President Reuven Rivlin celebrated his 80th birthday with members of Israel’s special forces, who presented him with a cake and photo album during a visit to the IDF Commando Brigade at the Beit Lid army base on Monday.
According to the president’s spokesman, the troops surprised Rivlin, who was visiting the base with IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Aviv Kohavi and Central Command chief Maj. Gen Nadav Padan.
“The president was welcomed with enthusiastic singing to mark his birthday. The entire IDF celebrated the president’s birthday with best wishes, singing and even a cake,” his foreign media adviser Jonathan Cummings said in a statement. “The chief of staff presented the president with a spectacular photo album, with 80 pictures of his visits to the IDF to mark the number of years he is celebrating.”
“There is nothing more thrilling than to celebrate your 80th birthday with the youngest and most daring brigade in the army. With you, I feel safe and young,” Rivlin told the troops belonging to the Egoz, Maglan and Duvdevan units.
Referring to his late wife Nechama, who passed away earlier this year at the age of 73, due to complications arising from a lung transplant, Rivlin said that “if Nechama could see that, she would say to herself that if so many soldiers are sending me best wishes, maybe I’m a pretty good guy.
“The challenges we face today, in recent months and particularly in the past few weeks, in the north and in the south, are intensifying. I know that the Commando Brigade has played a significant part in IDF operations recently,” he said.
“All those who seek our harm should know that if they try to attack us with force, we will use force to crush them. We are ready and able to protect the citizens of the State of Israel wherever they are and without hesitation,” he added.