Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman participated in the annual ceremony commemorating the helicopter disaster in which 73 soldiers lost their lives when two helicopters collided over the northern Israeli kibbutz Shear Yashuv.
“Twenty years have past since then. Today, as defense minister, I meet daily soldiers of the IDF many of whom were not born at the time of the helicopter disaster. I see the same light in their eyes, the same determination and love of mankind which was robbed from these boys when they went on the trip from which they did not return.
“I can say with pride that the soldiers of the IDF and its officers continue to deal with all challenges bravely and responsibly and succeed in their complex mission, due to their following the values that your sons established. In the merit of their willingness to risk their lives, in the merit of their live of the country and belief in the justice of their way and above all in the merit of maintaining the unity which is so important to us, the unity which manifested itself so movingly in the connection between all of your loved ones,” said Liberman to the bereaved families.
In the Yasour helicopters were soldiers from Bet Zarzir and Jerusalem, from Negba and Beit Jan, from Tiberias and from Karnei Shomron. Bedouin, Jews and Druze, religious and secular, immigrants and native Israelis.
Your unity taught us another aspect of the unique Israeli unity and the special, awesome and painful way in which it is developing within out society. A true, human unity, born in pain but also in determination. We will continue to fulfill their testamemt, to protect the state they so loved, to strengthen our forces and continue to live for the sake of our living children and for the sake of those who are not with us. This is the way of the State of Israel.”
Liberman referred to Israel’s military capability and added “this is the way which will lead us to implement the goals we face: to strengthen our deterrence and to ensure the security of the citizens of Israel. If somebody will force a war upon us, the IDF will know how to achieve a crushing victory and a clear win in any campaign or confrontation.
“This is our way to build a living epitaph for your loved ones which they so deserve. This is the way which will lead us ashore and strengthen our future here as a strong, powerful and free nation in our land.”