'Four years without a grave, no address for tears'

Minister Bennett speaks at Hadar Goldin memorial service: 'Protective Edge will end only when Hadar and Oron arrive to burial in Israel.'

Naftali Bennett,

Minister Bennett at memorial for Hadar Goldin
Minister Bennett at memorial for Hadar Goldin
Yoni Kempinski

Four years have passed since Hadar Goldin fell on the battlefield. Four years without a grave; no address for tears.

In an interview before his death, Hadar said: "We grew up on love of the People and the Land. Our grandparents, Holocaust survivors, also participated in the War of Independence. Our father's a battalion commander in the reserves; it's something that comes from the home. With us there isn't much talk but there is mainly life, a lot of education, a lot of love, and especially teaching us to know how to make decisions."

Hadar's impressive persona emerges from his words. A figure of a Zionistic, values-driven, rooted, practical young man. A real human being.

When he was on the trip to Auschwitz, while standing in the children's railroad car, Hadar wrote: "Thanks to you I know where I'm going. And I understand, thanks to you, what my country gives me but mainly - what I should give of myself to the country." How chilling it is to read these words today.

As a cabinet member who was among those who sent Hadar to defend the citizens of Israel from our enemies, I am also obligated to bring him home. Bereavement is part of our lives in this great and awesome country. And I know, the only pain greater than the pain of parents who lost their son is that of parents who do not have a grave to cry on. As far as I'm concerned, Operation Protective Edge will end only when Hadar and Oron reach burial in Israel.

Operation Protective Edge, where Hadar fell, was another one of the difficult but inevitable chain of operations to protect the residents of the south in particular, and the citizens of Israel in general. I supported and even voted for the operation along with my colleagues. I sent Hadar to fight and defend the citizens of Israel, and I will raise my hand again if necessary. Not because I am drawn to battle, on the contrary, but because again our enemies rise against us.

In the world we are criticized that our Gaza Strip policy is immoral. I have news for all our critics - it is immoral to stand on the sidelines and bide time while the South is burning. It is immoral to pity terrorists from Gaza and not children from the Gaza area.

I will say this clearly: It is better to be condemned by the world for killing kite-launchers than to eulogize children who'll be hurt in kindergarten. Whoever launches fire balloons at our children is a terrorist and must be liquidated.

Our supreme decree, as the leadership of this people, like any other people who crave life, is not to pity our enemies, but to protect our citizens and thus we shall do.

Translated by Mordechai Sones


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