The Jerusalem Post
Defense establishment bids farewell to Rivlin
Defense Minister Benny Gantz, Deputy Defense Minister Alon Schuster, IDF Chief of Staff Lt.Gen. Aviv Kohavi, Defense Ministry Director-General Maj.-Gen. (Res.) Amir Eshel and the management of the Defense Ministry sent their farewell messages on Tuesday to the 10th president of the State of Israel, Reuven Rivlin, who is set to end his term on Wednesday.
Rivlin was hosted at the General Staff Headquarters in Tel Aviv by Gantz, attending a farewell speaking event led by Kohavi with the General Staff Forum at Beit Ben-Gurion, followed by a farewell ceremony led by Gantz and the Defense Ministry.
Rivlin said during the event: “Today you thank me, but the real thanks go to you, who are engaged in maintaining Israel’s security night and day.”
“I was and still am a soldier of the defense establishment and served it with great faith and love,” he said.
Gantz told Rivlin: “Mr. President, you took up your post during Operation Protective Edge and immediately showed your deep concern for the defense establishment, especially the bereaved families, the wounded and every soldier who needed help and attention.”
Gantz also complimented Rivlin’s “inner resilience,” which he said is “an integral part of the security apparatus.”
“You have contributed much, you have sought what unifies us at every opportunity,” Gantz said. “You have repeatedly sought to find the path to unity with the understanding that internal struggles are hurting Israeli society.”
He concluded his speech by thanking Rivlin on behalf of “the entire defense establishment, the IDF, and also on behalf of the citizens”
Kohavi said to Rivlin: “You come from a family with widely-branched roots, belonging to a generation that also saw the country from the other side and came to it.”
“I know, not from your speeches, but from many hours of joint visits and joint conversations how much this matters for the State of Israel, on the land of the State of Israel, with our sovereignty, lives and works within you. How much this thing is important to you, burns in you and excites you,” Kohavi said.
Kohavi continued, telling Rivlin that he is “a fusion of home, heritage and tradition on the one hand, with a political, security, supervised approach on the other.”
“There is no doubt that throughout your presidency, your commitment to the IDF for national security was prominent and dominant, it was also a bank of security and a strong backing that more than once strengthened the army,” he concluded.