The Late Prime Minister of IsraelNOTE: All these texts were originally made available in full by the Israel Government Press Office, and should be retrievable on the Israel Foreign Ministry website www.mfa.gov.il/
26 July 1994: SIGNATURE OF PEACE AGREEMENT WITH JORDAN - ADDRESS TO THE UNITED STATES CONGRESS
"We have come from Jerusalem to Washington because it is we who must say, -- and we are here to say: Peace is our goal. It is peace we desire. With me here in this House today, are my partners in this great dream. [...]
[...] I stand here today on behalf of those youngsters who wanted to live, to love, to build a home. [...] The debate goes on: Who shapes the face of history -- leaders or circumstances? My answer to you is: We all shape the face of history. We the People [...] And we, the Leaders, hear the voices, and sense the deepest emotions and feelings of thousands and millions, and translate them into reality. [...] We bear the responsibility. We have the power to decide. [...] We are graced with the privilege of fulfilling this duty for our peoples. [...]
[...] There is much work before us. We face psychological barriers. We face genuine practical problems. [...]
[...] Your Majesty, We have both seen a lot in our lifetime. We have both seen too much suffering. What will you leave to your children? What will I leave to my grandchildren? I have only dreams: to build a better world -- a world of understanding and harmony, a world in which it is hoy to live. This is not asking for too much. [...] Today we are embarking on a battle which has no dead and no wounded, no blood and no anguish. This is the only battle which is a pleasure to wage: the battle for peace. [...]
[...] in the Book of Jeremiah, we find a lamentation for Rachel the Matriarch. It reads: "Refrain your voice from weeping, and your eyes from tears: for their work shall be rewarded, says the Lord". I will not refrain from weeping for those who are gone. But [...] we sense that our work will be rewarded."
3 August 1994: RATIFICATION OF THE AGREEMENT WITH JORDAN: PRIME MINISTER YITZHAK RABIN'S ADDRESS TO THE KNESSET ON THE WASHINGTON DECLARATION
[...] "Israel has experienced great days.
Even if there are many hardships, even if the effort is tremendous, even if we must live through moments of disappointment and hours of frustration, we still have no doubt in our hearts -- Arab nations are joining us on the path to peace. The path is indeed long, and our work is not nearly done."
[...] "There are many more who live among us and who are deserving of thanks, and there are many more abroad to whom we also owe a debt of gratitude."
26 October 1994: PRIME MINISTER RABIN'S SPEECH AT THE SIGNING CEREMONY OF THE PEACE TREATY BETWEEN ISRAEL AND JORDAN
[...] "There comes a time when there is a need to be strong and to make courageous decisions, to overcome the minefields, the drought, the barrenness between our two peoples.
We have known many days of sorrow, you have known many days of grief -- but bereavement unites us, as does bravery and we honor those who sacrificed their lives. We both must draw on the springs of our great spiritual resources, to forgive the anguish we caused each other, to clear the minefields that divided us for so many years and to supplant it with fields of plenty."
[...] "The time has now come not merely to dream of a better future -- but to realize it."
[...] "As dawn broke this morning and a new day began, new life came into the world -- babies were born in Jerusalem. Babies were born in Amman. But this morning is different."
14 October 1994: STATEMENT OF PRIME MINISTER YITZHAK RABIN ON RECEIVING THE NEWS OF THE NOBEL PEACE PRIZE AWARD
[...] "This prize is for the whole nation, for the citizens of the State of Israel, for the bereaved families and the disabled, for the hundreds of thousands who have fought in Israel's wars.
The work is not yet finished -- and the Prize is a prize for the future, more than it is a reward for the efforts for peace that have been made up until now.
Peace is not the enterprise of one man: many people have contributed to the path towards peace, first and foremost, the ministers of the Government."
10 December 1994: PRIME MINISTER YITZHAK RABIN'S SPEECH UPON ACCEPTANCE OF NOBEL PEACE PRIZE
[...] "And of all the memories I have stored up in my seventy-two years, what I shall remember most, to my last day, are the silences:
The heavy silence of the moment after, and the terrifying silence of the moment before."
[...] "That is the moment you grasp that as a result of the decision just made, people might go to their deaths. People from my nation, people from other nations. And they still don't know it.
At that hour, they are still laughing and weeping; still weaving plans and dreaming about love; still musing about planting a garden or building a house -- and they have no idea these are their last hours on Earth. Which of them is fated to die? Whose picture will appear in the black frame in tomorrow's newspaper? Whose mother will soon be in mourning? Whose world will crumble under the weight of the loss?"
[...] "And of all the memories I have stored up in my seventy-two years, I now recall the hopes.
Our peoples have chosen us to give them life. Terrible as it is to say, their lives are in our hands. Tonight, their eyes are upon us and their hearts are asking: How is the power vested in these men and women being used? What will they decide? Into what kind of morning will we rise tomorrow? A day of peace? Of war? Of laughter? Of tears?"
[...] "But there is one universal message which can embrace the entire world," [...] "It is a message which the Jewish people has carried for thousands of years, the message found in the Book of Books: V'nishmartem me'od l'nafshoteichem, it is -- "Therefore take good heed of yourselves" -- or, in contemporary terms, the message of the Sanctity of Life.
