Moses said to the people in his final charge "I put before you life and death, blessing and curse. Choose life...Be strong and resolute..for the Lord will not forsake you" Deut. 30 and 31. Former US National Debate Champion and Ordained Rabbi tackles issues of Public Policy, Israel, Islamic Terrorism, Antisemitism, Jewish Wisdom and the Chicago Bears
Wednesday, April 22, 2015
Yom Hazikaron messages from Prime and Defense Ministers
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke at the central memorial ceremony for fallen soldiers at the Mount Herzl military cemetery Wednesday, recognizing the sacrifice of those who gave their lives for the State of Israel and urging Israelis to appreciate the meaning of that loss.
\“Our enemies must know they will not break us,” the prime minister said, quoting a widow who spoke Tuesday in the Knesset’s memorial ceremony.
Netanyahu, who was heavily criticized for his statements about Arab voters during last month’s elections, stressed the importance of unity on Memorial Day. “We are one family: Jews and our non-Jewish brothers — Druze, Muslims, Bedouins, Christians, Circassians,” he said.
The prime minister also spoke out against war. “Anyone who has experienced the anguish of bereavement is not eager to go to battle,” he said, mirroring comments the previous day made by President Reuven Rivlin.
“Our sons did not go to battle thirsty for blood,” Rivlin said at the Western Wall in Jerusalem Tuesday night. “Not this past summer, not those before, not in those that, God forbid, are still to come. We are forced to fight.”
“We express our gratitude for everything we have earned,” the prime minister said Wednesday, “for the wonder of our sovereignty, the gift of freedom, the miracle of our renewal.”
The official state ceremony commemorating victims of terror attacks began at 1 p.m. at the Victims of Acts of Terror Memorial on Mount Herzl. Rivlin, Netanyahu and IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gadi Eisenkot were in attendance.
There the prime minister lamented what he called the celebration of terrorist acts.
“Many of our neighbors glorify murderers and carry them on their shoulders,” Netanyahu said at the ceremony. “The more they murder, the more they glorify them.”
But, Netanyahu said, “The memory of those killed in terror attacks will be with us forever.”
Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon said on Wednesday that while Israel is always looking to reach peace with its neighbors, it will not be misled by “smooth talking and illusions” when it comes to defending the country against its enemies.
The minister spoke at a ceremony at the Kiryat Shaul cemetery near Tel Aviv, held as the country marked Memorial Day for the 23,320 fallen IDF soldiers, police, and security personnel, and those killed in terror attacks.
“The process of loss is hard, and has no cure,” Ya’alon told bereaved families at the ceremony.
“For 67 years the State of Israel has struggled against those who seek to do her evil, and pays, unfortunately, a heavy price.
“Our hands reach out to peace with the countries and nations in the region, and whoever has that same intention, his [outstretched] hand will not be left hanging in the air,” said the minister, who served as chief of staff of the IDF.
“We are, like them, looking to peace, and that’s how we educate the future generations. Ready, as we have shown in the past, to walk the long path, lined with potholes, to achieve it and prevent pain and tears in the future. That is our way, and those are our values.
“But we will not be misled by slick words and illusions,” Ya’alon warned, and spoke of conflicts ravaging many parts of the region, fueled, he said, by an Iranian regime that threatens the whole world.
“The Middle East is changing beyond recognition, and the place of armies is being taken by bloodthirsty reckless groups alongside a Iranian terror state which is currently financing, training, and arming terror, and that has its hands in every place in the region and even beyond,” he said.
“We must remember that around us are not a small number of those who have not yet accepted our right to a Jewish national home, and they will do all that they can to deceive us and to try to interrupt our lives,” Ya’alon said. “They do that with rockets and missiles, terror and delegitimization, and in recent years in an effort to develop nuclear weapons that threaten not only Israel, but also all of humanity.
“In order to ensure our security against these challenges, Israel needs a strong, well-trained and high-quality army that acts with determination and strength along the borders and even far from them,” he added.