PM Netanyahu Attends Ceremony Marking the Operational Integration of the David's Sling Air Defense System
(Communicated by the Prime Minister's Media Adviser)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, today (20 March 2017), at the Hatzor air force base, attended the ceremony marking the operational integration of the David's Sling air defense system. Also in attendance were Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman, IDF Chief-of-Staff Lt.-Gen. Gadi Eisenkot, GOC Air Force Maj.-Gen. Amir Eshel, US Missile Defense Agency Director Vice Admiral James Syring and Air Defense Commander Brig.-Gen. Zvi Haimovitz.
Prime Minister Netanyahu:
I want to welcome Vice Admiral James Syring, Director of the US Missile Defense Agency and the Charge d’affaires of the American embassy in Israel, Leslie Tsou, who have joined us this afternoon.
Admiral, today marks an important milestone in our joint development of cutting-edge missile defense technologies. We face, both of us, increasingly sophisticated threats, but we have repeatedly demonstrated that together we can meet these challenges a lot better than any one of us could do so alone.
We’re white and blue – red, white and blue, in this context, works even better.
At a time when budgets are tight, please know that the government of Israel and the people of Israel are deeply grateful for the ongoing support by the United States of this crucial effort and the ongoing support of the United States for the general defense of Israel.
[Translated from Hebrew]
We have pioneering technology here and Israel continues to lead the world in this field. The ingenuity of our people and the fighting spirit of our soldiers multiply our strength against our enemies and enable us not only to defend the home front but to achieve victory in battle. I ascribe very great importance to our ability to defend the home front. We have proven this in the allocation of resources and in producing interceptors and other means.
But despite the importance that I attribute to our defensive capabilities, I reiterate: Whoever seeks to hit us – will be hit. Whoever threatens our existence – places himself in existential danger. This approach has ancient sources. Not far from here is the Ela Valley where David defeated Goliath with his sling. King David defended the People of Israel against its enemies 3,000 years ago. He did so with a combination of extraordinary daring and extraordinary ingenuity. We recognize the age-old adage 'Those who dare, win.'
As an ancient people that treasures life, we continue to march in the path of King David. David's sword in our hand, David's Sling is in our skies and David's shield is on our flag. We will join strength to spirit and we will ensure Israel's victory."