IDF Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi, speaking at the Arch of Titus 1940 years after the Roman Empire destroyed the Second Bais Hamikdosh, declared, “We are here, on the eve of Tisha B’Av, the day the Bais Hamikdosh was destroyed by Titus, and together with the Jewish community we say, ‘Am Yisroel chai.'”
Lt. Gen. Ashkenazi said in his speech at the Arch of Titus, “Despite all the misery and horrible tragedies that struck us since the destruction of the Second Bais Hamikdosh and our exile, the Jewish People were able to re-establish their national independence in 1948. The Israel Defense Forces, which I’m proud to head, carries the responsibility for the security of this independence.
“The IDF, as a large, strong and deterring army which draws on its physical and morale strength, is the force that stands prepared against all of our enemies and those who seek to harm us. It is the force that when required, will prevent tragedies, like the one commemorated by this arch.”