PM Netanyahu: The people of Israel well know the price of war. And this is why I am so deeply moved to be here today. For those who bear the wounds of war cherish the blessings of peace.
Following is Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech today (Tuesday, 15 September 2020), at the White House in Washington DC, at the signing ceremony for the historic peace agreements, the “Abraham Accords”, with the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, in the presence of US President Donald Trump, UAE Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zayed and Bahrain Minister of Foreign Affairs Abdullatif Al Zayani:
“Ladies and gentlemen,
“This day is a pivot of history. It heralds new dawn of peace. For thousands of years, the Jewish people have prayed for peace. For decades, the Jewish state has prayed for peace. And this is why today we’re filled with such profound gratitude. I am grateful to you, President Trump, for your decisive leadership. You have unequivocally stood by Israel’s side. You have boldly confronted the tyrants of Tehran. You’ve proposed a realistic vision for peace between Israel and the Palestinians. And you have successfully brokered the historic peace that we are signing today, a peace that has broad support in Israel, in America, in the Middle East—indeed in the entire world.
“I am grateful to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed of the United Arab Emirates and to you, Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed. I thank you both for your wise leadership and for working with the United States and Israel to expand the circle of peace.
“I am grateful to King Hamad of Bahrain and to you, Foreign Minister Abdullatif Al Zayani, for joining us in bringing hope to all the children of Abraham.
“To all of Israel’s friends in the Middle East, those who are with us today and those who will join us tomorrow, I say As-salamu alaykum, peace unto you. Shalom.
“And you have heard from the president that he is already lining up more and more countries. This was unimaginable a few years ago, but with resolve, determination, a fresh look at the way peace is done, this is being achieved.
“Thank you, Mr. President.
“Ladies and gentlemen,
“The people of Israel well know the price of war. I know the price of war. I was wounded in battle. A fellow soldier, a very close friend of mine, died in my arms. My brother Yoni lost his life while leading his soldiers to rescue hostages held by terrorists at Entebbe. My parents’ grief over the loss of Yoni was unrelieved until their dying day. And over the years, when I have come to console the families of Israel’s fallen soldiers and victims of terror, I have seen that same grief countless times. And this is why I am so deeply moved to be here today. For those who bear the wounds of war cherish the blessings of peace.
“And the blessings of the peace we make today will be enormous. First, because this peace will eventually expand to include other Arab states, and ultimately it can end the Arab-Israeli conflict once and for all. Second, because the great economic benefits of our partnership will be felt throughout our region, and they will reach every one of our citizens. And third, because this is not only a peace between leaders, it’s a peace between peoples—Israelis, Emiratis and Bahrainis are already embracing one another. We are eager to invest in a future of partnership, prosperity and peace. We’ve already begun to cooperate on combating corona, and I am sure that together we can find solutions to many of the problems that afflict our region and beyond.
“So despite the many challenges and hardships that we all face—despite all that—let us pause for a moment to appreciate this remarkable day. Let us rise above any political divide. Let us put all cynicism aside. Let us feel on this day the pulse of history. For long after the pandemic is gone, the peace we make today will endure.
“Ladies and gentlemen,
“I have devoted my life to securing Israel’s place among the nations, to ensure the future of the one and only Jewish state. To accomplish that goal, I have worked to make Israel strong, very strong, for history has taught us that strength brings security, strength brings allies and ultimately—and this is something President Trump has said again and again—ultimately strength brings peace.
“King David expressed this basic truth thousands of years ago in our eternal capital, Jerusalem. His prayer, immortalized in the Book of Psalms in the Bible, echoes from our glorious past and guides us towards a brilliant future:
“’ה’ עז לעמו יתן ה’ יברך את עמו בשלום.’
“’May God give strength to his people, may God bless his people with peace.’
“This week is Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year, and what a blessing we bring to this new year, a blessing of friendship, a blessing of hope, a blessing of peace”.