Statements at the Ceremony of the Signing of the Israel-Jordan Peace Treaty
(October 26, 1994)
The speakers at the ceremony of the signing of the Israel-Jordan Peace Treaty stressed the need to check the forces of terror that threaten the peace process and work toward a new vision for a new Middle East. The Jordanian monarch pledged that the peace will be real, "as we open our hearts and minds to each other, as we discover a human face to everything that has happenedfor all of us have suffered far too long." Prime Minister Rabin emphasized that "the time has now come not merely to dream of a better future, but to realize it. Leaders should clear the path, should show the way. But the road itself must be paved by the people of both Israel and Jordan. " President Clinton pledged the support of the United States to the peacemakers. Brief remarks were made by Secretary of State Christopher, Foreign Minister Kozyrev who read a message from President Yeltsin, and Foreign Minister Peres. Texts:
The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan Salaam u-aleikum...
Peace be upon you, God's peace - the greeting with which Muslims and Arabs receive their guests, exchange amongst each other the greeting that has been taken to every part of the world over a long and cherished history and past.
It is with a sense of enormous pride, a sense of fulfillment, that I stand here before you today, together with President Clinton, Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, President Weizman, and all our distinguished colleagues and friends. An unusual day, a day like no other in terms of the hopes, in terms of the promise, and in terms of the determination. God willing, and with God's blessing of us all. To remember this day as long as we live and for future generations -Jordanians, Israelis, Arabs, Palestinians - all children of Abraham; to remember it as a dawning of the new era of peace, mutual respect between us all, tolerance and the coming together of people of generations to come beyond this time to build and achieve what is worthy of them.
We will always cherish the memory and honor of all those who have fallen over the years from amongst all of our peoples. I believe they are with us on this occasion, this time, as we come together to ensure, God willing, that there will be no more death, no more misery, no more suspicion, no more fear, no more uncertainty of what each day might bring, as has been the case in the past.
Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and I had the honor of signing the Washington Declaration with President Clinton, our partner and our friend, and we took it upon us, Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and myself, to shepherd the process of negotiations to a successful conclusion. I believe that both of us share in this moment of achievement and pride and relief, for hopefully we have contributed towards a better future of our peoples for all times to come.
The prime minister of Israel and the prime minister of Jordan will shortly ratify the peace treaty between our two countries. This will be witnessed by President Clinton. In a matter of days, we will have completed in Jordan the passage of this peace treaty through the legislature. I, who have accompanied my colleagues throughout this process - Prime Minister Majali since Madrid, my brother Crown Prince Hassan, and every Jordanian who has been involved and honored to be involved in this peace process - fully support every word and every letter in this peace process between Jordan and Israel. I know it is supported by the overwhelming majority of our people, who have learned today of its passage through the Israeli Knesset by an overwhelming majority.
These are the moments in which we live, the past and the future. This great valley in which we stand will become the valley of peace. And one may come together to build it and to make it bloom, as never before. When we come to live next to each other, as never before, we will be doing so, Israelis and Jordanians, together, without the need for any to observe our actions or supervise our endeavors. This is peace with dignity, this is peace with commitment.
This is our gift to our peoples and the generations to come, that will herald the change in the quality of life of people. It will not be simply a piece of paper ratified by those responsible, blessed by the world. It will be real, as we open our hearts and minds to each other; as we discover a human face to everything that has happened and to each other. For all of us have suffered for far too long.
President Clinton, you have been our partner, you have been our friend, you have given us your support, together with the administration of the United States of America. You are at the helm during this historic moment. We will always remember the warmth of your welcome to us both in Washington, and the warmth of the welcome of the people of the United States of America with which they received our news and lauded our achievements. No one will ever forget this day, and in particular we will always remember the fact that you personally came to be with us here on this most happy of occasions, at the end of a chapter of darkness and the opening of a book of light. Ever proud of our friendship, God bless you and give you every future success.
Maybe the world needs some good example of what should happen between people, and hopefully this might herald similar progress, not only on all the tracks here in this region, because we are all committed to a comprehensive peace - we wish it, and hopefully it will be - but throughout the world; the world that is the home of all of us, that in itself is so small, where so much needs to be addressed and met, for humanity and for the future.
