Acting PM Peres at Cabinet Meeting-Nov 8- 1995

Acting PM Peres at Cabinet Meeting-Nov 8- 1995


 YITZHAK RABIN: 1922-1995
  Remarks by Acting Prime Minister Shimon Peres at Cabinet Meeting

(Communicated by the Cabinet Secretariat)
November 8, 1995

I do not propose to cover for anyone who bears responsibility. But I also suggest being careful not to make generalizations. As someone who has benefitted from GSS protection for many years now, I would like to say that this is a group of extraordinary people who have risked their lives more than once, and I would not want to do them a disservice, even if there are problems now.

The same thing applies to the Israel Police. I think that the police have, in recent months, gone through several very difficult tests, and in my eyes, this engenders respect.

And of course, the Israel Defense Forces, which ultimately gives all-around support, to as wide an extent as possible.

Therefore, I very much recommend not to hurl accusations at either organizations or people. It will be for a state commission of inquiry to do its work; we will act accordingly. I think that this is the fairest way.

There are several items that, I must say, shock me. I have not seen anywhere in the world, that the media puts on camera people who call for murder. Where is such a thing heard of?

There will be freedom of expression in the country, but not freedom to murder. When someone is murdered, his freedom of expression is taken from him. It is unthinkable that a murderer should be free to preach murder.

I want to add something else. Just as I think that we should not accuse innocent people, we must also not hesitate to use all measures against people who incite, lead astray, and shoot. If I may be permitted to add a personal note -- and it seems to me that I have earned this -- I prefer to be killed than to be afraid. I am not -- under any circumstances -- prepared to be afraid. Whoever is guilty should go to prison. Whoever carries a weapon and intends to use it illegally, must have his weapon taken away from him -- and it does not matter where he lives. If there are such inciters -- and I say this to both the Minister of Justice and to the Attorney-General -- they must be brought to trial.

I do not understand all of this wavering. We have already seen the result. Does an incident like this have to occur again? The damage that this has caused us is irreparable.

I want to say another two or three sentences about verbal violence. I am not asking anyone to change his opinion, but the calls of "traitor", of "selling out", and of preventing others from speaking, began in the Knesset. I believe that the Government as a government, and we, as Members of Knesset, need to ask the Knesset to bring civilized debate back into a civilized framework. It is unthinkable that 4-5 Members of Knesset should prevent the proper conduct of discussions in the Knesset, interrupt with catcalls, and spread baseless accusations. In reality, much of this verbal permissiveness began in the Knesset -- it has been shown all week on television -- and this is a very negative example.

After the Cabinet meeting, it is the Cabinet Secretary's job to issue announcements on behalf of the Cabinet.

I also wish to say, that a Cabinet member who would like his statement publicized will do so through the Cabinet Secretary. I do not wish to have the Cabinet Secretary act solely for the Prime Minister. Should a Cabinet Member wish to have something said in his name, he should pass this on to the Cabinet Secretary, who will then publicize it. The only one who will speak after a Cabinet meeting will be the Cabinet Secretary, on behalf of the Cabinet.

I also want to take the opportunity of this first Cabinet meeting to express my deep appreciation to all of those involved who were responsible for organizing the Prime Minister's funeral: the IDF, the Police, the GSS, the Foreign Ministry, the Prime Minister's Office, the Ministerial Committee for Symbols and Ceremonies and the Jerusalem municipality.

I think that it was a rare funeral, both in circumstance and in character. It was a funeral worthy of the man, and in my opinion, correctly expressed the feeling both in and out of Israel.

Quite naturally, many prime ministers and presidents were here, and we held talks with nearly all of them. The principal message of all of them was that they are prepared to help Israel in the peace process and I told them, on behalf of the Government, that, from my perspective, the policy of the government which Yitzhak headed, will continue. In particular, I told President Clinton that everything that Yitzhak told him obligates me as well, and there should be no room for any doubt whatsoever regarding the seriousness and commitment of this government to continue on that path.

The Assassination of Yitzhak Rabin: 1922-1995
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