By Joel Leyden
Israel News Agency / Jewish News Agency
Jerusalem, Israel — September 26, 2023 … Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, today, together with President Isaac Herzog and his wife, Knesset Speaker Amir Ohana and Israel Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, on Mt. Herzl in Jerusalem, attended the state memorial ceremony for the fallen of the Yom Kippur War.
“Fifty years have passed but the flickering pictures are clearly before our eyes: The hasty mobilization, the heavy shelling, the human trail that was stretched on the line of outposts, our forces’ distress calls on the radio and within a few days – the radio calls by our forces as they stormed their way toward the Arab capitals,” said Prime Minister Netanyahu.
“But above all, the countless displays of devotion, fighting spirit, the brotherhood of soldiers fighting shoulder-to-shoulder, thanks to whom our homes were saved. This is the glue that bound unit to unit, person to person – our uncompromising commitment to our land and our state.
Under the command of then IDF Chief-of-Staff David Elazar, ‘Dado’, we did what almost no other military in the world has succeeded in doing: To turn the first blow that we received on two fronts into a crushing campaign deep in the enemy’s territory. My late brother Yoni, who led his soldiers on the Syrian front, wrote to our parents when the campaign was over: ‘It is amazing how we succeeded in creating this fact, that the entire people is mobilized, it is the people that won the war.’ The people – secular and religious, right and left, Jews and non-Jews, they all proved that what unites us outweighs what divides us.
I am certain that today as well, should a campaign be forced on us, what we have in common will overcome that which divides us because at the moment of truth, we all know that we have one people, one country and one military; we all know that we have one past. I have no doubt that we also have one common future for us all.
Fifty years ago, the majority of the Middle East was united in hatred toward Israel. Today, many countries in the Middle East want peace with Israel. Together with our friend the United States, we are striving to realize this agreement (with Saudi Arabia), knowing that it will dramatically change the face of the region and strengthen our country’s status for generations. Expanding the circle of peace is a historic opportunity and I am completely committed to it, while upholding our country’s vital interests, especially security.
None of this would be possible without the spirit of sacrifice and heroism displayed by our soldiers in the Yom Kippur War. But the turnaround they brought was achieved at the terrible price of thousands of fallen and wounded. The lesson that we learned from the Yom Kippur War is always before our eyes: We must not make light of the threats before us. We will thwart those who rise up to kill and destroy us.
We will always do everything necessary to defend our country and we will always remember our loved ones who have fallen in the campaign for our existence. May the memory of the fallen of the Yom Kippur War be in the heart of our people forever.”