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The President’s Speech: Unity and faith

President Yitzhak Herzog delivered a special speech for the nation last night, from his residence at the President’s House in Jerusalem. This is an unusual occasion, which has been carried out twice since the outbreak of the war – immediately after October 7th, and in early November with the beginning of the invasion. Also now, the timing of the speech was not coincidental, and came due to the political events and the deeds on the battlefield.

Firstly, Herzog referred to the military situation – the profound and successful maneuver, that has had now a number of particularly difficult days for Israel, with 15 IDF soldiers killed. “It’s a tough night,” he said at the start of his speech. “Every time our heart is painfully contracting at the words ‘allowed to be published.’ The Soliders act bravely, morally and responsibly. Especially on a difficult and painful day – we must not break down, we must raise our heads.”

Afterwards, Herzog turned to Israeli politics – and especially to the growing phenomenon of the mutual accusations of politicians, transcription leaks and recordings from top meetings, and accusations of political elements in the present and in the past. Herzog warned that these phenomena could undermine Israeli unity, and thus cause a blow to the chances for victory in the campaign: “The enemy is just waiting to see cracks inside us and for us to fight with each other. He sees the struggles of the ego and the political battering, and celebrates every time the controversy divides us. Let’s stop the internal struggles during the difficult campaign.” It should be noted that also during the year before the war, Herzog mentioned many times that social division encourages our enemies, thereby creating a security risk.

Herzog ended his speech with a message of hope and victory: “This is a necessary, heavy, prolonged campaign, without a quick finish… Victory will come. The amazing Israeli spirit of enlistment is the real victory. The mother who managed to arrange the children for kindergarten when the spouse is in the reserves – that is the victory. To a family from the north or south who succeeds to manage life in a small hotel room – victory. The State of Israel is obligated to take care of you. I strengthen the Chief of Staff and the IDF soldiers. I wish the Prime Minister good luck. We must remember that the road to final victory is paved with small victories.” indeed, powerful words.

 

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