netanyahu at remembrance day ceremony_311.
(photo credit: Amos Ben Gershom/GPO)
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu warned that all potential terrorists and enemies of Israel “would be struck down,” when he spoke Monday at a special ceremony in Jerusalem in honor of terrorist victims.
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“I call out with a double response to those who are out to kill us. First, we will strike you. We will strike you down with all our might,” he said Monday, as he stood by a memorial to the terrorist victims at Mount Herzl.
Netanyahu recalled the March terrorist attack in the Itamar settlement, in which two Palestinians killed five members of the Fogel family; the parents Udi and Ruth Fogel and three of their children.
He recalled the missile attack by Gaza Palestinians against an Israeli school bus along the southern border in April, which killed Daniel Viflic, 16, who was the only passenger.
Netanyahu added that also in April, Ben Yosef Livnat, 25, was murdered by Palestinians on his way to pray at Joseph’s Tomb in Nablus.
“All of these victims – and thousands before them – were murdered for one simple reason: because they were Jews. Some non-Jews were also murdered, because they were together with Jews,” said Netanyahu.
The terrorist are trying to inflict fear, to break the Israeli spirit and to drive citizens out of their country, he added. “Our response has always been to refuse to give in to that fear, to strengthen our spirit and to send our roots increasingly deeper in our homeland,” he affirmed.
The country, Netanyahu said, will continue to grow and develop in “anticipation of the day in which we can live in peace with our neighbors.”
He recalled the story of the first terror victim whose name is on the memorial, Rabbi Avraham Shlomo Zalman Tzoref, who was killed by Arabs in 1851 on his way to synagogue.
Tzoref’s grandson, Yoel Moshe Salomon, was one of the founders of Petah Tikvah. Six of his descendants died in Israeli wars, Netanyahu said.
“Our response to those who wish us dead is the same as the response of the Tzoref family. We say to you: ‘You will not win, you will not intimidate us and you will not drive us out. We will bear our pain and protect our country. We will bite our lips and build our home,’” Netanyahu said.
Earlier in the day, he also spoke at a ceremony in the same cemetery in honor of soldiers in battle on behalf of the State, stating that “22,867 of our sons and daughters have fallen in Israel’s wars. It is hard to appraise the full price our people – our country – has paid in their deaths. In the families that were not started, the children that were not born, the creations that were not created,” Netanyahu said.
He added that he knows of this pain first hand because his brother
Yonatan was killed in 1976 in raid to rescue hostages in Entebbe.
“Members of the bereaved families, have paid,” he said. “I am one of
you. I know how great the pain is. I personally know the feeling of a
part of me being amputated, the scar that will never fully heal, the
terrible sense of devastation and loss.
“I am familiar with the various stages. First you are in shock, then you
refuse to believe the truth, then the terrible understanding starts to
set in – that our dear ones will never return – that they will only live
on in our hearts and dreams,” Netanyahu added. “If only I had some
advice to give those of you who joined our family – the family of
bereavement – during the last year, but I do not.
Still, Netanyahu spoke optimistically about the future of Israel.
“We shall not tire, nor shall we lose spirit. Thanks to our fallen loved
ones we can stand up tall. Thanks to their sacrifice our existence is
guaranteed,” he concluded.