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July 7, 2022 4:39 pm

In Speech to IDF Officers, Israeli PM Yair Lapid Emphasizes National Unity, Mission ‘to Restore Trust’

avatar by Algemeiner Staff

Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid at a graduation ceremony for new IDF officers on July 7, 2022. Photo: IDF

In his first ceremonial speech since assuming office last week, newly-installed Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid on Thursday emphasized the significance of maintaining a cohesive social fabric and restoring “trust” in the government.

The premier, who will retain his role until Israel holds its fifth general election in less than four years in November, directed his remarks at 436 new IDF officers who just completed eight months of training to receive their ranks.

“The State of Israel is a country that faces complicated threats,” said Lapid to the officers and their families, who gathered in the heat of the Negev Desert in southern Israel to extend their support. “The Iranian nuclear program, the precision missiles of Hezbollah from Lebanon, Hamas in Gaza, terrorist cells in Jenin, the axis of terror that is trying to establish itself in Syria.”

“Israel is stronger than all its enemies, and we will not hesitate to use force to maintain the peace of our citizens,” he added. “Our enemies need to know that at any given moment we are stronger, more sophisticated, tougher than them. And our enemies need to know another thing: that we stand before them together. That Israeli society is stronger than any arguments. The Israeli power is the power of togetherness.”

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“Our mission as a society is to restore trust,” continued Lapid, echoing a theme emphasized by his predecessor, Naftali Bennett, who made national unity a cornerstone of his messaging while overseeing an ideologically diverse ruling coalition that ultimately fragmented.

“The trust in our democracy, the trust in the IDF, in the police, in the court,” said Lapid. “And most of all, to restore our trust in each other.”

In brief follow-up remarks, Defense Minister Benny Gantz shared a pointed warning with Iran’s main terrorist proxy, Hezbollah in neighboring Lebanon.

“Israel faces challenges on a variety of fronts,” Gantz told the officers, noting Hezbollah’s recent efforts to send UAVs to Israel’s Karish offshore gas field.

“Hezbollah needs to understand that the mission it carries out on behalf of Iran is liable to turn into a deadly mission, first and foremost for the citizens of Lebanon and the State of Lebanon, and to destabilize the regional stability,” he said. “Israel reserves the right to respond to any attack, and the means and target at our disposal are broad.”

“Dear officers, your ability to act as a group, with responsibility, leadership, an fairness, is the key to your success, the key to our resilience,” added Gantz.

IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi wrapped the remarks by urging the newly-minted officers to “be bold and disciplined, enterprising and not wild. Take responsibility and know how to bear the consequences.”

“To be an officer in the IDF is a right that entails a double responsibility,” said Kochavi, “to protect the State of Israel and influence its fate, and to lead people in routine times, in emergencies, and in combat. This is a very heavy responsibility, and I trust you — very much, and I am very proud of you.”

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