Ari Fuld remembered as a 'hero to all' as he's laid to rest
Thousands mourn loss of 45-year-old, US-born Israel activist who was stabbed to death in Gush Etzion by Palestinian terrorist and buried in Kfar Etzion; ‘I don’t know how I’ll go on without you,’ says widow, while his son praises Fuld as a 'fighter, and this is how he died;' Fuld's father recalls a son who was 'so strong, so full of life, who celebrated every moment, every breath.'
Family members and mourners waved Israeli flags at the funeral, which began close to midnight at a cemetery at the Kfar Etzion settlement in the West Bank.
“I don’t know how I will go on without you,” said Fuld’s widow, Miriam, who had asked him to go shopping at the mall where he was stabbed to death by 16-year-old Khalil Jabarin from the Palestinian village of Yatta near Hebron.
“We were born 24 hours apart from one another. We didn’t know it would end like this. You fought for what you believed in. I promise to take care of the children. Your job is to look after us from above,” Miriam said in an emotional eulogy.
“Thank you for all the wonderful years and for the wonderful children that you gave me. I love you, I love you, I love you,” she repeated.
Fuld’s daughter, Tamar, said that when she heard about the attack, it never crossed her mind that her father was the victim. “My father always told me that if life is easy, something is not right,” she said, standing alongside her mother.
Fuld’s son, Yakir, praised his father “a fighter,” adding, “and this is how he died.”
The father of four from Efrat gave chase to the terrorist after being stabbed and attempted to shoot at his attacker. However, Jabarin was eventually shot and neutralized by a passerby and Fuld was eventually pronounced dead at Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem
Fuld’s father, Rabbi Yonah Fuld, also spoke at the funeral, lamenting Israel’s loss as a country in the death of his son.
“Zion cries and the land of Israel cries. Ari influenced thousands of people all over the world,” Yonah said about his son, who was a known activist in hasbara (PR) for Israel around the world.
“My son said he would receive thousands of letters from all over the world. Even from Saudi Arabia. He was a hero to all,” Yonah said in his eulogy, which was interspersed with English.
“He was so strong, he was so full of life. He celebrated every moment, every breath. How that voice can be silent,” Yonah said as he wept.
“Our son was taken from us. He had the power and passion for his family and the land of Israel. He was a hero to all. You were proud of your children. You were completely committed to your children,” he said.
“He gave his life to sanctify God, to sanctify the land. If you would have asked him, that’s way he would have said he wanted to go,” Yonah said.
Rabbi Fuld also recalled witnessing his son, whose grandmother was a Holocaust survivor, wake up at 3am to defend Israel throughout the world.
“He understood why he was fighting for the land of Israel. He was a heavy machine gunner in the Paratroopers Brigade and he fought in the Second Lebanon War. He went to reserve duty every time he was called and mom always told him to stop. He would answer: ‘Until my last breath.’”
Fuld’s brother, Moshe, said: “So many people came here to pay their final respects. If there is one word to describe my brother it is simply, hero.
“Who can fight a terrorist, get out a gun, jump over a fence and shoot at the terrorist to stop him harming others,” his older brother said. “Ari, I am so sorry that I didn’t tell you about your greatness. You are a true giant.”