This letter was written to be read in lieu of Vice-Prime Minster Moshe Ya'alon being at the Givati Family opening ceremony in person. With all of the political turmoil over the Turkish Flotilla incident, Minister Ya'alon was forced to cancel his speaking engagement at the ceremony. This letter was read to all of the 400 family members during the opening ceremony Thursday night, and printed out and given to each family.
Members of the Givati family,
Colonel Moni Katz- Commander of the Givati Brigade,
Dr. Jim Vineyard, Yedidim of Israel
I'm honored to have this opportunity to offer my warmest greetings as you gather tonight in this Givati family Celebration.
The Givati Brigade, formed in 1983, has always been in the forefront of the IDF forces in times of combat, as well as in the regular line of duty.
Dear Families, each one of you has become through sad circumstances a member of this special Givati group.
In fact, by sad coincidence today, another family has joined your ranks. I would like to take this opportunity of expressing my deepest condolences to the family of the Givati fallen soldier- a tragic accident which occurred earlier today while he was participating in army training - May his soul rest in peace.
To conclude, I would like to express my deep appreciation to all the efforts made on behalf of the IDF forces by one of Israel's most dedicated Yedidim Dr. Jim Vineyard and his very supportive assistant Mr. David Sloan.
As a Minister in the Israeli government and a former head chief of staff I send my warmest wishes and my thoughts are with all of you tonight.
Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Strategic Affairs