Remembering and looking to future. On Sunday, the eve of Memorial Day, Defense Minister Ehud Barak spoke at a ceremony at Tel Aviv University and said, "The bereaved families have paid the highest, almost inconceivable price, but their sacrifice on the alter of security, was not in vain."
The defense minister added, "Despite all the difficulties, Israel is flourishing and thriving, and all of us, as a society, must do everything in order to prove worthy of their sacrifice. Even now, after 62 years of independence, the State of Israel is required to fight, to defend its security, and to bolster its strength.
"We are committed to working for the State's security, without compromise, while demonstrating responsibility, courage, and political wisdom in the struggle to achieve the desired peace, in the frame of an inclusive regional agreement in line with the Road Map and the concept of 'two states for two peoples'."
He added, "As defense minister, I am convinced that this arrangement is vital to our national security and will only ensure a strong Jewish majority for generations, in clear borders, and will lead to an end to the conflict and the demands.
Barak on Sunday. 'Agreement will ensure Jewish majority' (Photo: Yaron Brener)
"To this end, cooperation with the regional and global systems, and above all, close cooperation with the United States is required. In the face of the opportunities and challenges ahead, big and courageous decisions are required," he stressed in a speech at a time of heightened disagreements between Israel and the United States.
Lieberman: We have tools to deal with threats
Meanwhile, the Foreign Ministry held a ceremony in memory of 16 ministry workers who were killed in terror attacks. Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said, "I am sorry that I did not get to meet them personally, but in the year that I have been serving as foreign minister, I was exposed to the scope of responsibility and the important work of our embassies' employers around the world, who work night and day for the State.
"In certain cases," he added, "They do it against hostile and fallacious de-legitimization of the State of Israel by extremist groups and organizations, who encourage the outbreak of violent anti-Semitic attacks, such as attempts against Israeli diplomats and symbols associated with the State of Israel and the Jewish people."
Lieberman wished to emphasize that "our national strength is firm, and just as we have tackled brutal terror attacks in the past, and stood fearlessly for the right of the Jewish people to live in our forefathers' land, today we have the tools and the ability to deal with threats from within and from without."
Attila Somfalvi contributed to this report