Remarks by Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin
On the Occasion of the Signing of the
Israeli-Palestinian Declaration of Principles
Washington, September 13, 1993
Mr. President, Ladies and Gentlemen,
This signing of the Israeli-Palestinian Declaration of Principles, here
today, is not so easy neither for myself, as a soldier in Israel's
wars, nor for the people of Israel, not to the Jewish people in the
Diaspora who are watching us now with great hope, mixed with
apprehension. It is certainly not easy for the families of the victims
of the wars, violence, terror, whose pain will never heal. For the many
thousands who have defended our lives in their own, and even sacrificed
their lives for our own for them, this ceremony has come too late.
Today, on the eve of an opportunity opportunity for peace and
perhaps an end of vioence and wars we remember each and every one of
them with everlasting love.
We have come from Jerusalem, the ancient and eternal capital of the
Jewish people. We have come from an anguished and grieving land. We have
come from a people, a home, a family, that has not known a single year
not a single month in which mothers have not wept for their sons.
We have come to try and put an end to the hostilities, so that our
children, our children's children, will no longer experience the painful
cost of war, violence and terror. We have come to secure their lives and
to ease the sorrow and the painful memories of the past to hope and
pray for peace.
Let me say to you, the Palestinians: We are destined to live together on
the same soil, in the same land. We, the soldiers who have returned from
battle stained with blood, we who have seen our relatives and friends
killed before our eyes, we who have attended their funerals and cannot
look into the eyes of their parents, we who have come from a land where
parents bury their children, we who have fought against you, the
We say to you today in a loud and a clear voice: Enough of blood and
tears. Enough. We have no desire for revenge. We harbor no hatred
towards you. We, like you, are people people who want to build a
home, to plant a tree, to love, to live side by side with you in
dignity, in empathy, as human beings, as free men. We are today giving
peace a chance, and saying again to you: Enough. Let us pray that a day
will come when we all will say: Farewell to the arms.
We wish to open a new chapter in the sad book of our lives together a
chapter of mutual recognition, of good neighborliness, of mutual
respect, of understanding. We hope to embark on a new era in the history
of the Middle East. Today, here in Washington, at the White House, we
will begin a new reckoning in relations between peoples, between parents
tired of war, between children who will not know war.
President of the United States, Ladies and Gentlemen,
Our inner strength, our high moral values, have been derived for
thousands of years from the Book of Books, in one of which, Koheleth, we
To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under
A time to be born, and a time to die;
A time to kill, and a time to heal;
A time to weep and a time to laugh;
A time to love, and a time to hate;
A time of war, and a time of peace.'
Ladies and Gentlemen, the time for peace has come.
In two days, the Jewish people will celebrate the beginning of a new
year. I believe, I hope, I pray, that the new year will bring a message
of redemption for all peoples: a good year for you, for all of you. A
good year for Israelis and Palestinians. A good year for all the peoples
of the Middle East. A good year for our American friends, who so want
peace and are helping to achieve it, for Presidents and members of
previous administrations, especially for you, President Clinton, and
your staff, for all citizens of the world: may peace come to all your
In the Jewish tradition, it is customary to conclude our prayers with
the word 'Amen'. With your permission, men of peace, I shall conclude
with words taken from the prayer recited by Jews daily, and whoever of
you volunteer, I would ask the entire audience to join me in saying
"He maketh peace in His high places. He shall make peace for us and for all of Israel. And they shall say: Amen."
(translation from Hebrew)