Prayer was a part of Daniel Wultz’s everyday life. It was part of what drew the 16-year-old high school sophomore from Weston to visit Israel with his family in 2006, when a suicide bomber killed Daniel and 10 others outside a Tel Aviv sandwich shop.
“He prayed every day,” his mother, Sheryl Wultz, said Thursday. “H had his kippah and tzitzit on when the bombing took place. That’s what they showed me when I got to the hospital to identify him.”
Sheryl and her husband, Yekutiel “Tuly” Wultz, who was with Daniel that day and was one of 70 people injured in the blast, honored their son’s memory alongside members of Congress during a private National Day of Prayer event in the Capitol office of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va.
Cantor, who is a cousin of Sheryl Wultz, co-hosted the prayer session Thursday with U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, a Weston Democrat. About 25 congressional members from both sides of the aisle as well as friends and family of the Wultzes attended.
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“I’m grateful to have the opportunity to honor Daniel Wultz’s memory, to make sure that we recount what happened that fateful day when he and Tuly were the unfortunate victims of a suicide bomber’s evil and hatred,” Wasserman Schultz said afterward in a telephone conference with reporters.
She noted that Thursday’s prayer day came the same week as Holocaust Remembrance Day. To help mark the occasion, Wasserman Schultz, Cantor and others planted a sapling outside the Capitol that came from a tree outside the attic where Anne Frank hid during the Holocaust.
“All of these activities have allowed us as members of Congress to highlight the beacon of hope and optimism that Daniel represented throughout his 16 too short years,” Wasserman Schultz said.
The Wultzes are fighting an ongoing legal battle against the Bank of China, which they say acted as a conduit for the terrorist money used to fund the 2006 bombing that killed Daniel.
They won a similar case against Syria and Iran. A U.S. District Court judge in Washington ordered a $323 million judgment against the governments of Syria and Iran for aiding the Islamic Jihad group that carried out the attack; the Wultzes have yet to receive a penny.
But the lawsuit against Bank of China hit a recent roadblock, with the Wultzes claiming that Israel turned its back on them by promising them help with the case then moving to block a key witness — a former Israeli intelligence official — from testifying. The Wultzes and their attorneys say Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is bowing to pressure from China, with which Israel has been working to improve relations.
In a December interview with the Miami Herald, Israel’s top diplomat in the United States expressed sympathy for the family but said the decision to keep the intelligence official from testifying was a matter of national security.
“If your courts decide that an intelligence official can be subpoenaed to speak in open court about information he received ... how are you going to be able to continue any intelligence relationships with countries around the world?” Israeli ambassador Ron Dermer said. “So, for sure, Israel cannot allow someone to testify on information he got in an official capacity. There’s no question about it.”
On Thursday, Wasserman Schultz, who has long supported the Wultzes’ quest for justice, said she and other U.S. lawmakers would keep advocating on behalf of the South Florida family.
“Until we are turned completely away and there are no avenues left, we will continue to press to see that justice is delivered as it morally should be,” she said.