Behind us here you see Eilat and Aqaba, the way we have lived over the years, in such close proximity - unable to meet, to visit each other, to develop this beautiful part of the world. No more - as we look into the future beyond this point, with determination, with hope, with commitment. We survived the hard times. Let our people beyond this point in time enjoy the good times.
I would like to thank all our friends, all our distinguished guests, who join us here today - the representative of President Yeltsin, Foreign Minister Abrasha, distinguished foreign ministers, our Arab brethren from our greater Arab homeland, our guests from throughout the world, our friends, A very hearty welcome to all of you, Jordanians and Israelis alike at this very precious moment. God bless you.
Prime Minister of Israel
Happy holiday. Happy holiday to the people of Israel; happy holiday to the people of Jordan. Let this be an end to war, violence and hostile activity. And let us know no more war.
Your Majesty King Hussein I, President Clinton, President Weizman, the foreign ministers of our countries, distinguished guests from all over the world, the peoples of Jordan and Israel.
From this podium, I look around and I see the Arava. Along the horizon, from the Jordanian side and the Israeli side, I see only a desert. There is almost no life here. There is no water, no well, and not a spring - only minefields. Such were the relations between Israel and Jordan during the last 47 years: a desert. Not one green leaf, no trees, not even a single flower.
There comes a time when there is a need to be strong, and to make courageous decisions, to overcome the minefields, the drought, the barrenness between our two peoples. We have known many days of sorrow, you have known many days of grief - but bereavement unites us, as does bravery, and we honor those who sacrificed their lives. We both must draw on the springs of our great spiritual resources, to forgive the anguish we caused each other, to clear the minefields that divided us for so many years and to supplant them with fields of plenty.
For nearly two generations, desolation pervaded the heart of our two peoples. The time has now come not merely to dream of a better future - but to realize it.
Leaders should clear the path, should show the way, but the road itself must be paved by both peoples. I don't believe that we would have reached this great moment without the desire for peace in the hearts of both peoples, in the hearts of the soldiers and the intellectuals, in the hearts of the farmers and the lorry drivers who drive through the Arava highways in Jordan and Israel, in the heart of teachers and of the little children. Both nations were determined that the great revolution in the Middle East would take place in their generation.
From this podium, I look around and I see the Arava - and I see you: our generation and the next. We are the ones who will transform this barren place into a fertile oasis. The drab browns and the dull grays will burst forth in living vibrant greens.
Your Majesty, peace between states is peace between peoples, It is an expression of trust and esteem. I have learned to know and admire the quiet and the smiling power with which you guard your nation and the courage with which you lead your people. It is not only our states that are making peace with each other today, not only our nations that are shaking hands in peace here in the Arava. You and I, Your Majesty, are making peace here, our own peace, the peace of soldiers and the peace of friends.
President Clinton, thank you for your tremendous support throughout the entire process, which was vital for the achievement of this final result.
I would like to thank many others on the Israeli side, on the Jordanian side, that worked very hard - day and night -that we be allowed to reach this great moment. The foreign minister of Israel; the head of our team, Elyakim Rubinstein; Ephraim Halevy; and many others that no doubt contributed a lot to this great achievement.
As dawn broke this morning and a new day began, new life came into the world - babies were born in Jerusalem. Babies were born in Amman. But this morning is different. To the mother of the Jordanian newborn - a blessed day to you. To the mother of the Israeli newborn - a blessed day to you.
The peace that was born today gives us all the hope that the children born today will never know war between us -and their mothers will know no sorrow.
Allow me to end by the simple words: Shalom, Salaam, Peace.
