At memorial ceremony for the fallen of the Yom Kippur War, Ehud Barak warned against unrealistic expectations
Defense Minister Ehud Barak and Chief of the General Staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz participated in the annual memorial ceremony for the fallen IDF soldiers of the 1973 Yom Kippur War today (Thursday, September 27).
The Minister of Defense addressed the relatives of the fallen, saying, "The entire people of Israel today bows its head and identifies with your pain, family members, and warmly adopts you into its heart, with a sense of brotherly unity and shared fate – and, most of all, remembers, aches, and appreciates the heavy price."
"The Yom Kippur War was a turning point in Israel's history – even against the backdrop of the war of many decades, lasting from the birth of the state through today," he continued. "The power of the siren that suddenly ripped through the sanctity of that Yom Kippur [by alerting Israel's citizens to the beginning of the Yom Kippur War] still echoes today – and with it, a sharp and clear lesson: We must always maintain absolute realism, not be taken with false hopes, ambitions, or wishful thinking."
"In the hour of greatest need, we will be able to rely only on ourselves," emphasized the Minister of Defense. "That's how it was from the moment of the establishment of the state in 1948, in the Six Day War, in the Yom Kippur War, and in the following wars. These words are also correct and clear today, 39 years later. As a society, we must ask ourselves on these days, which are days of personal and national introspection, whether we are acting properly in order to establish a model society here, in the spirit of the Zionist vision, a society deserving of the sacrifice of our fallen, a society that will prove well that your pain and the sacrifice of your children was not in vain."
Defense Minister Barak also discussed Israel's current strategic situation. "The area around us is volatile and challenging, and the political-security leadership must ensure that the IDF and the security forces remain sharp, strong, and alert – prepared for every challenge, from near or from afar," he said. "Our responsibility is to do all that we can to break the cycle of enmity, so that the best of our children will only reach the battlefield if there is no other option. At the same time, our supreme responsibility is to ensure Israel's security, to fight and to win in every battle forced on us, even when the price is painful."