Benjamin Netanyahu on Passover Eve: ‘We will overcome those who seek our lives – Thanks to the faith of our people’

‘It (Hamas) is hardening its heart and refusing to let our people go … (Israel will) increase the military and diplomatic pressure on Hamas because this is the only way to free our hostages and achieve our victory.’


Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, ahead of the Passover holiday that begins Monday night, issued a holiday greeting to the public on Sunday in which he mentioned the 133 Israelis held hostage for more than six months by terrorists in Gaza.

In a reference to the famous four questions ordinarily asked by a child at the Seder – the “organized” ceremonial Passover meal which will be held by Jews the world over Monday night – and whose answers comprise the corps of the Seder, Netanyahu opened his remarks by asking, “Why is this night different, citizens of Israel?”

(At the Seder Jews ask why that night is different from all other nights during the year.)

Netanyahu’s answer: “On this night, 133 of our dear brothers and sisters are not around the Seder table, and they are still held hostage by Hamas in hellish conditions”.

He spoke of how Israel already managed to free 124 of its hostages in a deal arranged through intermediaries last November that saw a temporary stop in the fighting for a few days and the release, by Israel, of three Hamas terrorists – women and those under 18 – from its jails in an exchange. And Netanyahu said his government is “committed to returning them all home – the living and the deceased alike.”

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And then the Prime Minister changed tack asking, “And why is this night not different?”

“That in every generation they rise up to destroy us, and the Holy One, blessed be He, saves us from them (Israel’s enemies),” he answered. “This time as well, we will overcome those who seek our lives – thanks to the faith of our people, the daring of our fighters and the unity among us.”

“On this Seder night, our hostages being held by Hamas are before our eyes,” said Netanyahu. “Their suffering and the suffering of their families rends our heart and only strengthens our resolve to bring them back. We are not relenting, not even for a moment, from our sacred mission to return them home.”

The Prime Minister, however, went on to say that until now, “all proposals for releasing the hostages have been rejected outright by Hamas” and as such “therefore, the American Secretary of State rightly said that Hamas has refused every proposal that it has been presented with. In his words, the only thing preventing a hostage release deal is Hamas.”

Netanyahu accused Hamas of “counting on a rift” among the Israeli public and so the terrorist group did not change its “extreme positions.”

“Hamas is us,” he said. “It draws encouragement from the pressure being directed at the Government of Israel.”

This, said the Prime Minister, is why Hamas continues to “harden” its conditions for the release of Israeli hostages.

For example, during negotiations the organization reduced the number of Israelis it said it would release and Hamas increased the number of days it demanded a ceasefire last.

“It (Hamas) is hardening its heart and refusing to let our people go,” he said in reference to how the Bible says that God hardened Pharaoh’s heart each time he refused to let the Jewish people leave Egypt..

Netanyahu then promised that Israel will strike it with” additional painful blows – and this will happen soon,” and that in the coming days, Israel will “increase the military and diplomatic pressure on Hamas because this is the only way to free our hostages and achieve our victory.”

“Citizens of Israel, on the eve of Passover, when the people of Israel went forth from slavery to freedom, let us remember our fallen heroes, and our wounded fighters, thanks to whose sacrifice, we are free people,” he added calling the State of Israel “strong” and the israel Defense Forces (IDF) “strong – both defensively and offensively.”

“Our enemies cannot overcome us – we will overcome them,” he declared

Netanyahu referenced his late brother, IDF Colonel Yoni Netanyahu, who was killed while taking part in the 1976 “Raid on Entebbe” Airport in Uganda that saved the lives of 103 Israelis and other Jews held hostage there by Arab terrorists.

“My late brother Yoni, who fell in battle to return hostages, wrote the simple historic truth, that the IDF is the only factor standing in the breach and preventing the slaughter of our people as in the past,” said the Prime Minister who also pledged to “strongly defend the IDF, our army and our fighters. If somebody thinks they can impose sanctions on a unit in the IDF – I will fight this with all my powers.”

“As our soldiers are united in defending us on the battlefield, we are united in defending them in the diplomatic arena,” he concluded adding “together we will fight and with G-d’s help, together we will win.”