Eulogies at Rabin's Funeral
(November 6, 1995)
President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt:
It is with deep regret that we are assembled
here today to pay our last regrets to Prime
Minister Yitzhak Rabin, a courageous leader and
His earnest efforts to achieve peace in the
Middle East are a testament to his vision, which
we share, to end the suffering of all the peoples
of Arab regions. He defied the prejudices of the
past to tackle the most complicated of problems,
namely the Palestinian problem, in a forthright
The success he achieved in this regard has
finally led to the foundations of peaceful
coexistence between the Palestinians and the
Israelis in a climate of trust and mutual
The untimely loss of Prime Minister Yitzhak
Rabin at this important juncture in the history
of the Middle East has dealt a severe blow to our
noble cause. We must therefore redouble our
efforts and reaffirm our obligation to continue
the sacred mission to achieve a just and lasting
peace. We must deprive those traitorous hands
hostile toward our goal from reaping the rewards
of their vile actions.
Only through our unwavering commitment to this
objective can we truly honor the memory of this
fallen hero of peace. And I could say that is the
best memorial to Yitzhak Rabin.
On this sad occasion, ladies and gentlemen, I
extend the condolences of government of Egypt and
my personal condolences to the government of
Israel and the family of Yitzhak Rabin.
King Hussein of Jordan:
I never thought that the moment would come
like this, when I would grieve the loss of a
brother, a colleague and a friend, a man, a
soldier who met us on the opposite side of a
divide, whom we respected as he respected us, a
man I came to know because I realized as he did
that we had to cross over the divide, establish
the dialogue and strive to leave also for us a
legacy that is worthy of him.
And so he did. And so we became brethren and
Never in all my thoughts would it occur to me
that my first visit to Jerusalem ... would be on
such an occasion.
You lived as a soldier. You died as a soldier
for peace and I believe it is time for all of us
to come out openly and to speak of peace. Not
here today, but for all the times to come. We
belong to the camp of peace. We believe in peace.
We believe that our one God wishes us to live in
peace and wishes peace upon us.
Let's not keep silent. Let our voices rise
high to speak of our commitment to peace for all
times to come and let us tell those who live in
darkness, who are the enemies of light ... This
is where we stand. This is our camp. We are
determined to conclude the legacy for which my
friend fell as did my grandfather in this very
city when I was with him as but a young boy. He
was a man of courage, a man of vision and he was
endowed with one of the greatest virtues that any
man can have. He was endowed with humility. And,
standing here, I commit before you, before my
people in Jordan and before the world myself to
continue to do the utmost to ensure that we shall
leave a similar legacy.
The peaceful people in the majority of my
country, of the armed forces and people who once
were your enemies are somber today and their
hearts are heavy. Let us hope and pray that God
will give us all guidance each in his respective
position to do what he can for the better future
that Yitzhak Rabin sought.
President Bill Clinton of the United States:
To Leah, to the Rabin children and
grandchildren and other family members, President
Weizman, Acting Prime Minister Peres, members of
the Israeli government and the Knesset,
distinguished leaders from the Middle East and
around the world, especially His Majesty, King
Hussein for those remarkable and wonderful
comments and President Mubarak for taking this
historic trip here and to all the people of
Israel, the American people mourn with you in the
loss of your leader. And I mourn with you for he
was my partner and friend.
Every moment we shared was a joy because he
was a good man and an inspiration, because he was
also a great man.
Leah, I know that too many times in the life
of this country, you were called upon to comfort
and console the mothers and the fathers, the
husbands and the wives, the sons and the
daughters who lost their loved ones to violence
and vengeance. You gave them strength. Now, we
here and millions of people all around the world,
in all humility and honor, offer you our
strength. May God comfort you among all the
mourners of Zion and to Israel. Yitzhak Rabin
lived the history of Israel through every trial
and triumph, the struggle for independence, the
wars for survival, the pursuit of peace and in
all he served on the front lines. This son of
David and of Solomon took up arms to defend
Israel's freedom and laid down his life to secure
Israel's future. He was a man completely without
pretense as all of his friends knew.
I read that in 1949, after the War of
Independence, David Ben-Gurion sent him to
represent Israel at the armistice talks at Rhodes
and he had never before worn a necktie and did
not know how to tie the knot. So, the problem was
solved by a friend who tied it for him before he
left and showed him how to preserve the knot
simply by loosening the tie and pulling it over
Well, the last time we were together, not two
weeks ago, he showed up for a black tie event on
time, but without the black tie. And so, he
borrowed a tie. And I was privileged to
straighten it for him. It is a moment I will
cherish as long as I live.
