Photo: GPO
PM Ehud Olmert
Photo: GPO

Olmert: Face of Middle East has changed

PM states that military achievements in past 3 weeks have changed face of Middle East. Adds: Israel refuses to live under threat

In a graduation ceremony at the National Defense College on Tuesday, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said that "the face of the Middle East has changed pursuant to the significant accomplishments in the last three weeks achieved by the state of Israel, the IDF, and the people of Israel."


"For many years, we lived in the shadow of this threat, which created an unacceptable balance of terror between us and our neighbors to the north. For many years we lived with the feeling that every confrontation, every conflict could expose a large sector of the Israeli public to fire from the north. This threat, not once, has affected our lives and our decision-making. Three weeks ago, the state of Israel decided that it refuses to live under such a threat and that it is ready to deal with it bravely and decisively," said Olmert.


He added, "These days are not easy, but I believe they represent a chance for something different, which is developing even now, and requires great decisiveness and courage."


Olmert said that "the war represents an exceptional combination of military might and civilian strength." According to the prime minister, "the wars in recent years were different from those in the past. In the past, wars were fought in distant battlefields. The home front, the public, was disconnected from them – eager to hear what was happening and worried for the soldiers fighting immense distances from normal life. Today, the battlefields have moved…they are both far away and in the home. The soldiers are also civilians – both need to be told today that the state of Israel is achieving impressive and unprecedented objectives."


Monday, Olmert delivered a resolute speech to regional authorities in Tel Aviv, in which he emphasized that "there is no ceasefire and there will not be a ceasefire in the upcoming days. We will not stop until we have achieved our desired objectives. We will not cease." He explained: "The IDF is fighting in the air, on land, and at sea. At this very moment, IDF divisions are positioned in southern Lebanon in order to destroy terrorist infrastructure. We are determined to win this fight."


'They won't teach us morality'


In his speech, the prime minister addressed the failure to deal with Hizbullah previously. "We should not have allowed a terror state to arise and grow in power on our northern border. Attempting to both warn and bolster the nation, he added "We cannot be broken because we are a tough nation. Citizens of Israel – the war is not over. There are many days of fighting ahead of us. Rockets and missiles will continue to fall."


Olmert also criticized those countries censuring Israel: "Not everyone supports us. Many condemn us and disagree with our struggle. We do not heed their words, but we may say to those who reproach us – none of you would ever stand for such murderous attacks on your citizens. It is enough to say that Israel has not deviated from the basic rules of morality demanded by the ancient Jewish faith; we have no need to learn these rules from other people and other nations." 


פרסום ראשון: 08.01.06, 19:26
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