President Peres shakes hands with 7th Brigade soldiers 370.
(photo credit: Mark Neiman/GPO)
President Shimon Peres met with the IDF 7th Armored Brigade on Wednesday during
a visit to the Golan Heights, where he watched tank and shooting maneuvers and
toasted the Festival of Freedom.
“You are part of the best military
generation in Israel’s history,” he told the soldiers.
Peres toured the
area with IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz.
Moving between the
tanks and shaking many hands, the president said that IDF soldiers have always
succeeded in finding solutions to problems even in the most difficult of
situations. They always had the advantage of combining problem solving with
courage, he said.
Peres, who has been closely involved with the IDF for
the past 60 years, was proud of the fact that the army is prepared and ready to
meet every threat.
“Because of you,” he told the 120 combat soldiers,
“thousands of families can celebrate the Seder in safety and
Referring to the unrest in Syria and other parts of the
region, Peres said he derives no joy from the suffering of people in neighboring
countries. He expressed outrage that Syrian President Bashar Assad permits tanks
to mow down women and children from among his own people.
asked him to present his assessment of Israel’s challenges and achievements, and
Peres focused on the achievements.
When he looked back on the days in
which there were still doubts about the possibility of establishing the State of
Israel and took stock of what has been achieved over the past 64 years, said
Peres, he realized that “our dreams were too small.”
In their wildest
imaginations, the founders of the state could not have envisaged that Israel
would make so much progress in so short a span of time. Looking out at the faces
of the young soldiers, Peres said: “You are our future. Dream big!”