Russian Foreign Minister
Your Majesty, King Hussein Bin Talal, Your Excellencies Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, President Weizman, President Bill Clinton of the United States, dear colleagues, ladies and gentlemen,
I would like to convey to this gathering a welcoming address of the president of the Russian Federation, Boris Yeltsin. I quote: "I wish to extend my cordial congratulations to His Majesty King Hussein and His Excellency Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, as well as to the peoples of Jordan and Israel, with the historic accomplishment, the signature of the Treaty of Peace. It has become possible due to political courage and statesmanship of the leaders of Jordan and Israel. Having surmounted all the apprehensions and having broken down the wall of mistrust, you extended a hand of peace to each other. And now, you lay down a foundation for further reinforcement and development of mutual understanding and good neighborly relations between Jordan and Israel. We are confident now that the creative energy of the peoples of both countries will be aimed at their prosperity and well-being and at building a happy future for the succeeding generations.
Today's event is an impressive success of the Madrid peace process that has developed under the co-sponsorship of Russia and the United States of America. Russia intends to go on with its practical promotion of the final cessation of the Arab-Israeli conflict and support for the implementation of the Israeli-Jordanian agreements." Signed, Boris Yeltsin.
And, allow me, on my part, just to express my personal admiration for the political courage of all present here -heads of state and governments of both Jordan and Israel, and assure you that Russia, as a co-sponsor of the peace process, will be with you and with others on all tracks until there is firm peace and, after that, in building truly prosperous life in this region. Thank you.
U.S. Secretary of State
Your Majesty, King Hussein, President Weizman, President Clinton, Prime Minister Rabin, Prime Minister Majali, fellow foreign ministers, Crown Prince Hassan, ladies and gentlemen,
Less than 90 days ago I had the great honor of witnessing from this very spot, the opening of the Israeli-Jordanian border crossing. This place that for decades was nothing more than a field of mines, was turned overnight into a field of dreams. Today we are, again, honored to bear witness as those dreams come true.
King Hussein, Prime Minister Rabin, the entire world salutes your courage, your vision and your skill. Each of you has dedicated your distinguished careers to a single, noble calling: to build for your peoples and your nations a future of hope and a future of-peace. By your extraordinary achievement here this afternoon, your life's work is a long step towards completion.
As President Clinton has said, the United States stands shoulder to shoulder with Israel and Jordan. We did three months ago when you ended your state of war and we do today when you inaugurate your state of peace and we will be there tomorrow and beyond as you build the bonds of human contact and the common interest that will ensure a lasting reconciliation. This is truly a day of rejoicing, of reconciliation and of recommitment.
Thank you, ladies and gentlemen.
Israel's Minister of Foreign Affairs
Your Majesty, the president of the United States, the preside nt of the State of Israel, Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, the prime minister of Jordan Majali, my colleagues, foreign ministers, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,
In addition to expressing my thanks to the president of the United States for his tremendous support, to King Hussein for his outstanding leadership, I shall do something improper and tell about my own prime minister - he did a great job, with great courage and wisdom.
We were born as sons of Abraham. Now we have to become brothers in the family of Abraham. Not our birth, but our outlook should be different. Where a person to a person will be a host, not a hostage. That we shall mutually help each other, understand each other - and permit me to say, to pray for each other. It is not just a peace of the brave, permit me to say, this is a peace of mothers with their children, born and unborn. A peace for today and a peace for tomorrow.
I see the desert here, too. Nature made it brown - science will make it green. War made it dead - peace will make it alive. And we shall see an entirely new landscape for us and for our neighbors.
This is the third time that we are making steps towards peace. It is not the end of the road. I hope what has happened today under the brilliant leadership of King Hussein and Yitzhak Rabin will go on, will walk on, will march on until the whole Middle East will be a region of peace, of promise and prosperity.
Now please don't forget that I am a foreign minister, so I shall take this occasion to thank our friend, the foreign minister of Egypt - first to make peace, and supporting peace all the time.
I would like to thank the foreign ministers of Europe, and their head today, Dr. Kinkel, for their ongoing support to make this peace not just a matter of policy, but an issue of a new reality. Thank you very much.
We want to thank the United States - for the Middle East it's a God-sent support. No other power has ever supported other nations who need peace as the United States did.
It is a pleasure to see the United States and Russia working together. It wasn't always the case in the Middle East. This is a new addition and we welcome it with our full heart.
We see here among us some other candidates for peace. Welcome to the club, the sooner, the better.
