7:11 P.M.: President Obama called the family of Ezra Schwartz on Tuesday afternoon and condemned the terrorist attack that took his life, the Hill reported.
Some Democratic leaders, including those in the Obama administration, have yet to condemn a recent Palestinian terrorist attack in Israel that claimed the lives of several individuals, including an American teenager, and wounded five other Americans.
The silence by these leaders, including Hillary Clinton and President Barack Obama, has drawn outrage from some in the pro-Israel community who accuse these Democrats of drawing a moral equivalency between the Jewish state and Palestinian terrorists, who have committed a series of deadly attacks in recent weeks that have killed several Israelis.
As some Democrats remain mum about the death of 18-year-old Ezra Schwartz, a Massachusetts native, Republicans have issued a series of statements condemning the attacks and the recent spike in Palestinian terrorism.
Robert Kraft, the owner of the New England Patriots NFL franchise, at the urging of an Israeli lawmaker, held a moment of silence for Schwartz before the opening of a Monday night game, along with an address mourning "the many who have recently lost their lives in senseless terrorist attacks abroad."
"At this time we would like to honor Ezra Schwartz and hundreds of victims like him with a moment of silence," an announcer said before asking the crowd for a moment of silence.
However, Clinton, Obama, and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass) have declined to take a public stance on the terror attack and Schwartz’s death, prompting criticism from Israel supporters.
The silence, critics say, is evidence that the far-left of the Democratic Party is beholden to anti-Israel interests.
"The left wing of the Democratic Party today sides with the Palestinians and is uncomfortable with expressions of support for Israel or statements that expose the reality of Palestinian terrorism," said Noah Pollak, executive director of the Emergency Committee for Israel, an advocacy organization. "Elizabeth Warren apparently would rather be silent than risk the ire of the left wing of her party."
Added another senior official with a pro-Israel organization: "It should be a relatively simple thing for the top of the Democratic Party to issue condemnations when Americans are murdered overseas by terrorists. But Obama and Biden consistently failed to mention Schwartz’s death. It’s fair for people to ask why."
The State Department also faced criticism for only issuing a statement about Schwartz’s death following multiple questions and pressure from reporters.
"We extend our deepest condolences [and] continue to condemn in the strongest possible terms these outrageous terrorist attacks," John Kirby, a State Department spokesman, said in response to questions about seven hours after Schwartz had been confirmed as dead. "These tragic incidents underscore the need for taking affirmative steps to restore calm."
Republicans, however, have not held their tongues, with many issuing harsh statement condemning the the attacks and the Palestinian terrorists who committed them.
Sen. Ted Cruz (R., Texas), a Republican presidential candidate, quickly condemned the attacks on Twitter, writing that "another strain of the radical Islamic terrorism that struck Paris murdered American Ezra Schwartz in Israel today."
Rep. Steny Hoyer (D., Md.), the Democratic whip and a longtime advocate for Israel, lashed out at the "barbaric terrorists" responsible for the attack.
Sen. Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.) also said that his "thoughts and prayers" were with Schwartz’s family and fiercely condemned the Palestinian terrorists.
Schwartz "was an innocent, gunned down in cold blood and his despicable murder will only deepen the resolve of the United States to stand arm-in-arm with its ally, Israel," Schumer wrote on his Facebook page.
Published under: Israel