'He brought us together in word and deed'

November 07, 1995

Excerpts from eulogies yesterday at Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin's funeral:

President Clinton:

Yitzhak Rabin lived a history of Israel, through every trial and triumph, the struggle for independence, the wars for survival, the pursuit of peace and 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.

. . . 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.

. . . 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, to not let that happen to you. In the Knesset, in your homes, in your places of worship, stay the righteous course. . . .

But Israel's covenant with God for freedom, for tolerance, for security, for peace, that covenant must hold. That covenant was Prime Minister Rabin's life work. Now we must make it his lasting legacy. His spirit must live on in us.

The Kaddish, the Jewish prayer for mourning, never speaks of death, but often speaks of peace. In its closing words may our hearts find a measure of comfort and our souls the eternal touch of hope: ''May God who makes peace in the heavens grant peace for all of us and for all of Israel, and we say amen.'' And goodbye, friend.

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 realize, as he did, that we had to cross over the divide, establish the dialogue and strive to leave also . . . a legacy that is worthy of him.

And so he did. And so we became brethren and friends. . . .

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 that our one God wishes us to live in peace and wishes peace upon us. For these are his teachings to all the followers of the three great monotheistic religions, the children of Abraham.

. . . We are not ashamed, nor are we afraid, nor are we anything but 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.

. . . So many live and so many inevitably die . . . But those who are fortunate and lucky in life are those who leave something behind. And you are such a man, my friend.

The peaceful people in the majority of my country, . . . 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 . . . to do what he can for the better future that Yitzhak Rabin sought.

As long as I live, I will be proud to have known him, to have worked with him as a brother, as a friend, and as a man.

Acting Premier Shimon Peres:

We came here to salute you, Yitzhak, a clear salute to what you were: An elite fighter who attained victories for his people. A great dreamer who created a new reality in our region.

This last Saturday night, we sang together the song of peace and I felt a rising spirit in your breast. You told me about warnings against your life at this rally. We did not know who was the terrorist, we did not imagine that the injury would be so great, but we knew we must not fear death and we must not hesitate in the peace.

Before that we sat, as is our custom, behind closed doors and you told me for the first time that the job was wearing you down, but the quest for peace obligates you. . . .

You worked hard all your life, night and day, but the last three years were a crowning glory of your efforts. You promised to change the order of priorities and here came a new round of priorities. A strong new wind of peace began to blow. Two peace accords with the Palestinians. These two agreements will allow them to go forward to just elections and we will not have to maintain an army in order to govern a foreign people. . . .

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