ADDRESS BY ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER YITZHAK RABIN
AT THE SIGNING CEREMONY OF THE TREATY OF PEACE
BETWEEN THE STATE OF ISRAEL AND THE HASHEMITE KINGDOM OF JORDAN
OCTOBER 26, 1994
[Happy holiday. Happy holiday to the people of Israel; happy holiday to
the people of Jordan. Let this be an end to war, violence and hostile
activity. And let us know no more war.]
Your Majesty King Hussein I,
The Foreign Ministers of our countries,
Distinguished guests from all over the world,
The peoples of Jordan and Israel,
From this podium, I look around and I see the Arava. Along the horizon,
from the Jordanian side and the Israeli side, I see only a desert. There
is almost no life here. There is no water, no well, and not a spring
Such were the relations between Israel and Jordan during the last 47
years: a desert. Not one green lear, no trees, not even a single flower.
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.
For nearly two generations, desolation pervaded the heart of our two
peoples. The time has now come not merely to dream of a better future
but to realize it.
Leaders should clear the path, should show the way, but the road itself
must be paved by both peoples. I don't believe that we would have reached
this great moment without the desire for peace in the hearts of both
peoples; in the hearts of the soldiers and the intellectuals, in the
hearts of the farmers and of the lorry drivers who drive through the Arava
highways in Jordan and Israel, in the hearts of teachers and of the little
Both nations were determined that the great revolution in the Middle East
would take place in their generation.
From this podium, I look around and I see the Arava and I see you: our
generation and the next. We are the ones who will transform this barren
place into a fertile oasis. The drab browns and the dull grays will burst
forth in living vibrant greens.
Your Majesty, Peace between states if peace between peoples. It is an
expression of trust and esteem. I have learned to know and admire the
quiet and the smiling power with which you guard your nation and the
courage with which you lead your people. It is not only our states that
are making peace with each other today, not only our nations that are
shaking hands in peace here in the Arava. You and I, your Majesty, are
making peace here, our own peace, the peace of soldiers and the peace of
President Clinton, Thank you for your tremendous support throughout the
entire process, which was vital for the achievement of this final result.
I would like to thank many others on the Israeli side, on the Jordanian
side, that worked very hard day and night that we be allowed to
reach this great moment. The Foreign Minister of Israel; the head of our
team, Elyakim Rubinstein; Ephraim Halevy; and many others that no doubt
contributed a lot to this great achievement.
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.
To the mother of the Jordanian newborn a blessed day to you. To the
mother of the Israeli newborn a blessed day to you.
The peace that was born today gives us all the hope that the children born
today will never know war between us and their
mothers will know no
Allow me to end by the simple words: Shalom, Salaam, Peace.