David Barnea at the ceremony
David Barnea at the ceremonyCourtesy

Mossad head David Barnea spoke at a remembrance event in the lounge at the Mossad headquarters after hearing, along with other Mossad personnel, the testimony of Holocaust survivors' family members.

"The Institute for Intelligence and Special Operations, our Mossad, is committed to facing the growing dangers and threats upon us, and against the extreme enemies surrounding us from every direction in the most tangible way - near and far," he said.

He also added, "In order to deal with every threat - it is our duty to continue and be the best intelligence organization in the world. An assertive, resolute, and aggressive organization against all those who seek to kill us early. We are mandated to build strong and stable alliances with the free world countries. We are mandated to be united, first and foremost, among ourselves. We are mandated to fulfill our destiny to defend Israelis and Jews all over the world."

"It is our duty to bring back the abducted men and women from the tunnels of death in Gaza. The moral foundation of bringing them home is deep and obligates all of us. The Mossad, with me at its head, will turn every stone in order to bring them home, to us, to their loved ones, to their family, to their homes, to the land of Israel."

"Today, more than ever the statement 'Never Again' is a moral imperative for me, for all of us, who have chosen to act to realize our vision, the vision to ensure the eternity of Israel, out of a deep sense of mission."

"Towards the anniversary of the Holocaust Remembrance Day, the Mossad held an event 'Memory in the Living Room' this being the third year. Amid the events of October 7 and the 'Iron Swords' war, the Mossad hosted testimonies of family members of employees and commanders in the organization, as well as survivors and second-generation family members from the surrounding settlements who experienced the inferno on October 7th."

Ofra L., born in 1925, a relative of a Mossad commander, recounted that when the war broke out in Poland she was a 14-year-old girl from a well-to-do family. During the difficult war years, she lost all her family members, and managed to survive through immense hardship, harsh labor, severe illnesses, and extreme hunger conditions.

"Someone needs to stay alive to tell what happened to us," her father said before they parted on the train. "This sentence accompanies me all the time. I feel proud that I made it here and survived at all," Ofra shared with the head of the Mossad and the many employees who heard her moving testimony as they celebrated her 99th birthday.

Barnea addressed the Memory-in-the-Living Room event and said: "The project has already become a tradition with us, though it is only 3 years old, and it will continue. We hear the stories, try to imagine what they went through, we empathize and tear up and find it hard to believe, and know that those who have not experienced those horrors will never really know."

And to the Holocaust survivors and witnesses he added, "Dear survivors, we look at you with humility, and respect. Filled with appreciation for the soul strengths you demonstrated in rising from life’s depths, in your growth from the deep break, and in your participation in building the State of Israel—a home for the Jewish people - a home for our family."