IDF Chief of Staff issues a powerful letter on the 50 year anniversary of the Re-Unification of Jerusalem.
Five decades ago, the IDF was called upon to prevent Arab armies from infiltrating into Israel. As soon as they heard the command, IDF soldiers arrived at every front, integrating the ground forces, air force, and navy. They fought determinedly to protect our country.
In only six days, our forces succeeded in reuniting Jerusalem, bringing quiet to our borders, and inscribing in the annals of history one of Israel's greatest military victories.
In our fight for Israel's existence, we paid a heavy price: We lost many of our best sons and daughters, who sacrificed their lives to protect our country, and did not merit to return home. We bowed our heads in respect when they fell. We promised to eternalize their memories, to walk in the path that they showed us, to continue building and fortifying Israel's security.
Fifty years have passed since then, and the challenges Israel faces are completely different. But the guiding principles which led the IDF to victory during the Six Day War are the same ones we hold dear today: the various arms of the IDF work together in cooperation; and we prepare an appropriate response to each challenge.
Faced with the grave threats presented by our enemies, we will continue to build the IDF together - as an army, as a people. We will be prepared, and we will be strong: these are our advantages over our enemies. When the command comes, we will know to stand strong, to work determinedly, and to subdue our enemies.
Commanders and soldiers,
You are the ones who will determine the outcome of Israel's next war. You will be expected to always be fit, always be ready for your next mission. Remember that the country's citizens and civilians are depending on you, the Israeli Defense Forces.
"This army...from the nation it comes, and to the nation it will return.
The nation overcomes difficulties during its hour of need, and overcomes its enemies because of its own moral, spiritual, and human values, which stand by it during its wars" - that's what IDF Chief of Staff Yitzhak Rabin said, when the battles were over.
Today, like then, we will continue to work, driven by a sense of responsibility to our nation and to our land, driven by the same values which IDF soldiers have always held dear.
We will stand together - united, strong, and ready for every challenge - and we will work to achieve the IDF's goal of protecting Israel, ensuring its continued existence, and if necessary - winning wars.
Lieutenant-General Gadi Eizenkot
IDF Chief of Staff