'Strengthening social solidarity is our most important mission'

Defense Minister Gantz speaks at ceremony marking the crrival of the “Oz” component of the navy's new  “Sa’ar 6” Corvettes.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Benny Gantz
Benny Gantz
Avshalom Sassoni/Flash90

Defense Minister Benny Gantz spoke at today’s Naval ceremony marking the crrival of the “Oz” component of the navy's new “Sa’ar 6” Corvettes.

The following are Excerpts of his Remarks:

“The navy is one of the IDF’s most advanced and powerful arms…

Over the course of the recent campaign, our naval forces thwarted attempts to send unmanned naval vessels into Israeli territory, and moved naval warfare to land – and onto enemy territory.
All of you here fought hand in hand with all of the IDF’s military branches, as part of our multi-dimensional approach to combat.

This is yet one example of the innovation and operative abilities that the navy has developed, an illustration of the power that we are prepared to employ across the different fronts, including on the Lebanese front, as well as further away, in contending with attempts to equip our enemies with arms that would undermine regional stability.

Our ability to develop these capacities is a derivative of our long-term vision, and our ability to preserve these capacities and have the upper hand over our enemies demands of us, political leadership, to advance a multi-year plan, that will ensure stability and long-term development of the different arms of the IDF.

The ‘Oz’ class, joins the other Sa'ar-6 corvette class vessels form part of Israel’s defensive front. With the most cutting-edge radars and innovative systems, largely the outcome of Israeli military industry efforts. And human innovation, manifested, amongst other things, in the incorporation of women into command and combat roles – with a record 25 of them on “Oz.”

The State of Israel is contending with serious social challenges, the peak of which we saw during ‘Guardian of the Walls,’ including right here just past the gates of this Haifa base. Violence in the streets, murder like in the arson case at the Acco hotel, and coexistence that has crumbled after years of growing tensions. Unfortunately, we are witness to provocative attempts to exacerbate social frictions. These are detrimental to our security and to our resilience.

Israel, which protects freedom of worship, which follows strict ethical standards in warfare, cannot afford to have insufferable gaps and deepening disparities between those who serve society and those who don’t, or to allow violence to go unanswered. Against all this background noise, I state clearly: the IDF is an army that is active within Israeli society, that cultivates excellence in the periphery, and makes itself accessible to civil organizations and a variety of populations.

When the Homefront Command steps in to help with Corona, it is active across the board: in secular, Haredi and Arab areas. When an Iron Dome soldier works to intercept a missile over the Negev, he protects the Bedouin population, development towns and Kibbutzim alike. The IDF has been and will continue to be a people’s army, its soldiers will don their uniforms proudly, and securely, everywhere…

As part of the people, [the IDF] has a national mission which is no less important than protecting our borders, and that is to protect our society. Particularly as defense minister, I assert that strengthening our social solidarity is our most important national mission. If we cannot create peace within, we will be unable to be strong vis-à-vis our enemies either.”