ehud barak 311.
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
“On May 14, 1948, our first prime minister, David Ben Gurion, announced the establishment of the State of Israel. The newborn state was immediately cast into the reality of an existential war, a war that has been part of the lives of the people of Israel from that moment until today,” Defense Minister Ehud Barak said Sunday in a ceremony at Tel Aviv University ahead of Israel’s Remembrance Day, which takes place Monday.
“In 62 years of independence, the state withstood difficult challenges and succeeded only through the fact that in every generation the finest of its young were ready and willing to put their lives on the line to defend the state. These were the fallen, your loved ones, dear families,” Barak said.
Barak also referred to the issue of draft dodging, saying that “service
in the IDF is a duty but it is also a great privilege. Over the years
of our struggle for existence in this land, thousands of young men and
young women chose to stay here, take our destiny in our hands and
fulfill the privilege of fighting for our liberty and sovereignty. The
few who abandon the country or who dodge military service only
emphasize the verity and essence of this choice.”
Barak said that as defense minister he was convinced that Israel will
achieve peace with the Palestinians, in the framework of the United
States’ Road Map and the two-state solution.
Only such an agreement, Barak said, would “ensure a Jewish majority for
generations, in clear borders and an end of conflict and claims.” He
said this would necessitate “great and brave decisions, cooperation
with the international community and close ties with the US.”