Weizman Addresses Scandal Accusations

(January 23, 2000)

Israeli President Ezer Weizman spoke to the nation on January 23, 2000, to respond to accusations of wrongdoing and declare his determination to stay in office.

Dear Citizens of Israel,

I stand before you today together with my wife Reuma and my family, after having considered the full weight of the matter, to look at you and say:

Only two paths are open before me, and from my perspective there is no choice between them. One path is to fight for the truth until the end, and the second is to resign. I do not intend to resign. A man whose conscience is clear is not afraid and does not run away.

In my opinion, taking leave is no solution. A president on leave is still a president, and there is no difference between a president on leave and a serving president.

All my life, I have tried to act sincerely and openly. Only one man knows my truth, and that is myself. I have committed no criminal acts, I have not sinned, I have never taken anything illegally. The opposite is true. All my life I have tried to contribute.

I have acted honestly, sincerely and innocently, as I have always acted in public service. I am not a lawyer. But I have sought the advice of a lawyer, a man I trusted, who told me innumerable times that all my acts were legal and correct and without defect. If I have erred, it was a human error done in innocence.

I trust the legal system of the State of Israel, the Israel Police, the State Prosecutor and the Attorney-General.

I accept with understanding the decision to open an investigation. I do not ask for myself any privilege and I will be investigated like any citizen, because no man is above the law.

I have not responded in the media and this is very hard for me. My opinion was, and remains, that as long as the investigation continues, I should not intervene in its proceedings or listen to anything except what I am told by the proper authorities. I promise you that I will have my say at the end of the proceedings.

I am going through difficult times, but I have never abandoned the field, and I will not abandon this one. In these times, I am able to absorb all the attacks and criticism, and draw strength from the many in the public who encourage and support me. I thank them for this.

Source: Israel Government Press Office