In the Middle East, We Must Fight for Our Survival

In official address, PM Binyamin Netanyahu emphasizes the value of the sacrifice made by Israel's fallen soldiers, its 'iron wall.'

Ari Soffer,

IDF soldiers stand to attention at Kotel Memorial Day ceremony
IDF soldiers stand to attention at Kotel Memorial Day ceremony
Yonatan Sindel/Flash 90

In an official statement to the nation at the start of Memorial Day Tuesday evening, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu emphasized the significance of the sacrifice made by those who fell defending the State of Israel.

Speaking directly to "my brothers and sisters, to the bereaved families," Netanyahu noted that their fallen loved ones "fell on behalf of the revival of our people and our land."

"This day is the most difficult for us," related the PM, whose brother Yoni was killed during the famous IDF operation to free hostages at Entebbe Airport in Uganda. "The warm embrace that we receive strengthens us but it cannot console us for the terrible loss. The pain rends our hearts, the grief chokes us and the longing will never go away.

"On this day the people of Israel bow their heads in respect and gratitude. The poet Shlomo Sokolsky well expressed the heavy price. In his poem 'Rosh Pina', he wrote: 'There is no conquering the top of the rock – if there is no grave on the slope.' This is the reality of our life in the past 67 years since the establishment of the State of Israel and even before."

Turning specifically to last summer's 50-day conflict with Islamist terrorists in Gaza, during which 67 soldiers fell in the line of duty, Netanyahu continued: "Last year many more families were added to the family of the bereaved including the families of those who fell in Operation Protective Edge whose sons fought to restore quiet and security to the cities of Israel and the communities of the south."

The blood shed by Israel's fallen warriors was not in vain, Netanyahu stressed, because it is only through them the State of Israel has been able to exist in security in an otherwise turbulent and insecure region.

"On Remembrance Day for the Fallen of Israel's Wars, we recall the heroism of those who gave their souls for the existence and security of the State of Israel," he said.

"To our sorrow, in the current Middle East we are obliged to continue fighting for our existence, and our existence here is not self-evident without this sacrifice.

"Only thanks to the iron wall, every brick of which is held by our sons and daughters of the IDF and the security services, only thanks to them can we continue to live our lives here and continue to raise our children and grandchildren here."




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