Chief of Staff: “Ready for any threat – from near or far”

IDF (Zahal) Spokesperson

Lt. Gen. Ashkenazi spoke at the annual FIDF (Zahal) dinner in the U.S., where he referred to the Iranian threat and the successful cooperation between the IDF (Zahal) and the U.S.

Date: 10/03/2010, 7:26 PM     Author: Jonathan Urich

On Tuesday evening, the Chief of the General Staff, Lt. Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi, during his visit to the United States, spoke at the annual dinner hosted by the Friends of the Israel Defense Forces (FIDF (Zahal)). “I tell you upon this stage: We will win over those who seek our destruction. We will win thanks to our soldiers’ courage and because of their moral compass,” said Chief of the General Staff in his speech, at an event held at New York’s Waldorf Astoria Hotel.

In his speech, Lt. Gen Gabi Ashkenazi emphasized that “The main threat on world’s peace remains Iran, which is gradually achieving nuclear capabilities, while funding and equipping terrorist organizations in the Middle East and throughout the world. These reflect the Iranian attempts to harvest regional instability through its proxies: Hezbollah, Hamas and other terrorist organizations. Therefore, the international community must stop the Iranian nuclear program for its own sake, while all options should remain on the table.”

“In the face of all these threats, stands the Israeli Defense Force; In order to further strengthen the IDF (Zahal), we have created the multi-year “Tefen” plan. In addition, we keep developing advanced weapons and technologies, and increasing the number of exercises and trainings; we continue to raise the combat-readiness of IDF (Zahal) reservists.”

“We are doing so in order to ensure that we are ready for any threat, from near or far,” he added.

Close cooperation between the IDF (Zahal) and the U.S.

On Tuesday morning (Mar. 9), the Chief of the General Staff attended several short work meetings in Washington, during which he met with senior officials at the White House, Senate and Pentagon including a meeting with National Security Advisor Jim Jones. In addition, he met with U.S. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Michael Mullen, who recently visited Israel. The meeting lasted about an hour and a half, and focused on the Iranian threat.

During his speech at the FIDF (Zahal) dinner in New York, Lt. Gen. Ashkenazi referred to the close cooperation between the IDF (Zahal) and the U.S. army and noted that “another example was Juniper Cobra 10, an exercise which tested elements of the joint active missile defense system.” He continued by stating that “these steps represent significant progress in expanding the dialogue, collaboration and readiness of the two armies.”

With the conclusion of his speech, the Chief of the General Staff thanked the FIDF (Zahal) for its cooperation, support and friendship.