To him, ceremonies and words were less
important than actions and deeds. Six weeks ago,
the king and President Mubarak will remember, we
were at the White House for signing the
Israel/Palestinian agreement and a lot of people
spoke. I spoke. The king spoke. Chairman Arafat
spoke. President Mubarak spoke. Our foreign
ministers all spoke. And finally, Prime Minister
Rabin got up to speak and he said, "First,
the good news. I am the last speaker." But
he also understood the power of words and
symbolism. Take a look at the stage he set in
Washington - the King of Jordan, the President of
Egypt, Chairman Arafat and us, the prime minister
and foreign minister of Israel on one platform.
"Please take a good hard look. The sight
you see before you was impossible, was
unthinkable just three years ago. Only poets
dreamt of it and to our great pain, soldiers and
civilians went to their deaths to make this
moment possible" - those were his words.
Today, my fellow citizens of the world, I ask
all of you to take a good hard look at this
picture. Look at the leaders from all over the
Middle East and around the world who have
journeyed here today for Yitzhak Rabin and for
peace. Though we no longer hear his deep and
booming voice, it is he who has brought us
together again here, in word and deed, for peace.
Now it falls to all of us who love peace and
all of us who loved him to carry on the struggle
to which he gave life and for which he gave his
life. He cleared the path. And his spirit
continues to light the way. His spirit lives on
in the growing peace between Israel and her
neighbors. It lives in the eyes of the children,
the Jewish and the Arab children, who are leaving
behind a past of fear for a future of hope. It
lives on in the promise of true security.
So, let me say to the people of Israel - Even
in your hour of darkness, his spirit lives on and
so you must not lose your spirit. Look at what
you have accomplished making a once-barren desert
bloom, building a thriving democracy in a hostile
terrain, winning battles and wars and now winning
the peace which is the only enduring victory.
Your prime minister was a martyr for peace,
but he was a victim of hate. Surely, we must
learn from his martyrdom that if people cannot
let go of the hatred of their enemies, they risk
sowing the seeds of hatred among themselves.
I ask you, the people of Israel on behalf of
my nation that knows its own long litany of loss
from Abraham Lincoln to President Kennedy to
Martin Luther King, do not let that happen to you
- in the Knesset, in your homes, in your places
of worship, stay the righteous course.
As Moses said to the children of Israel when
he knew he would not cross over into the Promised
Land: "Be strong and of good courage. Fear
not, for God will go with you. He will not fail
you. He will not forsake you."
President Weizman, Acting Prime Minister
Peres, to all the people of Israel, as you stay
the course of peace, I make this pledge - Neither
will America forsake you.
Legend has it that in every generation of Jews
from time immemorial, a just leader emerged to
protect his people and show them the way to
safety. Prime Minister Rabin was such a leader.
He knew, as he declared to the world on the White
House lawn two years ago that the time had come,
in his words "to begin a new reckoning in
the relations between people, between parents
tired of war, between children who will not know
Acting Prime Minister and Foreign Minister
We have not come to cover your grave, we have
come to salute you, Yitzhak, for what you were: a
valiant soldier, who bequeathed victories to his
people: a great dreamer, who forged a new reality
in our region.
Last Saturday night, we joined hands and stood
side by side. Together we sang "Shir
Hashalom - the Song of Peace," and I sensed
your exhilaration. You told me that you had been
warned of assassination attempts at the huge
rally. We didn't know who the assailant would be,
nor did we estimate the enormity of the assault.
But we knew that we must not fear death and that
we cannot be hesitant in seeking peace.
One day earlier, we met privately, as we often
did. For the first time, you remarked that the
work is arduous, but peace obliges us.
I knew your temperance and consequently your
refusal to be swept away, not even by peace. I
knew your wisdom and hence your caution against
premature disclosures. These were the qualities
of a captain and a captain you were since your
early adulthood. A daring captain on Israel's
battlefields and a great captain in the campaign
for peace in the Middle East.
To be a captain is not a light task. And you
were not a lighthearted person. Earnestness
became second nature to you and responsibility
your first. These two traits made you a rare
leader, capable of uprooting mountains and
blazing trails; of designating a goal and
I did no know that these were to be the last
hours of our partnership, which knew no bounds. I
sensed that a special benevolence had descended
upon you, that you could suddenly breathe freely
at the sight of the sea of friends who came to
support your chosen course and to cheer you.
The peak to which you led us opened wide and
from it you could behold the landscape of the new
tomorrow, the landscape promised to the new
Israel and its youth.
