President Reuven Rivlin addresses ceremony marking ten years since the Second Lebanon War
President Reuven Rivlin this morning (Tuesday) addressed the official ceremony held on Jerusalem's Mt. Herzl, marking ten years since the Second Lebanon War.
The President began, "Ten years have passed and they are missing for you the bereaved families, and for all of us too, very very much. Here, on Jerusalem's mountain of yearning and longing, we remember them and speak of them, and miss them even more."
He continued, "On July 12, 2006, a few minutes after nine o'clock in the morning, an IDF patrol was attacked on the northern border. I remember well those fateful hours of uncertainty and confusion of the battle. None of us can forget those moments."
It was, said the President, "A war in which devotion to the goal, the camaraderie, determination, sacrifice, and dedication of the fighters and commanders covered the failures and flaws exposed in the levels of preparedness. A war in which heroism and fortitude defeated what was discovered lacking in the emergency stock-piles and equipment."
President Rivlin went on to say, "The ability to thoroughly investigate, the ability to criticize and to conduct a comprehensive learning process which includes making comprehensive changes as we did following the Second Lebanon War, is not to be taken for granted. It is a testimony to the power of the State of Israel. This is our strength. This is our fortitude. We must continue to be that way."
He stressed, "Hezbollah received a severe blow during that battle. The State of Israel discouraged its opponents and in the last decade since the end the Second Lebanon War, quiet has returned to the north, tourism is booming, and communities are growing. But we must internalize the essence of the threat that we face, and listen at all times to the sounds of war bubbling beneath the deceptive calm. Hezbollah continues to rearm itself and it has not ceased in its efforts to destroy Israel. Recently it has admitted candidly that it does not only serve Lebanese interests, but it is a spearhead financed and operated by and for the Iranians."
The President added, "We know that the next war if forced upon us will be difficult, yet we will always have the upper-hand. We don’t have the privilege, to be unprepared, to be untrained, and to not see into the future. We do not have the privilege, of bashing each other or of indulging in shortsighted games in which the common good – the linchpin that connects us to each other – is pulled away from under our feet. We must not forget for one minute the togetherness, the durability, and the steadfastness that the people of Israel demonstrated, and which the Israeli home front demonstrated during the Second Lebanon War. They are a source of strength for the State of Israel; they are a source of its resilience. They must continue and be an integral part of our being, as a sovereign nation."
The President concluded by saying, "It has been a decade since the war, and the injured who bear the scars – in both body and spirit – are still many. On Monday I met with Yonatan Levin, who was critically injured in the Second Lebanon War. I was stunned by his brave spirit and that of all those who were injured, who fight that war every day and wait to be healed. It's been a decade since the war, and every day, every hour, every minute and second you seek solace; and there is none. May the memory of our sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, dear loved ones be engraved in our hearts forever. May their souls will be bound in eternal life."