Remarks by Prime Minister Rabin on Israel Television

Remarks by Prime Minister Rabin on Israel Television


 VOLUME 15: 1995-1996
12. Remarks by Prime Minister Rabin on Israel Television, 23 January 1995.

Speaking on Israel Television, the prime minister addressed a shocked nation. He declared, on the one hand, a constant war on terror and mainly on the new type of suicide bombers and, on the other hand, explained the need to continue the peace process, lest its suspension give solace to the enemies of peace. The prime minister elaborated at length on the possible need to separate the two communities in the framework of a final Israel-PLO arrangement. But for the time being, Israel must break the cycle of hatred. Text:

Citizens of Israel,
Soldiers and Commanders of the IDF,
Members of the Security Services,

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. I know that the lives of 19 families in Israel will no longer be as they were before yesterday. The vacuum that was created in their family is a terrible one; one which is impossible to fill. 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. We send condolences to the families who lost their loved ones. We also send wishes for a speedy recovery to the injured fighting for their lives - may they return home safely.

Fellow citizens, I am proud to be an Israeli, and a son of the Jewish People which, in 2,000 years of Exile, preserved its faith, its religion, and above all its hope of returning to Zion. And indeed, it fulfilled the dream of generations and succeeded in reestablishing the Jewish State in the only place in which such a state can exist - in the Land of Israel. It succeeded in establishing united Jerusalem as the eternal capital of the State of Israel and of the Jewish people. On the way to achieving this goal we went through wars, disruptions, difficulties - but we experienced painful victories as well, and made achievements which aroused the wonder of the world, and rightly so. The road was not easy. We fought and we built. Our success is the envy of many around the world.

Those who were severely injured yesterday were wounded by a new form of terrorism used by our Palestinian Islamic extremist enemies. We have experienced this type of terrorism in Israel only in the past two years. Previously, we experienced it with Hizballah in Lebanon. This is a type of terrorism used by lunatic people who are prepared to strap explosives to their bodies, or place them in their cars, in order to kill Israelis, and in order to eliminate the chance for peace in the most complex conflict which has existed between us and the Arab world - the conflict between us and the Palestinians. We must contend with these hate-filled lunatics, and I am convinced that just as we foiled some of their attacks, we will fight them with all of our might, and I am certain that, over time, we will find the solution for them as well. They have chosen to attack us inside sovereign Israel. They have chosen to attack us in places where they still have freedom of movement. This obligates all of us to be alert, to be careful, to warn of anything suspicious. There is no choice. The reality today is that everyone is the army and the entire country is on the front line, until we overcome them.

To our enemies we say: as in the past, we will continue to fight you both now and in the future. We will continue building our homes and establishing our families here. We will continue our search for peace, and at the same time we will pursue you and hit you hard. No border will stand in our way. And we will eliminate you. We will overcome you. No enemy will defeat us.

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 of peace. We want to solve the painful problem between us and the Palestinians, the hundred-year-old conflict. We achieved peace with Jordan, a full and contractual peace, and we will continue our efforts to reach peace. There is no other alternative. We will achieve peace, for this is the solution for the long term, and for 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 Palestinians in the territories are an entity different from us, religiously, politically, nationally.

This path must lead to a separation, though not according to the borders prior to 1967: Jerusalem will remain united forever. The security border of the State of Israel will be situated on the Jordan River. We want to reach a separation between us and them. We do not want a majority of the Jewish residents of the State of Israel, 98% of whom live within the borders of sovereign Israel, including a united Jerusalem, to be subject to terrorism. In the short and long terms, we will achieve separation between you and us, though not according to the borders which existed prior to the Six Day War. We must break this cycle of hatred. We must break it so that we, as mothers, fathers - and I as a grandfather - will not have to undergo the pain of eulogizing our good, fine children. I am convinced that, despite all of the pain and difficulty, the people of Israel have known how to overcome even greater difficulties than those which we have experienced until today. 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. Good night.

Press for print versionPrint version
Send To Friend