WASHINGTON, D.C. – JULY 25, 1994
I start with the Hebrew word ‘shalom’. Millions of eyes all over the world are watching us now with great relief and great joy. Yet another nightmare of war may be over. At the same time, millions of eyes in the Middle East are looking at us now with great heartfelt hope that our children and grandchildren will know no more war.
Today we submit to our respective people a wonder present. The declaration we have signed just now here in Washington is the closest thing to a treaty of peace. We have gone here a long way towards a full treaty of peace, and even though our work has not yet ended, it is my hope and belief that not long from today we shall return to sign a final and a permanent treaty of peace.
It is dusk in our homes in the Middle East. Soon, darkness will prevail. But the citizens of Israel and Jordan will see a great light. We have today taken a major step on the road to peace. We and Jordan have chosen to speak to each other rather than to continue the state of war. From here, at a distance of thousands of miles from home, I would like to congratulate today the inhabitants of Israel and of Jordan, to remember the fallen in the wars on both sides, and to tell children on both sides of the border: We hope and pray that your life will be different than ours.
I believe that we are a small country with a big heart. We are aware of the world agonies and suffering of human beings anywhere. At this hour, when we are celebrating here in Washington, Israeli defense soldiers and medical unit are trying to save the lives of thousands if not more of people on the verge of death in Rwanda. But at the very same time, Israeli soldiers, a rescue team, in Buenos Aires, on the invitation of the Argentinian government are endeavoring to rescue the lives or bodies of those who were attacked, killed and disappeared. Bodies of their own brothers as well as of the other human beings from buildings destroyed by vicious terrorists. This terrible crime was committed against Jews just because they were Jews. The Israeli rescue soldiers in Rwanda as well as those in Argentina, together with their comrades in arms defending us at home, are the same side of the same coin.
There is much more in the Washington Declaration than the parties were planning when they decided to prepare this declaration ten days ago. It bears witness to our ability in Israel and Jordan to accelerate our efforts towards peace, to overcome obstacles, to achieve a breakthrough and to put an end to 46 years of hostility.
Mr. President, thank you. Thank you for all you have done for us and for what you will do. We embark on a road which must still be completed, and I am appealing to the United States, the leader of peace efforts in the Middle East, to assist those those countries, those peoples who demonstrate courage and who take risks risks for peace. Because it is a worthwhile goal.
The political achievements presented today to the public here in Washington are part of a whole agenda that must still be clarified in serious deliberations ahead of us. From the difficult subjects of boundaries and water to trade and economic relations, on which peace in our region will be based and of course, security and diplomatic relations. Our duty, starting today, is to turn the articles written on the paper into a living reality.
This fine job could not have been completed without your leadership and determination in the Middle East peace-making. You have already established your place in our history, an honorable place, and thank you. Our heartfelt gratitude goes also to Secretary of State Warren Christopher and to his peace team, who devotedly seek peace, and to generations of former U.S. administration members who have for years searched for a bridge between Israel, Jordan and the other Arab peoples.