The leaders of nations must provide their peoples with the conditions -- the "infrastructure," if you will -- which enables them to enjoy life: freedom of speech and movement; food and shelter; and most important of all: life itself. A man cannot enjoy his rights if he is not alive."
[...] "We will pursue the course of peace with determination and fortitude. We will not let up. We will not give in. Peace will triumph over all its enemies, because the alternative is grimmer for us all. And we will prevail."
I stand here mainly for the generations to come, so that we may all be deemed worthy of the medal which you have bestowed on me and my colleagues today."
[...] "Allow me to close by sharing with you a traditional Jewish blessing which has been recited by my people, in good times and bad ones, as a token of their deepest longing:
"The Lord will give strength to his people; the Lord will bless his people -- and all of us -- in peace."
23 January 1995: RABIN'S REMARKS ON BEIT LID BOMBING
[...] "Yesterday and today, we suffered a terrible blow. The eyes of many are filled with tears, and the heart aches as one sees the faces of the parents, the brothers, the sisters and the friends. There are no words which can console and heal the pain of loss."
[...] "In this difficult hour, there is no right or left, secular or religious; we are all the People of Israel. And in the name of this People of Israel, which has known difficult days, and great moments, we share the pain and the tears."
[...] "I know that many are asking, have you brought us peace, or terror? The road to peace is not easy. About seventeen years ago, peace was made for the first time between an Arab country and Israel, due to efforts by then Prime Minister Menachem Begin, who had the courage to make a painful decision and pay a painful price for peace. Today, we are continuing on the path to peace."
[...] "There is no other alternative. We will achieve peace, for this is the solution for the long term, and to the terrorism, even if it is difficult for us now. I am convinced that the path the Government has taken, is the path which will lead to the end of control over another people."
[...] "The residents of the State of Israel have known how to withstand wars and terrorism, and have always known how to dream about peace and to contend with enemies, while, at the same time, building a wonderful country -- one with 4.4 million Jews, and with a total of 5.3 million citizens. We will continue the struggle to achieve peace, to build the country and to fight the enemies of Israel and the enemies of peace. We will not yield to moments of weakness. The Jewish People's special ability, throughout all of its history -- the ability of the State of Israel to overcome the wars in which thousands of its sons fell -- is the ability which is within us, which makes us special, and we will achieve our goal.
Fellow citizens of Israel, what I would like to say to you this evening is this: we are a strong country, we have a tremendous army, we have a great ability to achieve all of our goals if we know how to define them as peace, security, building and development. There are difficult moments and we have to overcome them. We must find the denominator common to us all, and thus achieve the dream of generations of Jews in the 2,000 years of Exile, and we will fulfill the Jewish belief in the Return to Zion, in building a strong country in which we will live in peace and security."
2 May 1995: RABIN'S SPEECH ON MEMORIAL DAY FOR THE FALLEN OF ISRAEL'S WARS
[...] "We are continuing, continuing to build, continuing to fight. It is our obligation. We are continuing because 2,000 years of exile have not succeeded in uprooting our dreams, or the Jewish people, from its chosen land. We are prepared to suffer and are determined to have peace, if not for us, then for those who will come after us."
15 May 1995: RABIN'S KNESSET POLICY STATEMENT
[...] "We are travelling surely on the road to peace and see the fruits of our labors, even if difficulties are mounting. Our political, security, and economic situations are a source of optimism and hope for us all."
21 August 1995: STATEMENT BY PRIME MINISTER RABIN ON ISRAEL RADIO
[...] "We will determine what must be done in other areas, and I truly hope that the Israeli public, including those who oppose the government's policies, will enable the police and the security forces, to first of all, fight terrorism, and not have to waste energy, and not divert forces, from the war against terrorism, to other problems. We are a democratic nation, with the right to express one's views, to demonstrate lawfully."
28 September 1995: PRIME MINISTER YITZHAK RABIN'S ADDRESS AT ISRAELI-PALESTINIAN INTERIM AGREEMENT SIGNING CEREMONY, WASHINGTON D.C.
[...] "Our dream is also your dream. King Hussein, President Mubarak, Chairman Arafat, all the others, and above all the President, Bill Clinton -- a president working in the service of peace -- we all love the same children, weep the same tears, hate the same enmity, and pray for reconciliation. Peace has no borders."
[...] "Ladies and Gentlemen: Let me extend my wish, to all of us, that we may meet here again -- and soon. Happy New Year."
5 October 1995: RABIN'S SPEECH TO THE KNESSET ON RATIFYING THE ISRAELI-PALESTINIAN INTERIM AGREEMENT
[...] "Here, in the land of Israel, we returned and built a nation. Here, in the land of Israel, we established a state. The land of the prophets, which bequeathed to the world the values of morality, law and justice, was, after two thousand years, restored to its lawful owners -- the members of the Jewish people. On its land, we have built an exceptional national home and state."
[...] "We can continue to fight. We can continue to kill -- and continue to be killed. But we can also try to put a stop to this never-ending cycle of blood. We can also give peace a chance.
The Government chose to give peace a chance. The Government chose to do something to achieve it."
29 October 1995: PM YITZHAK RABIN'S ADDRESS TO THE AMMAN ECONOMIC SUMMIT
[...] "Today and from here on, we are committed to invest in peace.
There are serious barriers ahead of us. We must overcome, on both sides, psychological barriers, and generations of hostility."
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Created: November 6th, 95