In an act of solidarity with wounded IDF soldiers, President- elect Reuven Rivlin and Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat visited eight of the wounded and their families at Hadassah University Medical Center in Jerusalem’s Ein Kerem Monday.
While the press was prohibited from joining the leaders, according to joint statements issued shortly afterward, the soldiers were in stable condition, in good spirits and spoke at length with both men.
“I left my visit today thrilled with our soldiers,” said Rivlin in a statement.
“We have wonderful youth who want peace but also understand that we should still protect our country from those who are unwilling to accept our right to exist.”
The president-elect continued: “We have not declared war – war was declared on us – and our soldiers know this. This war is a just war in the eyes of our soldiers and this is the most important thing.”
Indeed, according to Rivlin, during his encounter with the wounded soldiers he sensed a “deep understanding” of the importance of the campaign.
“They understand that despite the desire to live in peace, it is also necessary to fight now to avoid war for their younger siblings,” he said. “Most of the soldiers did not refer to the political issue of whether war is necessary or not – they realize that they must do the job.”
Moreover, Rivlin said the wounded soldiers are driven to fight so the next generation of Israelis will be spared such brutality.
“They want the war to end so their children will not have to experience the inferno they are inside,” he said.
In a statement Barkat echoed Rivlin’s sentiments.
“I am thrilled by the greatness, fighting spirit and tenacity of the fighters in their mission to protect the people of Israel,” he said.