Ceremony of the Declaration of Principles

President Clinton, the president of the United States, your
excellencies, ladies and gentlemen,

This signing of the Israeli-Palestinian Declaration of Principles here today is not so easy, neither for myself as a soldier in Israels wars, nor for the people of Israel nor for the Jewish people in the Diaspora who are watching us now with great hope mixed with apprehension. It is certainly not easy for the families of the victims of the wars, violence, terror, whose pain will never heal, for the many thousands who defended our lives with their own and have even sacrificed their lives for our own. For them, this ceremony has come too late.

Today, on the eve of an opportunity for peace, and perhaps an end to violence and wars, we remember each and every one of them with everlasting love. We have come from Jerusalem, the ancient and eternal capital of the Jewish People. We have come from an anguished and grieving land. We have come from a people, a home, a family that has not known a single year, not a single month, in which mothers have not wept for their sons. We have come to try and put an end to the hostilities so that our children, and our childrens children, will no longer experience the painful cost of war, violence and terror. We have come to secure their lives and to ease the sorrow and the painful memories of the past, to hope and pray for peace.

Let me say to you, the Palestinians, we are destined to live together on the same soil in the same land. We, the soldiers who have returned from battles stained with blood; we who have seen our relatives and friends killed before our eyes; we who have attended their funerals and cannot look into the eyes of their parents; we who have come from a land where parents bury their children; we who have fought against you, the Palestinians, we say to you in a loud and clear voice, «Enough of blood and tears. Enough!

We have no desire for revenge. We harbor no hatred towards you. We, like you, are people people who want to build a home, to plant a tree, to love, live side by side with you in dignity, in affinity, as human beings, as free men. We are today giving peace a chance and saying again to you, «Enough. Let us pray that a day will come when we will all say farewell to arms. We wish to open a new chapter in the sad book of our lives together a chapter of mutual recognition, of good neighborliness, of understanding. We hope to embark on a new era in the history of the Middle East.

Today here in Washington at the White House, we will begin a new reckoning in the relations between peoples, between parents tired of war, between children who will not know war. Mr. President of the United States, ladies and gentlemen, our inner strength, our higher moral values have been derived for thousands of years from the Book of Books, in one of which, Koheleth (Ecclesiastes), we read, «To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven. A time to be born and a time to die, …a time to kill and a time to heal. …A time to weep and a time to laugh. A time to love, and a time to hate, a time of war and a time of peace. Ladies and gentlemen, the time of peace has come.

Enviado por Enrique Ibañes