GOC Southern Command: We are determined to defend our people

IDF (Zahal) Spokesperson

The IDF (Zahal) Southern Command marks Holocaust Martyrs’ and Heroes Remembrance Day with a ceremony at Kibbutz Yad Mordechai

Date: 03/05/2011, 4:13 PM     Author: Florit Shoihet

The IDF (Zahal) Southern Command marked Holocaust Martyrs’ and Heroes Remembrance Day on Monday (May 2) with a ceremony held at Kibbutz Yad Mordechai. Participants included Southern Command officers, Givati Brigade soldiers, IAF troops serving in the south, youth movement members, kibbutz members and Holocaust survivors. Many political officials also attended, including Interior Minister Eli Yishai, opposition leader Tzipi Livni and other Knesset members.

Kibbutz Yad Mordechai is located in southern Israel near the Gaza Strip. The kibbutz is named after Mordechai Anielewicz, the commander of Jewish fighters against the Nazis in the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising in 1943. Anielwicz sacrificed his life in the uprising.

GOC Southern Command, Maj. Gen. Tal Russo said: “In his last letter, Mordechai Anielewicz wrote: ‘Jewish self-defense has become a fact. I’m blessed to have been among the first fighters in the ghetto.’

“IDF (Zahal) regular and reserve soldiers constitute an eternal continuation of the first Jewish fighters,” Maj Gen. Russo stated. “We are strong, steadfast and determined to defend our people and prevent attacks against Jews everywhere.”

“The IDF (Zahal), and the Southern Command within it, in daily military activities on land, at sea and in the air, operates with full strength and determination against terrorist elements,” Maj. Gen. Russo said. “Never again. Years later, we stand here proudly, commanders and fighters in the IDF (Zahal), in a sovereign and independent state, which has made groundbreaking achievements to position itself strongly against strategic challenges seeking to destroy it.”