May I confess something?
I’m not interested in hearing the empty rhetoric of someone with a greater opinion of himself than I have of foot fungus while he listens to the sound of his voice (s-s-s-sound of his voic-c-c-ce) as he reads someone else’s poll-tested words off a machine.
Nobody in particular, I’m just sayin’.
No, if I have to listen to a speech, make it one like this:
Before dawn on June 6, 1967, on the second day of the Six Day War, one of the toughest battles ever fought by the IDF was raging at this very place. It lasted about 10 hours. When it ended, a little before noon, the trenches and bunkers were all eerily quiet. The enemy had been beaten, the hill captured, but the price we paid was heavy. 21 of our best soldiers from the Paratroopers Brigade fell in that bloody fight here on Ammunition Hill, Giv’at HaTachmoshet. These fallen soldiers are part of a long list of young men and women who fell fulfilling their duty to protect the people and the land of Israel, here at home in Israel and on missions abroad.
As a son of a bereaved family, I am too familiar with the pain, the sense of loss and the hopelessness, as well as the sorrow at all the missed opportunities. We will never know what would have happened had our loved ones survived, had they raised families, had they fulfilled and realized dreams. Our grief is overwhelming, our hearts ache, where will we find comfort? The prophet said: “Refrain thy voice from weeping, and thine eyes from tears; for thy work shall be rewarded.”
If the fallen soldiers were with us today, they would have witnessed countless miracles throughout the years. The soldiers from the War of Independence would have witnessed the rebirth of the State of Israel; those who fought in the Sinai Campaign would have seen the ingathering of the exiles; those who fell in the Six Day War would have watched us as we return to Mount Moriah and the Western Wall; those who perished in the Yom Kippur War would have witnessed the historic peace treaties signed with Egypt and Jordan; and those who died in the Lebanon War would see the beauty of the Galilee in full bloom with the Lebanon as a backdrop.
I shouldn’t cut it—I’m not cutting much—but Benjamin Netanyahu concludes:
Glancing at the last 63 years, one could say that Israel has had three major accomplishments: regaining the Jewish people’s ability to defend itself, building a magnificent state, and cultivating democracy as a beacon of light over the Middle Eastern skies. We hope that freedom and democracy will light the skies of other countries; we hope they will live with us in peace. But until that day comes, and even after it does, we know that there is only one guarantee of our existence and future – the Israel Defense Force – the protector of the Hebrew people, backed by the spirit of the people.
For generations we dreamed of returning to Zion, and thanks to our sons and daughters, “Our feet are standing within thy gates, O Jerusalem.” Today we must also say “Zion, thou art anxious for thy captives.” Not a day goes by without our acting on behalf of our captives, our kidnapped, our prisoners and those missing, acting for their return home. This includes Gilad Shalit, who is being held by a cruel enemy. We work every day for their return in ways that are not necessarily publically known. We will not stop until they are at home.
My brothers and sisters, sons and daughters of bereaved families, we cannot bring home our loved ones, we cannot erase the grief. We shall find solace in building the land and the people, in striving for days of peace and in our knowledge that their work shall be rewarded and their heroism shall be remunerated.
May the memory of the IDF fallen soldiers be blessed and cherished for evermore.
You know what the first item is on his official bio?
1967-1972 Soldier and officer in “Sayeret Matkal”, an IDF special forces unit
I’m just sayin’.
PS: His brother, Yonaton, as everyone knows (or should), was killed in the famous Raid on Entebbe, which rescued Jewish hostages from Palestinian hijackers in Uganda. Hence the fourth item on his CV:
1978-1980 Head of the Jonathan Institute, an NGO devoted to the study of terror
Other leaders and their brothers don’t enjoy such a bond, even in life. Just sayin’.