Yitzhak, the youngest of Israel's generals and
Yitzhak, the greatest of peacemakers: the
suddenness of your passing illuminated the
abundance of your accomplishments.
You resembled no one; nor did you seek to
emulate anyone. You were not one of the
"joyous and merry."
You were one who made great demands - first of
yourself and therefore also of others.
You refused to accept failures and you were
not intimidated by pinnacles. You knew every
detail and you grasped the overall picture. You
shaped the details one by one to from great
steps, great decisions.
All your life, you worked hard, day and night,
but the last three years were unparalleled in
their intensity. You promised to change
priorities. Indeed, a new order has arrived, a
priority of openness.
New crossroads have been opened, new roads
paved; unemployment has declined; immigrants have
been absorbed; exports have increased and
investments expanded; the economy is flourishing;
education has doubled; and science has advanced.
And above all, perhaps at the root of it all,
the mighty winds of peace have begun to blow.
Two agreements with our neighbors the
Palestinians will enable them to hold democratic
elections and will free us from the necessity of
ruling another people - as you promised.
A warm peace with Jordan invited the great
desert between us to become a green promise for
The Middle East has reawakened and a coalition
of peace is taking shape: a regional coalition
supported by a world coalition, to which the
leaders of America and Europe, of Asia and
Africa, of Australia and of our region standing
alongside your fresh grave bear witness.
They came, as we did, to salute you and
declare that the course that you began will
This time, Leah is here without you, but the
whole nation is with her and with the family.
I see our people in profound shock, with tears
in their eyes, but also a people who know that
the bullets that murdered you could not murder
the idea which you embraced. You did not leave us
a last will, but you left us a path on which we
will march with conviction and faith. The nation
is shedding tears, but these are also tears of
unity and spiritual uplifting.
I see our Arab neighbors and to them I say:
The course of peace is irreversible. Neither for
us, nor for you. Neither we nor you can stop,
delay or hesitate when it comes to peace - a
peace that must be full and comprehensive, for
young and old, for all the peoples.
From here, from Jerusalem, where you were
born, the birthplace of the three great
religions, let us say in the words of the
lamentation of Rachel, who passed away on the
very day that you were slain:
"Refrain thy voice from weeping and thine
eyes from tears; for thy work shall be rewarded
and there is hope for thy future, saith the
Lord." (Jeremiah 31: 16-17)
Good-bye, my older brother, hero
of peace. We shall continue to bear this great
peace, near and far, as you sought during
your lifetime, as you charge us with your
Filosof for Her Grandfather
You will forgive me, for I do not want to
talk about peace. I want to talk about my
grandfather. One always wakes up from a nightmare.
But since yesterday, I have only awakened
to a nightmare -- the nightmare of life without
you, and this I cannot bear. The television
does not stop showing your picture; you are
so alive and tangible that I can almost touch
you, but it is only "almost" because
already I cannot.
Grandfather, you were the
pillar of fire before the camp and now we
are left as only the camp, alone, in the dark,
and it is so cold and sad for us. I know we
are talking in terms of a national tragedy,
but how can you try to comfort an entire people
or include it in your personal pain, when
grandmother does not stop crying, and we are
mute, feeling the enormous void that is left
only by your absence.
Few truly knew you. They can still talk alot
about you, but I feel that they know nothing
about the depth of the pain, the disaster
and, yes, this holocaust, for -- at least
for us, the family and the friends, who are
left only as the camp, without you -- our
pillar of fire.
Grandfather, you were, and still are our,
hero. I want you to know that in all I have
ever done, I have always seen you before my
eyes. Your esteem and love accompanied us
in every step and on every path, and we lived
in the light of your values. You never abandoned
us, and now they have abandoned you -- you,
my eternal hero -- cold and lonely, and I
can do nothing to save you, you who are so
People greater than I have already eulogized
you, but none of them was fortunate like myself
[to feel] the caress of your warm, soft hands
and the warm embrace that was just for us,
or your half-smiles which will always say
so much, the same smile that is no more, and
froze with you. I have no feelings of revenge
because my pain and loss are so big, too big.
The ground has slipped away from under our
feet, and we are trying, somehow, to sit in
this empty space that has been left behind,
in the meantime, without any particular success.
I am incapable of finishing, but it appears
that a strange hand, a miserable person, has
already finished for me. Having no choice,
I part from you, a hero, and ask that you
rest in peace, that you think about us and
miss us, because we here -- down below --
love you so much. To the angels of heaven
that are accompanying you now, I ask that
they watch over you, that they guard you well,
because you deserve such a guard. We will
love you grandfather, always.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs