The Last Speech:
Allow me to say, I am also moved. I want to thank each and every one of you who stood up here against violence and for peace. This government which I have the privilege to lead, together with my friend Shimon Peres, decided to give peace a chance. A peace that will solve most of the problems of the State of Israel. I was a military man for twenty-seven years. I fought as long as there were no prospects for peace. Today I believe that there are prospects for peace, great prospects. We must take advantage of it for the sake of those standing here, and for the sake of those who do not stand here. And they are many among our people.
I have always believed that the majority of the people want peace, and are prepared to take risks for peace.
And you here, by showing up at this rally, prove it, along with the many who did not make it here, that the people truly want peace and oppose violence. Violence is undermining the very foundations of Israeli democracy. It must be condemned, denounced, and isolated. This is not the way of the state of Israel.
Controversies may arise in a democracy, but the decision must be reached through democratic elections, just as it happened in 1992, when we were given the mandate to do what we are doing, and to continue to do it.
I want to thank from here the President of Egypt, the King of Jordan, and the King of Morocco, whose representatives are present here, conveying their partnership with us on the march toward peace. But above all – the people of Israel, who have proven, in the three years this government has been in office, that peace is attainable, a peace that will provide an opportunity for a progressive society and economy. Peace exists first and foremost in our prayers, but not only in prayers. Peace is what the Jewish People aspire to, a true aspiration.
Peace entails difficulties, even pain. Israel knows no path devoid of pain. But the path of peace is preferable to the path of war. I say this to you as one who was a military man and minister of defense, and who saw the pain of the families of IDF soldiers. It is for their sake, and for the sake of our children and grandchildren, that I want this government to exert every effort, exhaust every opportunity, to promote and to reach a comprehensive peace.
This rally must send a message to the Israeli public, to the Jewish community throughout the world, to many, many in the Arab world and in the entire world, that the people of Israel want peace, support peace, and for that, I thank you very much.