We have gathered here this evening to

„Good evening. The Armored Corps took on the lion’s share of the fighting missions since the Sinai Campaign. The tank’s tracks have always marked the front line, the victory line. However, left behind were burnt and smoking shells, in which the lives of brave warriors were lost. Their heroism and dedication saved the people of Israel. I also had the honor to command the Armored Corps. Those who did not return from the battlefield – their names are engraved in the thousands here, on this wall, as well as on the hearts of their loved ones and their brothers in arms. I stand humbly and gratefully before them for they, as well as their grieving families gave us their most precious possession. I promise to do all that I can to keep away war, to fight for peace and unwaveringly safeguard the State of Israel, the home they were sent to defend. This battle for our home is still not over. Just last week, 16 innocent civilians were killed in a terrorist attack in Beer Sheva. We must view the threat of terror with open eyes and with no illusions. The terrible tragedy which occurred last weekend in Russia should remind the entire world of the danger of global terror. There is no moral depth to which terror will not stoop. Therefore, only a united and uncompromising front of the entire free world can stop this evil which threatens the future of humanity itself.

I wish to express my appreciation and gratitude to the warriors of the Armored Corps who play such a pivotal role in the battle against terrorist organizations. Despite the fact that this is not the natural element for the Armored Corps, the commanders and their soldiers are proving their excellent ability to adapt to special fighting conditions, and their contribution to the struggle against terror is extremely significant. Our military might will always be directed against anyone who attempts to harm the State of Israel and the Jewish people. However, the security of Israel rests also on its international standing and on its economic and social strength. Our goal is a secure and prosperous State of Israel, which attracts immigration, in which the Jewish majority is staunch and ensured for generations, which has a strong international position and flourishing economy, which has a society founded on justice and mutual responsibility. All this is endangered by the absence of a political initiative. Israel must not lose its ability to maneuver. We must not make it easy on our enemies in their efforts to isolate us and we must not enable them to present a united international front, which even our friends will have to join against their will. We must envision our goal and strive to achieve it through initiative, with determination and flexibility, without fear, but also without blindness. Israel must lead the political process in its own way and while preserving its essential interests and strategic assets. We are about to begin a new year. The past year was marked by many accomplishments in the field of security, in the campaign against terror and the strengthening of the IDF. It was also a year of important advancement in the economic sphere, and a year of political decision which will have a significant influence on the future of the State of Israel, and of unprecedented political achievements which stemmed for these decisions. Since before the establishment of the State, the Jewish people have successfully faced challenges no other nation has seen. These people hold a limitless potential. Therefore, despite all the obstacles and problems, I am confident that, in all fields, the New Year will be one of further achievements for the State of Israel. Shana Tova to you, and all the people of Israel. I wish to apologize to you for not being able to spend the entire evening here with you, and to thank you again for everything that you have been doing and everything that you will do. I am excited to be here, because of the presence of bereaved families and my comrades in Israel’s wars, but also because of the fact that among the names engraved on this board are many of my soldiers, those with whom I fought to remove the siege over Jerusalem in the War of Independence, and in all of Israel’s wars. There is almost no part of this wall which does not contain names of fighters who I knew and loved and with whom I shared the difficult and terrible days, but also great days that we have been through together. I will always remember them. Again, I apologize to you for leaving. Goodbye”. BPI.