Peres Warns Iran: Don’t Underestimate Israel


peresThe Israeli Fallen Soldiers and Victims of Terrorism Remembrance Day ceremony opened this evening with a minute’s siren to the memory of 22,684 fallen soldiers. Immediately following this moment’s silence, the ceremony began at the Kosel plaza in Yerushalayim, with an address by President Shimon Peres, flanked by Yerushalayim Mayor Nir Barkat and Chief of Staff Lieutenant-General Gabi Ashkenazi.

The president began his speech with an address to the families of the fallen present at the ceremony, saying they represented those homes which had lost that most dear to them in the heat of the battle, in the fulfillment of their duty – “this one a son, that one a daughter, who they will never see again… this one the look in his eyes, that one the smile of a brother, a sister, gone forever.”

“I know that there is no consolation that can come instead of the son whose steps you expect to hear in the corridor which have been silenced suddenly,” Peres continued. “The son whose uniform you hung up which you still touch, to feel the smell of his body one more time. The son and daughter whose pictures you look at with yearning which only increases.”

The president also referred to the Iranian threat. “There are still those who desire to destroy us, first and foremost the oppressive Iranian regime which aspires to control the Middle East, to paralyze it with threatening weapons, and with spreading hatred of Israel to calm Arab suspicions,” he said. “We must not dismiss those threats. But they must not dismiss our capabilities.”

Peres sent a message of peace: “We don’t seek war. We are a peace-seeking state, but we know, and will continue to know, how to care for ourselves. We are a democratic state, replete with rifts and divisions, arguments and internal disputes – but we are also a nation that knows how to unite and rise up in the hour of need, to defend our lives and defeat those who lie in ambush.”

{Yair Israel/Ynet}