20,000 attend Itamar massacre victims' funeral
Udi, Ruth Fogel, three of their children – Yoav, Elad and Hadas who were killed Friday night in terror attack, laid to rest at Jerusalem cemetery. Senior government, religious officials attending. 'Barbaric act that only animals are capable of,' says childhood friend. Chief rabbi: Make Itamar major city
Five coffins, two regular sized, 3 small ones. This is the appalling scene that met the eyes of the thousands attending the funeral of the five members of the Fogel family who were brutally murdered Friday night in the settlement of Itamar terror attack.
The funeral was held at the Givat Shaul cemetery in Jerusalem. According to the police, some 20,000 people attended the funeral.
Former Chief Rabbi, Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau was the first to eulogize saying: "There are situations, there are days there are hours where you are at loss for words. You sit feel and sense the pain, feel the anger and mostly, feel the powerlessness…
"When you imagined that this circle of terror closed maybe 66 years ago and when the blood of infants runs like water and 1.5 million children were trampled by human beasts… it has been 66 years, we've declared statehood, gained our independence, established the enviable IDF. And still, the circle of terror and the river of blood flow and we stand helpless."
Rabbi Lau added: "What can you say when you see a three month old baby stabbed to death? What do you say?" He stressed: "We will not bend, we will not give up, we returned to the land of our fathers and it is our home, and the children shall return within their borders and nothing will prevent our faith in the righteousness of our path."
Chief Rabbi Yona Metzger told those on hand, "Remember what Amalek did to you on the way as you came out of Egypt. Amalek is here - people who are capable of tearing and butchering a whole family when they came home from prayer services."
Five coffins, two regular sized, 3 small ones
He stated that angels of destruction replaced the ministering angels of the Sabbath: "When you go into the house and see little Yishai trying to wake up Rabbi Udi – 'daddy wake up! Daddy wake up!' we know that he will only wake up when the resurrection day arrives.
Rabbi Metzger added that only God will be able to avenge the blood of the murdered family – "we don't have the option of avenging their blood" – and said: "Itamar needs to become a major city in Israel as a response to this murder."
"Today there in no Right, there is no Left; there isn't a Jewish heart that isn't bleeding tears of anguish. No man can remain indifferent. After seeing these harsh images, who can we sit down and discuss peace with?" he said.
Thousands attended funeral (Photo: Gil Yohanan)
Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin said in his eulogy that construction on the Land of Israel is not an act of retaliation or vengeance and that Israel will continue to build at any place and any time.
"You were the personification of devotion to the Zionist vision, pioneers. Your hands held both scythe and book, teachers and settlers whose entire lives were the love of their country and the love they had for their neighbors," Rivlin said. "Build more, live more, more footholds – that is our response to the murderers so that they know – they can't defeat us."
Minister Moshe Ya'alon attacked the Palestinian Authority over its anti-Israel incitement. "The murderers, if they'll be jailed, will be recognized as heroes and they will be honored by (Palestinian) schools. Such acts are routine with our neighbors.
"As long as this murderous education persists, as long as the leadership's wild incitement continues, any agreement we sign will not be worth the paper it is written on. Moreover, (any agreement) will be breached due to the venomous education and incitement to Jewish hatred," added the minister.
Rabbi Yehuda Ben Yishai, Ruth Fogel's father said: "We shall not bid you farewell. You shall come visit us like pure angels."
Rafi Ben-basat, a childhood friend of the father – Udi Fogel said that "the family is going through a very difficult time; we are trying to encourage them and give them strength. This was a barbaric act that only animals are capable of. It is time for the nation to sober up and tell its leaders to stop the concession for concession system.
Udi's brother Motti said: "All the slogans about Torah and settlement, the Land of Israel and the Jewish people try to make us fotget the simple and painful truth: You are gone. You are gone and no slogan will bring you back. Above all, this funeral must be a private event. Udi, you are not a symbol or a national event. Your life had a purpose of its own and your horrid death must not render life into a vehicle. You are my brother and shall remain my brother."
Omri Efraim contributed to the report
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