Yitzhak Rabin's Last Speech
November 4, 1995
Tel Aviv City Hall Plaza
Permit me to say that I am deeply moved.
I wish to thank each and every one of you, who have come here today to take a stand against violence and for peace. This government, which I am privileged to head, together with my friend Shimon Peres, decided to give peace a chance -- a peace that will solve most of Israel's problems.
I was a military man for 27 years. I fought as long as there was no chance for peace. I believe that there is now a chance for peace, a great chance. We must take advantage of it for the sake of those standing here, and for those who are not here -- and they are many.
I have always believed that the majority of the people want peace and are ready to take risks for peace. In coming here today, you demonstrate, together with many others who did not come, that the people truly desire peace and oppose violence.
Violence erodes the basis of Israeli democracy. It must be condemned and isolated.
This is not the way of the State of Israel. In a democracy there can be differences, but the final decision will be taken in democratic elections, as the 1992 elections which gave us the mandate to do what we are doing, and to continue on this course.
I want to say that I am proud of the fact that representatives of the countries with whom we are living in peace are present with us here, and will continue to be here: Egypt, Jordan, and Morocco, which opened the road to peace for us. I want to thank the President of Egypt, the King of Jordan, and the King of Morocco, represented here today, for their partnership with us in our march towards peace.
But, more than anything, in the more than three years of this Government's existence, the Israeli people has proven that it is possible to make peace, that peace opens the door to a better economy and society; that peace is not just a prayer.
Peace is first of all in our prayers, but it is also the aspiration of the Jewish people, a genuine aspiration for peace.
There are enemies of peace who are trying to hurt us, in order to torpedo the peace process.
I want to say bluntly, that we have found a partner for peace among the Palestinians as well: the PLO, which was an enemy, and has ceased to engage in terrorism. Without partners for peace, there can be no peace.
We will demand that they do their part for peace, just as we will do our part for peace, in order to solve the most complicated, prolonged, and emotionally charged aspect of the Israeli-Arab conflict: the Palestinian- Israeli conflict.
This is a course which is fraught with difficulties and pain. For Israel, there is no path that is without pain.
But the path of peace is preferable to the path of war.
I say this to you as one who was a military man, someone who is today Minister of Defense and sees the pain of the families of the IDF soldiers. For them, for our children, in my case for our grandchildren, I want this Government to exhaust every opening, every possibility, to promote and achieve a comprehensive peace. Even with Syria, it will be possible to make peace.
This rally must send a message to the Israeli people, to the Jewish people around the world, to the many people in the Arab world, and indeed to the entire world, that the Israeli people want peace, support peace.
For this, I thank you.
No one is talking about the fact that the peace process was torpedoed by a fanatical ISREALI when Rabin was murdered in 1995.
There are fanatics on both sides that have brought the current crisis to bear. Yes the Palestinian people are good. The Isreali people are good. Just like in America there are extremists who attempt to dictate to the majority.
Rabin was killed because he was close to peace. Arafat lost favor with the radicals because he was close to brining peace. These radicals will not ultimately win though.
Aid from the U.S. goes (directly) to the Palestinians as well as to Isreal. I am not for cutting out or reducing aid... only an arms embargo (to both sides).
It is the settlements that create the real sticky wicket right now. There are close to a half-million Isreali settlers living in Palestinian territory who were induced into moving there by government subsidized homes (70 to 80 percent).
These people vote. None of them wants to make a land for peace deal. This is how Sharon came back into power and why the peace Rabin was close to striking
caused so much turmoil amongst Isreali conservatives.
We back Isreal and call her an ally because she is a democracy -- and that's what we do in America -- promote democracy. But it is a democracy that has been hijacked by extremists -- I don't think we have an obligation to back a democracy just because it is a democracy.
As long as there are settlers the democracy in Isreal will be broken -- because they represent a very large voting block -- so it becomes ironic that in this instance democracy is actually the problem.