Bennett to Iran: Don't test us

Speaking to thousands of Jews from the Diaspora, Minister salutes Israel's fallen and sends a message to its current enemies.

Yoni Kempinski ,

Flash 90

Education and Diaspora Affairs Minister Naftali Bennett addressed the official Remembrance Day Ceremony at Latrun Tuesday evening, in English. The ceremony was attended by thousands of Jews from around the world and broadcast live to dozens of communities.

During his speech, Bennett warned Iran and its proxies not to test Israel, because the Jewish State is stronger than they are.

Minister Bennett's full speech follows:

Last week we remembered the price we paid for not having a state. Now we remember the price we have to pay for having a state. In two days at Auschwitz we lost the same number of soldiers we lost since the founding of Israel. Never will we depend on anyone but ourselves.

Almost three years have passed since Operation Protective Edge.

Sixty eight Israeli soldiers were added to the tally of our fallen.

Sixty eight different worlds, names, stories.

Those who were – and are no longer.

I want to tell you a story about Sean Carmeli.

First Sergeant Sean Carmeli, a combat solider in Golani, was killed during the ground operation in Gaza.

Sean was born in Texas, and made Aliyah with his parents, Alon and Dalya, and two sisters, Or and Gal, to Ra'anana, where he studied at the Ostrovski high school.

Shortly after graduation, the boy from Texas joined the IDF to protect his home, our home.

When he was killed in action, there was a worry that the funeral would be small, because, "People don't know Sean; our family is in America."

On Facebook, someone posted an invitation to attend the funeral.

Within hours some twenty-thousand people, Israelis, arrived at the Military cemetery in Haifa to escort Sean on his last journey.

Everyone was there: family members, friends, military personnel, youth from the Scouts – and thousands of other Israelis who did not know Sean but simply came to pay their respects and thank Sean for who he was and what he gave to Israel.

Sean's story can act as a mirror, showing us the beautiful character of the Israeli and the way Israel's society can be.

A united, unified society:

.‎כאיש אחד בלב אחד

As one person with one heart.

Ladies and gentlemen,

We are surrounded by enemies. Only a few weeks ago Iran sent an armed drone towards us. The Iranian octopus is trying to strangle us and break our spirit. But Israel is stronger than them. We have a 3,800 year old nation, with the strongest spirit on earth. From here I tell the leaders of Iran, Syria, Hamas and Hezbollah – do not try us.

United, we can overcome any challenge.

The Carmeli, Shmidov and Peretz families are with us tonight.

Along with thousands of others, they lost their dearest in the fight to defend Israel.

Fathers who can no longer hug their children; mothers who cannot smell them; brothers and sisters who can only remember.

This is an ongoing struggle, but one we did not choose.

In their death, Sean and his friends allowed many others to live.

First Sergeant Sean Carmeli,


A hero of Israel

You will always be with us.