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Yaalon: Concessions Now Mean Disaster Later

Defense Minister says challenges facing Israel "will force us to respond with a firm hand."
By Gil Ronen
First Publish: 4/15/2013, 1:05 PM

Minister Moshe Yaalon
Minister Moshe Yaalon
Israel news photo: Flash 90

Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon addressed the Remembrance Day Ceremony for the IDF's Fallen Soldiers Monday at the Kiryat Shaul Cemetery in Tel Aviv

"We are a peace seeking nation," he said. "Our hand reaches out to the world, and we will strive with all our might to make peace with our neighbors. We do not want to lose our sons and daughters. But unfortunately, there are still many who refuse to recognize our right to a Jewish national home in the land of Israel in any borders, forcing us to fight back and cut their intentions short. They are trying to harm us in multifaceted ways, challenging our powers of resistance as a society. These threats are not dwindling, they are merely diversifying."

"Terrorist attacks, the firing of rockets at civilian populations and delegitimization campaigns are the challenges which stand before us in the years to come, they will accompany us for the foreseeable future and they will force us to respond with a firm hand."

"The nuclear program of a country which glorifies Jew-hatred and the destruction of the State of Israel is taking shape, and if it is not dealt with, it will threaten Israel, the Middle East, and the entire world. The world cannot brush the problem of a nuclear Iran under the carpet, as history – both recent and ancient – has proven that concessions and a lack of determination now, are recipes for a lack of control and disaster in the years to come."

"The region is experiencing a shake-up, the like of which we have never experienced. The uncertainty is great, complex and parts of it are reaching our borders. We must identify the opportunities and stand determined to tackle these dangers with shrewd sobriety, responsibility, and careful consideration."

"Your heroism, dear families, symbolizes the perseverance capacity of Israeli society, which stands up to the test -- time after time -- in the face of all the challenges which are placed before it. The sorrow and grief which will accompany you, day by day, hour by hour, becomes the sorrow of all of us."

"It is impossible to understand the depth of the anguish of separation and longing. Every fallen hero is a world unto themselves; every bereaved family is a world unto themselves. Your wounds will forever struggle to heal. A sharp, permanent pain will accompany you all your days. The price you have paid for the sake of the continued existence of the State of Israel is unbearable; it is unimaginable."