Israeli-Jordanian Peace Treaty Signing Ceremony Address
Address by Mr. Shimon Peres
Foreign Minister of Israel
on October 26, 1994
at the Israeli-Jordanian Peace Treaty Signing Ceremony
Your Majesty, King Hussein, The President of the USA, The President of the State of Israel, The Prime Minister of Israel, Yitzhak Rabin, The Prime Minister of Jordan, my colleagues, foreign ministers, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen.
In addition to expressing my thanks to the President of the USA, for his tremendous contribution in the signing of this peace accord, and to His Majesty King Hussein, for his outstanding display of leadership, I shall do something which may seem improper, and say a word about my own Prime Minister: He did a great job, manifesting exceptional character and much wisdom (Applause).
Our first agreement is that we were born as sons of Abraham. If this is the case, the time has come to behave like brothers, members of the same family, the family of Abraham (Applause).
As a consequence of the background of our birth, and in spite of our different outlook, let us now agree that the attitude of one person to the other will be that of a host and not a hostage; that we shall strive to understand one another, and pray together so that there is no more bloodshed. Let us pray in unison for a lasting peace, for a respect for life, for a respectful life.
This is not just, as it was stated, a peace of the brave. Permit me to say that this is a peace of mothers, of mothers and children - born and still unborn - who embrace the peace of today and look towards the peace of tomorrow (Applause).
We see the Arava desert before us. Nature painted it brown. Science will turn it green. War killed it. Peace will give it life. And an entirely new landscape will take shape before our very eyes - an invitation to us and to our neighbours - a landscape to be shared by neighbours (Applause).
This is our third step towards peace. Yet it is not the end of the road. I hope that what is happening here today, as a result of the brilliant leadership of King Hussein and Prime Minister Rabin, will continue, move on, march on, to repeat itself in other venues, and focus on other issues, until finally the whole of the Middle East will become a region where peace becomes a reality, and not only one where the promise of peace was born. A Land of Promise, not only the Promised Land. A valley of prosperity, not just a desert of poverty (Applause).
And now, please remember that I am a Foreign Minister, and I shall use this privilege to thank the Foreign Minister of Egypt, the first country to make peace, and that has supported peace all along the way (Applause).
I would also like to thank the foreign ministers of Europe and their current chairman, Dr. Kinkel, for their continual efforts, not just to regard the issue of peace as a matter of policy, but as a statement of a new reality. Many thanks for their generous support (Applause).
We want to thank the USA for opening a new chapter in the annals of the old Middle East. No other power in history used its tremendous might to bring about peace - free of charge - as did the USA (Applause).
It is a pleasure to watch as the USA and Russia work together in the cause of peace. This was not always the case in the Middle East. This is a new
development, which we welcome with all our heart (Applause).
We see here among us other candidates for peace. I sense that politically, it is still too early to specify who they are. So let me just say, welcome to the club - the sooner, the better (Applause).
Ladies and gentlemen - this is a great day. It is a moving occasion. For many of us who dreamed of it, this is an emerging reality. For it is not just an end of hostilities, it is the beginning of a partnership. Let us take out our old prayer-books, and pray together anew. Let us dream together. We have earned the licence to do so (Standing ovation).