ADDRESS BY PRIME MINISTER OF ISRAEL H.E. YITZHAK RABIN TO THE UN GENERAL ASSEMBLY ON THE OCCASION OF THE 50TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE UNITED NATIONS

24 OCTOBER 1995

Mr. President,
Your Excellencies,
Ladies and Gentlemen.

Shalom,

This podium has heard many cries of joy, as well as many words of despair. This podium has seen justice, but it has also seen evil, cruelty and exploitation.

In the past fifty years this podium has seen empires fall, and borders erased. But it has also seen people awaken to their freedom and the nations of the world display their flags side by side. It has become possible to fulfill the words of the prophet Isaiah, a son of the Jewish people: "They shall beat their swords into plough shares, and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation shall not lift up sword against Nation, neither shall they learn war any more".

This is the dream which I bring to you today from Jerusalem, the eternal capital of the State of Israel and the heart of the Jewish people.

Mr. President,

This morning I appear before you, the Heads of State of the international community, as the Prime Minister of the State of Israel and as the representative of the Jewish people.

I also stand before you today as a representative of those for whom the creation of the United Nations came too late.

I come here today in the name of the six million whose lives were turned into ashes, whose souls ascended to heaven in burning flames. We will never let them be forgotten.

I stand here as a representative of the children who will never smile, in the name of the parents whose children were torn from their arms, of the grandmothers and grandfathers whose screams fell on deaf ears.

But we will also never forget our benefactors who, forty-eight years ago, gave us a chance for independence. Until this very day, we still hear the echoes of the roll-call vote and the two-thirds of the member States, who on that fateful evening voted in support, fulfilling their moral responsibility.

There were also many years that in this hall hurtful and unjust decisions were taken against us. There were absurd resolutions which have since been rescinded, such as the resolution equating Zionism with racism.

Many ideologies have failed and faded away. But it is Zionism that brought the Jewish people to its historical homeland. Zionism won.

Mr. President,

We are grateful to the international community for your encouragement at this historic moment which is unfolding on our little plot of land: the agreement between Israel and the Palestinians, and I wish to congratulate Chairman Arafat for for being a partner to this process. The peace treaties between Israel and Egypt, between Israel and the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, and the significant changes in Israel’s relationship with the entire Middle East.

The road is still long. However, we are determined to continue until we have brought peace to the region. For our children and our children’s children. For all the peoples of the region. That is our mission. We will fulfill it.

Just as we came to you to protest, we now come to praise the change in the relationship between Israel and the international community and the United Nations.

However, we cannot be complacent. The United Nations must continue giving expression to the new reality in the Middle East. We must all be at the forefront of the fight against the forces which threaten peace and security in the region, to all countries, to all the peoples of the region and in the entire world.

Mr. President,

We call upon the international community to assist us in locating our missing in action, and in enabling our prisoners of war to return to their homes and families.

As long as children die from hunger, our job here is not yet finished. As long as there is no peace in every corner of the world, our job here is not yet finished.

The UN must support those who are working for peace. It must intensify the international struggle against terrorism and its supporters. Terrorism is the world’s cancer today. Don’t fool yourselves, even if you ignore terror it can enter any of your homes. Terror must be defeated. Peace must win. This is a fight that we cannot afford to lose.

Mr. President,

Israel celebrates here with everyone who attended here today and with the entire world, fifty years of The United Nations.

Thank you.