President Rivlin addressed the memorial ceremony for the fallen soldiers of Lebanon War II of 2006, saying Iran is rearming Hezbollah to kill Israeli citizens while establishing new outposts on our borders. “We will fight with courage for our lives, our independence, and our citizens,” the President said.
By Gary Willig
President Reuven Rivlin delivered a speech Monday at the Memorial Ceremony for the fallen of the Second Lebanon War, marking the 11th anniversary of the war, at the Memorial Hall on Mount Herzl. The ceremony was attended by of Deputy Speaker of the Knesset Bezalel Smotrich, Deputy Defense Minister Eli Ben Dahan, Supreme Court Justice Yoram Danziger, Northern Command Chief Yoel Strick, and members of the families of the fallen.
The President opened his remarks to the bereaved families and said: “Together we count the years of your lives and the years since their loss. We painfully remember their passing, and we look with pride and joy at your growth, Sadness and life intertwined with the reality of our lives, loving families which were inseparable. Each one of you is a whole world that will never return.”
“In this war, the full extent of Israel’s civilian society’s strength was revealed as well, and in this campaign our men and women [in uniform] displayed tremendous bravery and courage, acting with determination and heroism,” the president continued, stressing that there are warning signs highlighting the importance of continued preparation and vigilance, the danger of terrorism, and the danger of missing equipment and weapons.
“Public criticism, followed by the commission of inquiry, continued to ring those warning bells. The IDF and the security forces were required to make significant revisions [to their operations]. Indeed, investigations were conducted and improvements were carried out in every field, from intelligence to operations, from readiness to training and logistics. The lessons of that war continue to be applied both in the daily routine and in times of emergency, which unfortunately have continued to occur since then.”
The president spoke about the quiet on the northern border following the war, but emphasized: “We must not be mistaken in [seeing] this silence [as permanent]. The threat is still great. Hezbollah is growing stronger with Iranian support and arms aimed at threatening Israeli civilians and carrying out military operations that flagrantly violate UN Resolution 1701.”
“Under no circumstances will we allow the establishment of Iranian outposts on our borders. The nations of the world must recognize what is happening and understand the possible consequences. We were greeted, as always, with silence. But we have red lines. And if a campaign is imposed upon us, we will fight with courage for our lives, our independence, and our citizens.
“Our national strength is the source of the strength of Israeli society,” said the president at the end of his speech. “Our shared commitment to this home, to this country, is the basis of our strength and it must rise above any debate on a current issue. This is our land, and there is no other country for us – that is the basis on which this state was built, and this is the root of our existence. ”
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