Israel's Economics Minister Naftali Bennett (Jewish Home) took part in the funeral of Nachal Brigade Sergeant 1st Class Oded ben Sira which took place at the soldier's home town of Nir Etzion, a veteran religious moshav near Haifa.
Bennett eulogized ben Sira, saying, "Anyone who thinks we will give up, should open a Bible, read the Covenant G-d made with Abraham pledging to give him this land, and should look at the faces of our soldiers, at their steadfast spirit."
"The enemy hasn’t a chance in this battle against the Eternal People [of Israel]", he continued.
Bennett referred to the long road the Jewish People have travelled in the past generation, adding: "The liturgical poet Rabbi Judah ben Shmuel Ibm Abbas, says with regard to the binding of Isaac 'the eyes weep bitterly but the heart is glad' and that is how we feel today as well. At this moment, our eyes weep bitter tears, so many tears. How much sadness accompanies your leaving us. But with all that, our inner hearts are glad. They are glad because we know and understand what Oded's grandfather, a Holocaust survivor, would have said to us all at this time."
"My brothers and sisters, in just one day during the Holocaust of our people, more Jews were murdered than in all of Israel's wars put together. And Oded fell as a Jewish soldier protecting his people in the Land of Israel", he said.
"Against a cowardly enemy whose commanders hide behind women and children, flee to hiding places under hospitals and schools, deciding that their people can die, you, Oded, decided to volunteer to be on the front line. Against an enemy that glorifies death, you fought so that we will be able to live our lives here. Against an enemy that has no roots, you deepened our roots here, and even when a branch is plucked , no one can uproot the tree it is on. No one. We were here before the Hamas terrorists and we will be here long after they are gone."
"You entered Gaza as a regular soldier and you left a reservist. You entered Gaza as a soldier who had been drafted, but you left as a volunteer. You entered Gaza alive, yet you left there alive in our hearts You went into Gaza to stop the deaths. And you left there willing us our lives.
Oded, rest in peace, rest assured that we will complete the mission you began."