har nof ceremony 7 days after terror attack.
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
Grief over fallen soldiers can’t prevent the government from sending its troops off to war, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said as he warned Israel’s enemies that the IDF stands ready to defend the country.
“If we have no choice, we must be ready to charge into battle in order to defend ourselves and our land,” Netanyahu said on Wednesday morning at Mt. Herzl Military Cemetery in Jerusalem.
“When I need to decide whether or not to send soldiers into battle, I think of each soldier and their family as if they were my son, my family,” Netanyahu said.
He spoke at a Remembrance Day Ceremony to honor the 23,320 soldiers and civilians who have been killed since the state was created in 1948.
“Anyone who has experienced the torments of bereavement and the terror of war, the dead and injured, the amputation of limbs, does not seek out war,” Netanyahu said.
He spoke as the threat to Israel grows both from Iran and the flow of Russian made weapons to the region. Israel is also concerned by the possibly of renewed violence along its southern and northern borders.
“The continuum of threats to the existence of Israel requires a continuum of fights and our resilience in this fight depends on our determination, our strength, our unity,” Netanyahu said.
“Our enemies need to know that they will not break us, that despite the pain we will continue to defend our country, that we are staying right here,” Netanyahu said.
Israel’s strength and the unity of its Jewish, Druze, Muslim, Beduin, Christian and Circassian citizens, is what will help the state meet the security challenges it faces in the coming years, Netanyahu said.
“We are one family. … We are partners through bad times and good, in grief and in joy,” he said.
Netanyahu referenced the transition Israel would go later that night when Remembrance Day ended and festivities marking Independence Day began.
“Tonight, as the lights of the Independence torches shine forth, when the lights of the Independence torches shine on this mountain, we will feel profound gratitude for our loved ones, the heroes of the people, Israel's fallen soldiers,” Netanyahu said.