Remarks by Major General (Res.) Amnon Reshef, Chairman of Commanders for Israel’s Security, at the Memorial Ceremony for Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, of Blessed Memory, on the 21st Anniversary of his Murder

We, members of Commanders for Israel’s Security – hundreds of Generals in the IDF and their equivalents in the Israel Security Agency, the Mossad and the Israel Police – have come together this evening to salute the memory of Prime Minister, Defense Minister and IDF Chief of Staff, Lieutenant General Yitzhak Rabin, and to renew our commitment to his legacy.

We, who learned from – and taught – generations of commanders to lead the charge against the enemy, who have ourselves led soldiers in battle and lost many of them to the hellfire of war;

We, officers in the Israel Security Agency, the Mossad, the Israel Police and the Border Police who fought terrorism in Israel and abroad and stood guard over the security of Israel’s citizens;

We, who know firsthand the terrible cost of war, who carry in our hearts the barren shell casing of pain and loss wherever we turn;

We, who remember the faces of our comrades, commanders and the men under our command as if they left us only yesterday;

We have come here tonight to pay our respects to Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, who fought in all Israel wars but fell in the battle for peace.

We, his soldiers, those who follow the path he laid out for us, have come together to continue the battle he led. We seek nothing for ourselves other than to guarantee a future of peace and security for our children and grandchildren, in accordance with the vision of Israel’s founders.

We, who faced and overcame difficult moments on the battlefield and other theatres of war; who never gave up; we vow here, today that we will never — but never — lose hope.  Even during these trying times, when “the storm is still mounting, our heads remain unbowed.”

We will continue to help strengthen the State of Israel, to promote its security and strive to achieve peace with our neighbors.

We will fight to preserve Israel’s character as the democratic state of the Jewish People, by guaranteeing its security and separating from the Palestinians.

Those who mistake our intentions as a sign of weakness we will strike mercilessly.  But it is incumbent upon us to sit down and speak with those who seek to compromise with us and reach an agreement.  This is our mission.

Though our sword is ever sharp and ready for battle, we do not wish to live by it alone.

Yitzhak Rabin was a fearless warrior and an admired leader.  His path is our path, his faith is our faith, his mission is our mission.

From this memorial site I call upon the Government of Israel to pull itself together, adopt Rabin’s legacy and lead the State of Israel.  The fate of the nation is in your hands!  Launch an Israeli initiative!  Be fearless, and take the country forward instead of falling back on populist slogans!  An Israeli initiative that promotes our security and improves our standing in the world will serve to heal the divisions in Israeli society.

We have no other nation!  We have no other country!

Dear members of the Rabin family, we know how tragic is your loss, how deep your longing.  Even 21 years later, we still remember Yitzhak’s voice, his laughter, the way he looked you straight in the eye, the way he cut to the chase when he spoke.

Your personal loss is our national loss.

Yitzhak’s absence has been felt every single day since he was taken from us by a Jewish terrorist.

But with every passing day our commitment only grows: to his legacy;  to the path of peace and security.

Commanders for Israel’s Security salute you, Yitzhak Rabin.  Friend, commander, leader.

May his memory be for a blessing.