Terrorist victim Ezra Schwartz.
(photo credit: Courtesy)
NEW YORK – The mother of Ezra Schwartz, an 18-year old American citizen who was killed by a Palestinian terrorist in Israel in November 2015, on Wednesday spoke out against the Palestinian Authority for compensating terrorists.
Ruth Schwartz made her remarks at the United Nations during a special forum on the glorification of terrorism, organized by the Israeli Mission to the UN in partnership with the Israel education organization StandWithUs.
“My son is the victim of the worst crime: He will never go to college, get married, have children or do anything in this world again,” Schwartz said.
“I’m here because as Ezra’s mother, it is my duty to fight for my son.”
Her son was killed in a shooting, as he was spending his gap year between high school and college volunteering in Israel. His murderer, Muhammad Haruv, was sentenced to four life prison terms, and is receiving thousands of dollars
a month from the PA, according to the Israeli mission to the UN.
Learning that her son’s murderer is compensated and celebrated for his crime was “another twist of the knife,” Schwartz told The Jerusalem Post after the event. “It just doesn’t feel fair that the terrorist is sitting in jail proud of himself, supporting his family. It doesn’t feel right, and I felt that I needed to say something for my son.”
Schwartz said she felt it was her duty to speak out at the UN and make “a simple request” she summed up on the podium: “Please do not kill, and please do not reward people who kill, because that is as if you did the killing yourself.”
According to a January report by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, Palestinian terrorists’ monthly salaries range from NIS 1,400 a month for those up to three years in jail, to NIS 7,000 for those in prison for 15-20 years, and NIS 12,000, or over $3,000 for those sitting in jail for more than 30 years.
Funeral of American terror victim Ezra Schwartz
Wednesday’s event, organized by UN Ambassador Danny Danon, is part of his ongoing efforts to draw attention to the issue. Earlier this month, Danon called on the UN Security Council to take action against the compensations for murder, since much of the money used comes to the PA from foreign aid.
“This is, in other words, blood money,” he said in his opening remarks. “If teaching hate were an Olympic sport, [PA President] Mahmoud Abbas and his government would win a gold medal.
“In a perfect world, the international community would come right to the side of Israel and condemn both the PA and the terrorists themselves immediately following these hateful acts,” Danon added.
“But we do not live in a perfect world: the international community remained silent.”
Earlier this month, the ambassador sent an official letter to the Security Council on the matter, calling on the international community to follow their payments to the PA and make sure the funds don’t go toward remuneration for terrorists.
“It is absurd to condemn terror, while at the same time paying terrorists,” he had said during a short press conference.
“It’s time for the UN, the Security Council, and the entire international community to finally tell Abbas that enough is enough.”
A bill named after another American victim of Palestinian terrorism, Taylor Force
, is currently being debated in congress. It would cut off US aid unless the PA stops the payments.