Address by Boaz Levy at an event marking International Holocaust Remembrance Day in Jerusalem led by Remembrance Ambassadors in First Person
Remembrance Ambassadors in First Person” association is dedicated to perpetuating the memories of Holocaust survivors by preserving their stories for future generations. The event took place in the “Bet HA’AM” in Jerusalem, where Adolf Eichmann’s trial was held in 1961.
Eighty years after the Holocaust, we are again facing an uncertain reality, one which confronts us with a new Israeli trauma. October 7th was a turning point for all of us. Hamas terrorists launched a cruel attack on the State of Israel, its citizens, and the IDF. For the first time in the State of Israel’s history, it was not its soldiers who were at the frontline, but citizens.
Already on the same fateful Saturday, Israel Aerospace Industries immediately realized the gravity of the situation. Within a few short hours, IAI employees were manning the production lines and providing support out in the field for IAI systems operating around the country.
I visited our teams on the job that morning. I met people driven by a sense of mission and responsibility. Some of them came to work as their homes and their backyards were teeming with terrorists. They answered the call of duty and worked around the clock to back up our armed forces, providing critical maintenance and support for the systems that the IDF relies on.
Many of our people have been called up for emergency military service, and we are proud to support them. Israel Aerospace Industries has 15,000 employees, and 2,000 of them are under arms as we speak. We support their families on the home front. IAI systems provide Israel with a powerful technological advantage on the battlefield. No, this is no holocaust. We have a powerful army, equipped with state-of-the-art military systems, made in Israel.
All of us have a sacred obligation to remember, and never to forget. The events of recent months make it crystal clear that our very existence depends on the fulfillment of this obligation, on our willingness to fight attempts to distort the historical truth and to pass the memory on to future generations. We at Israel Aerospace Industries share this sense of obligation and are honored to partner with Remembrance Ambassadors in First Person. Together we have trained 64 ambassadors at Israel Aerospace Industries who help keep the memory alive every day, at our company and around the country.
The State of Israel arose from the ashes of the holocaust. Israel Aerospace Industries was born with it. Just a month before October 7th we celebrated 70 years since the establishment of the company. Today our systems provide Israel with unprecedented strength – on land, sea and air. Our 15,000 employees will continue to support Israel’s national defense effort in the years to come because this is our only home.
This year Israel Aerospace Industries reached an agreement to provide the Arrow 3 anti-missile defense system to the Federal Republic of Germany. It was with a great sense of pride that I signed the agreement, not only as the President and CEO of the company, but as an engineer who spent many years developing the system, and – above all – as the son of a holocaust survivor. In a deeply symbolic gesture, a ceremony dedicated to the signing took place on platform 17 in Berlin, the very same place from where the Jews of Berlin were transported to their deaths. Today, more than ever, we remember.
We will never forget.
Israel Aerospace Industries operates worldwide in aviation, space, and defense, with breakthrough technological innovations in space, in the air, at sea, on land, in the realm of cyber, and for homeland security. The company is active in both military and civil markets, integrating Israel’s “start-up nation” spirit of innovation with proven operational experience of tens of years. Our customers benefit from path-breaking solutions, tailored specifically to the specific challenges they face. IAI’s developments and products include aerostructures, satellites, unmanned aerial systems, missiles, intelligence solutions, weapons systems, air-defense systems, robotics, radars, business jets, and much more.