Gantz: I seek to spread hope

Blue and White leader issues call for unity as he lights first torch at opening ceremony of Israel's Independence Day at Mt. Herzl.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Gantz lights Independence Day torch
Gantz lights Independence Day torch
Elad Malchah

Blue and White chairman MK Benny Gantz lit the first torch at the Independence Day opening ceremony at Mount Herzl Tuesday night.

“Here, from this mount, year after year, we connect between the pain and strength,” Gantz said of the transition from the sorrow of Memorial Day to the joy of Independence Day.

“Tough days are upon us and we must prepare for no less difficult days,” he said. “We’ll win this war and with this lesson will work to establish a new ethos, a story of mutual guarantee. A story that won’t be defined by outsiders or enemies but rather by us.”

"This mountain, named after the visionary of the state, contains the terrible pain of thousands of families. War after war, generation after generation.

"Here, from this mountain, year after year, we connect the pain and the intensity.

"Tonight, I want to spread hope here," Gantz declared.

"Beneath the soil and beneath the marble graves lie our best sons and daughters. Nothing separates them: neither where they were born, nor their sexual orientation nor their political position. Under the freezing silence of death here - all are equal. It is our duty and responsibility to ensure that we are all equal in life.

"Not identical, but equal.

As Herzl wrote in Altneuland: "We do not ask a person what race or religion he belongs to. He has to be a human being, that's all for us."

"We have been blessed in the State of Israel in different cultures, languages ​​and religions. And as at the Western Wall, the various stones coalesce into a wall that has stood for thousands of years."

Following his remarks, Gantz lit the first torch.