Thursday, February 25, 2010
IDF Commander: “Goldstone Doesn’t Faze Us; We are Ethical”
The Commander of the IDF Armored Corps, Brig.-Gen. Agai Yehezkel, gave an uplifting pep talk, in light of the Goldstone Report, to the graduates of the Armored Corps basic combat training and Tank Commanders' courses on Wednesday.
"We have recently witnessed the Goldstone Report,” Yehezkel said at the graduation ceremony, “which questions the ethics and morality of the IDF. I find it important to emphasize that we, the commanders, are not confused by the report. We are not embarrassed.”"We have no problem facing criticism, when it is to the point,” Brig.-Gen. Yehezkel said. “You - the graduates, your parents and you families - will be the unequivocal reply to this report. You graduates testify more than anything to our education towards ethics, a volunteering spirit, and morality."
Ready for Hizbullah
Yehezkel also related to the security situation along Israel’s northern border with Lebanon and the Hizbullah strongholds. "Winds of tension are blowing again in the north of the country,” he said. “Though the challenge might be more difficult than during Operation Cast Lead [the anti-terror military operation against Hamas in Gaza a year ago, which lasted for three weeks – ed.], we are prepared for it."
"The State of Israel finds itself in sharp tension between being a developed and advanced country that tries to maintain normalcy,” Yehezkel said, “and the continuous need, ever since its establishment, to struggle for its existence.” He said that Israel can look to the IDF to “face all challenges.”
He praised the Amored Corps' advanced and precise techniques during Operation Cast Lead, and said they constituted a significant part of the operations.
Prayer for Shalit
Brig.-Gen. Yehezkel thanked the graduates and their families, and added a prayer for the safe return of Armored Corps soldier Gilad Shalit from Hamas captivity.