Netanyahu: ‘There Was No One Who Didn’t Love’ Uri Orbach

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu released a statement Monday, expressing condolences over the death of Pensioners' Minister MK Uri Orbach (Jewish Home), who passed away overnight Sunday/Monday. 

"I mourn the passing of Minister Uri Orbach, a writer, a journalist, a spiritual man and a Jewish patriot," Netanyahu said. "Uri won over all who listened to him with his charm, knowledge and deep wisdom which stemmed from the depths of his soul."

"He had a deep sensitivity for every human being, a sensitivity that he brought with him as Senior Citizens Minister and to all his endeavors," he continued. "Despite his exceptional qualities, there was no malice in him. I never met anyone who knew him and did not love him."

"Last night, alongside members of his family, I said goodbye to him at the hospital with a profound sense of grief and loss," he concluded. 

"Uri will be sorely missed by his dear family, his Cabinet colleagues and the State of Israel."

Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon also issued a statement. 

"Minister Uri Orbach was a man of values and virtues, of honesty and humility, of manners and exceptional humanity," Ya'alon stated. "Whether his wisdom, his intelligence or his special humor, Uri was a special man in Israeli politics, and not without reason was accepted and loved by all parts of the Knesset."

"Uri was, first and foremost, a human being and loving person."

"There were, in Uri, these unique features which reconciled between the religious and the secular, between right and left, between Jews and non-Jews," he added. "He always kept the dignity of others. Even those who disagreed with him, acquired great respect for him, knew that Uri is exemplary statesman, who had clear and strong positions but was also patient and tolerant to hear and accept others' opinions."

'This was one of his most impressive traits," he concluded. "Uri, you will be missed by all of us." 

Earlier Monday, Jewish Home Chairman Naftali Bennett eulogized Orbach on social media.

"My older brother has departed,” he wrote. “Uri, a man of laughter and seriousness, of wisdom and uprightness, of courage and vision. Uri knew how to chisel an ideological path with insistence and charm, industriously but with a wink, with unending self-consciousness and unfading personal charm. Uri knew how to make children happy with his books, make their parents laugh with his witticisms, and bring their elderly parents an honorable old age.”

"He raised generations of young people in the media and showed them that their dream is possible. Generations of religious and secular people learned from him that the connection between them is possible,” Bennett continued.

"He was a man who loved the land and loved people without limits. He loved the People of Israel and they loved him back so much in return. In the cynical, cold world there was no one as beloved as Uri. I will miss him very much.”

"I have lost a real friend today, a friend in times of difficulty and joy, a person to consult with and a person to laugh with. I have lost a friend without whom I would not be here today. I convey my condolences to his wife Michal and the four children. We will continue in Uri's path, and it will be much more difficult and sad without him.”

Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein (Likud) said, "Uri was beyond any dispute between us, a kind man with a great sense of humor."

"The was much talk about his work, his enormous contribution to political discourse and pensioners in Israel. To serve with Uri was a great honor to anyone and I, like all of us, felt a great honor and a tremendous respect for this man."

"May his memory be blessed," he added. 


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