On a visit to observe a major training exercise by reservist paratroopers on the Golan Heights, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tells the troops Israel must be able to rely on solely on its own capabilities to defend itself in an increasingly dangerous region.
“We have Daesh [Islamic State] across the fence here,” he says, indicating the nearby border with Syria, “Hezbollah across the fence here and there,” in Syria and Lebanon, “Hamas and Islamic Jihad in Gaza and global jihad and Daesh in the Sinai.”
Surrounded on several fronts by jihadist groups, “we are proud that in a stormy, turbulent Middle East, we have managed to preserve a relative quiet in the State of Israel, and relative security,” he says.
“We’re acting when we need to act, including here, across the border, in dozens of attacks, to prevent Hezbollah from obtaining destabilizing weaponry. We’re acting on other fronts, close and far, but we’re doing it intelligently.
“If we have to go to battle,” he tells the soldiers, “and that possibility lies before us, and that’s why you’re here, it’s because we could not prevent the dangers to Israel in another way.”
He adds: “This is our country. We must protect it, and no one will protect it except us. You see the earthquake around us, and you see nations and states erased, and if someone expects that someone will come to his aid, that’s not going to happen. If we’ve learned anything, it’s that we have to be able to defend ourselves, by ourselves.”