"In the fog that is covering the Middle East, we must realize that we can count only on ourselves and build an army that will deter any enemy," Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon said Wednesday after Russia reportedly gave the United States its plan for placing Syria's chemical weapons arsenal under international control.
Speaking at a memorial ceremony for fallen Armored Corps soldiers in Latrun, Ya'alon said: "We must keep in mind that our greatest enemy is arrogance, haughtiness and oppression of thought. We mustn't follow our desires blindly after the warning signals that flickered from the Yom Kippur War."
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During the war in 1973, Ya'alon served as a first sergeant in a paratroopers' unit that fought on the Sinai front. He joined the reserve forces with the outbreak of the war, passed the officers' course and went on to become IDF chief of staff.
Earlier, Ya'alon spoke at a naval officer's graduation ceremony in Haifa. "We do not know how the free world will act in response to the massacres in Syria," he said.
"We are following the developments with responsibility, level-headedness and the awareness that we must trust ourselves – our strength and our deterrence capability," Ya'alon added.
"We live in a reality in which instability is the only stable thing in the stormy waters of the Middle East."
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