Jerusalem, 1 November 1998


(Communicated by the Cabinet Secretariat)

At the weekly Cabinet meeting today (Sunday), 1.11.98:

1. The Cabinet meeting began with a moment of silence in memory of late Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin.

The Prime Minister said that both the life and death of Yitzhak Rabin constitute milestones in the nation’s history. For many years, Yitzhak Rabin symbolized the unity of the people, and his death created a difficult breach in the integrity of the Jewish people. His life symbolized the best in us, and his death symbolized our worst.

The Prime Minister added that the political path of the current government is different from that of Yitzhak Rabin. The Government inherited an agreement which it did not support, and has worked to limit its damage — by reducing the scope of the redeployments and demanding reciprocity. But above all, we are united in our goal of achieving peace and in the need to conduct the public debate without recourse to violence. Violence must be uprooted — this is the most vital imperative of our day. We must know to argue between us, while remaining within this unifying framework of non-violent debate. If we adhere to this principle, and uproot the ‘errant weeds’ from our midst, this will be the best rejoinder to this terrible tragedy, never to be forgotten by our people.

2. The Prime Minister briefed the Cabinet on the memorandum to the security agreement signed yesterday evening between Israel and the United States. The Prime Minister said that an extensive web of contacts, and of diplomatic and security cooperation, exists between Israel and the United States — a web which is constantly growing tighter — and the memorandum which both he and President Clinton signed yesterday reflects a further strengthening of these ties, and a quantum leap in the strategic relationship between Israel and the United States.

The Prime Minister noted that the agreement was preceded by a prolonged dialogue that he conducted with President Clinton, and that the Defense Minister conducted with US Defense Secretary William Cohen.

The agreement underscores two objectives for which the United States and Israel have worked together — bolstering Israel’s defensive and deterrence capabilities, and raising the level of military, strategic and technological cooperation between the two countries.

3. The Education Minister raised the matter of the student strike. The Prime Minister said that he intends to personally intervene toward resolving the conflict with the students and ending the strike.

4. The Cabinet was briefed on security matters by the Defense Minister and the IDF Chief-of-Staff.

5. The Cabinet decided to create an inter-ministerial directors-general committee, to be headed by the Director-General of the Prime Minister’s Office, to address the damage caused during the Carmel Forest fires.

6. The Cabinet created a ministerial team to submit recommendations to the Prime Minister, within 24 hours, on the proposal to offer one-time rent compensation to the eligible among those living in rented, privately-owned apartments.