Ladies and gentlemen, it is a great day, it is a great hope, it is a moving occasion for many of us who dreamt it. Now it became a reality. It is not just the end of war, it is the beginning of a new cooperation. Let's dream together, we have the license.
William J. Clinton
President of the United States of America
King Hussein, President Weizman, Prime Minister Rabin, Prime Minister Majali, Crown Prince Hassan, Foreign Minister Peres, Foreign Minister Kozyrev, the secretary of state, the people of Jordan and Israel, with special thanks to those who are our cheering section up there - we thank you all.
At the dawn of this peace of the generations, in this ancient place, we celebrate the history and the faith of Jordanians and Israelis, but we break the chains of the past that for too long have kept you shackled in the shadows of strife and suffering. We thank those who have worked for peace before, we celebrate the efforts of brave leaders who saw the bright horizon of this dawn even while the darkness lingered. This vast bleached desert hides great signs of life. Today we see the proof of it, for peace between Jordan and Israel is no longer a mirage. It is real, it will take root in this soil. It will grow to great heights and shelter generations to come. Today we honor the constant and devoted work of two courageous leaders. Two that have risked everything, so that their children and their children's children need fight nor fear no more.
King Hussein, today in this and place, you bring to full flower the memory of the man who taught you to seek peace, your grandfather, King Abdullah. When he was martyred four decades ago, he left you with a great burden and a great dream. He believed that one day on both sides of the River Jordan, Arab and Jew would live in peace. How greatly you have shouldered that burden and carried that dream. Now, after so much danger and so much hardship, Your Majesty, your day has come. Truly you have fulfilled your grandfather's legacy.
Prime Minister Rabin, you have spent a lifetime as a soldier fighting first to establish your country and then for so long to defend it. For a lifetime you have fought with skill, and tenacity and courage, simply to achieve a secure and lasting peace for your people. Now you have given them the hope of life after the siege. In your own words, you have now given them the challenge to furnish the house of Israel and make it a home. As a general, you have won many battles through strength and courage. But now through strength and courage, you command the army of peace and you have won the greatest victory of all. We salute you.
As has been said before, this treaty is the product of many hands. Crown Prince Hassan and Foreign Minister Peres know better than any of us that peace does not spring full grown. It requires cultivation, it requires patience and care. We salute their devotion and persistence and the wise and determined counsel of Secretary Christopher. We are in all their debt and we thank them.
I say to the people of Israel and Jordan, now you must make this peace real. To turn no man's land into every man's home. To take down the barbed wire, to remove the deadly mines, to help the wounds of war to heal. Open your borders, open your hearts. Peace is more than an argument on paper, it is feeling, it is activity, it is devotion. The forces of terror will try to hold you back. Already they take deadly aim at the future of peace and in their zeal to kill hope and keep hatred alive they would deny all the peace can bring to your children. We cannot, we must not, we will not let them succeed.
The United States stands with you. Since President Truman first recognized Israel, we have wished for and worked for comprehensive peace between Israel and all of her neighbors. On behalf of all Americans, including millions of Jewish and Arab Americans for whom this day means so much, I thank you for trusting America to help you arrive at this moment. The American people are very proud of the opportunity we have had.
And now let the work of progress bear fruit. Here at the first of many crossing points to be opened, people from every corner of the earth will soon come to share in the wonders of your land. There are resources to be found in the desert. Minerals to be drawn from the sea. Water to be separated from salt and used to fertilize the fields. Here where slaves in ancient times were forced to take their chisels to the stone, the earth, as the Koran says, "will stir and swell and bring forth life." The desert, as Isaiah prophesied, "shall rejoice and blossom." Here your people will drink water from the same well and savor together the fruit of the wine. As you seize this moment, be assured that you will redeem every life sacrificed along the long road that brought us to this day. You will take the hatred out of hearts and you will pass along to your children a peace for the generations.
Your Majesty, Mr. Prime Minister, here in the great Rift Valley you have bridged the tragic rift that separated your people for too long. Here in this region which is the home of not only both your faiths, but mine, I say: "Blessed are the peace makers for they shall inherit the earth."