ICEJ NEWS SERVICE FROM JERUSALEM
TUESDAY, 2 OCTOBER 2001
ICEJ SPECIAL RELEASE:
ADDRESS BY ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER ARIEL SHARON TO THE CHRISTIAN CELEBRATION
OF THE FEAST OF TABERNACLES, SPONSORED BY THE INTERNATIONAL CHRISTIAN
EMBASSY JERUSALEM, TUESDAY, 2 OCTOBER 2001
Thank you very much for that warm and friendly reception.
I wanted to spend all the evening with you today, but as you know we
the middle of a wave of acts of terror. And tonight, on my way here,
[there] was another terrible act of terror for a Jewish settlement,
community; civilians were attacked. We know by now we have two causalities
dead, 7 injured, some of them in a critical situation. That's really what
happened. And therefore I will apologize that I will not be able to spend
the whole evening with you. I really wanted so much to be today with you. We
know your friendship. We appreciate your friendship. We need your
I would like to welcome you in Jerusalem, the capital of the Jewish
for more than three thousand years, since King David that was crowned in
Hebron and ruled Israel for seven and a half years. From there [he] moved
his capital to Jerusalem. Jerusalem - the capital of the Jewish people and
the united and undivided capital of the state of Israel forever.
Talking to you, I know that I even don't have to say that Jerusalem
Land of Israel are holy to the Jews, to the Christians and to the Muslims,
but promised only to the Jews. Jerusalem - it's easy to talk to you, you
know the Bible - Jerusalem is mentioned in the Bible as Jerusalem 676 times,
and as Zion 143 times. And King David is mentioned in the Bible 1,023 times.
The Temple Mount already [was] mentioned and was called the Temple Mount
Har Habayit - by the prophets Jeremiah and Isaiah. And the Christian world
has been using this term of "Temple Mount" for almost 2,000 years now. The
Temple Mount that is the heart of the Jewish people. And they have also to
remember that only since we liberated east Jerusalem, there is freedom of
access and freedom of worship to every nation, to every religion.
I know I don't have to tell you that. You know that because you are
in the Land of Israel while holding the Bible in your hand, and the one who
holds the Bible does not need a guidebook.
Here in the Land of Israel, the biblical names are used today. Jerusalem
Jerusalem. Jordan River is HaYarden, and Bethlehem is Beit Lechem. Hebron is
Hevron. And Shiloh and Bethel and Rachel's Tomb - are using the same names,
the same biblical names. Jericho and so on. And then Mt. Tabor is Har Tabor,
and Mt. Gilboa is Har Gilboa, and Mt. Carmel is Har Carmel. The Sea of
Galilee is the Sea of Galilee. And Nazareth. All the places kept their
Altogether I would like to admit that all of us, and I include myself,
think we made a mistake that we were talking about Samaria and Judea in
security terms. No doubt strategically they are very, very important to
Israel. But we had to mention more. We had to talk more about the right, the
historical right of the Jewish people, because Samaria and Judea were the
cradle of the Jewish people. And the historical right, I think, is more
important and provides more security with this feeling - feeling the right,
the birthright of the Jewish people over these places. That is maybe the
best security, because once you know that that's yours, that maybe makes you
much stronger in understanding the importance of these areas.
But I have to say that Israel was ready to give up part of its historical
land for genuine, durable, true peace and that I'll say maybe I don't know
of any other country in the world that was willing to do so, mostly when you
take into consideration that we won all the wars that were forced on us for
more than 50 years now. But we did it. For true peace, peace for
generations, and we said it very clearly, that we are ready for painful
compromises. I would like to emphasize that it would be no compromise
whatsoever when it comes to the security and the very existence of the state
We are, in the last year, we are facing a war. We are in a war here.
facing very heavy war and struggle, and we are facing Arab Palestinian
attacks. You have to know that we have been facing those raids and Arab
terror for over 120 years. We already had hard times here. My grandfather
was already facing Arab terror here. My parents, myself, my sons. And I know
that we have been facing now Arab Palestinian terror for five, six
generations, but though we have been facing this terror, [we] have managed
amazing achievements while holding the sword in one hand, though we never
As I said, we are in a heavy battle now. The free world, led by United
States, is also in a very heavy struggle against fundamentalist Muslim
terror. We have seen what this terror could do just a few weeks ago. And no
doubt we know the pain. We have felt this terrible pain of terror. All our
condolences to the American people, to the American president, to the
American leadership. The struggle is the struggle of all of us. The struggle
is in order that we will be able to preserve our democratic values and our
freedom. That's what we are fighting for. We are not fighting against Arabs.
We are not fighting against Muslims. We are fighting and defending our right
and our values to live in freedom as we are used to, as we would like to
live. That is our right.
We offered any help which is needed, and we are already giving help.
everything that we will have to do in order to help the free world facing
this terrible terror, we will do. But you have to understand one thing -
terror is terror. There is no good terror and bad terror. Terror is like
murder. Murder is murder and terror is terror. And terror is evil; a
terrible evil. There are no degrees of terror. No degrees of terror. Terror
Therefore, we demand from the free world to declare the Hamas, the Islamic
Jihad and the Hizb'Allah as terrorist organizations. And we demand that the
free world will implement all the steps that are needed not only against
them, but also against those that help them, that support them, that finance
them, those that give them shelter.
Maybe that, maybe only that, will bring Yasser Arafat - who established
coalition of terror, whose strategy is terror; but if they will be declared
as terrorist organizations - he will be again under pressure. He's not under
pressure now. The world, everyone is happy. Arafat declared a ceasefire, but
the fire did not stop for one minute, not for one minute.
The world demanded, they said it would be important if our minister
foreign affairs, Mr. Shimon Peres, would meet with Arafat. You know, they
said it's very, very important for them in order to build or to form this
coalition that they speak about, and I think it's important because the
world should fight terror. So everyone was happy and the pressure stopped.
They met. The reaction to that was terror, and again terror, and again
Yesterday, we had a terror act in Jerusalem. Thank God we didn't have
casualties, but two wounded. But it could have caused heavy casualties in
Jerusalem, in the center of town. The Islamic Jihad announced that they are
responsible for that. Arafat knows that. They know who the people were who
did that. They were not arrested and no steps were taken. Real steps. We
don't speak about declarations; we don't speak about words; we speak about
peace. No serious steps have been taken.
The Jews are having the right to live [a] secure life, and one must
understand that we [have] offered any help that is needed. We are going to
provide any help to the struggle against this terrible terror around the
world. We will do that. But one must understand that we will not be able to
pay in our lives for the appeasement of Arab countries because they demand
it. They are not going to do it. One must understand that. We cannot have
it. We will not accept it.
I would like to tell you that we need your solidarity. We know that
it. But we need more of it, and I would like to thank you for coming.
Showing your solidarity in these hard times. We would like that many more of
you would be coming over here. Your support is very important for us. We
need your help. We need your backing, and I'm sure that we will get it.
Thank you for that.
Again, I would like to apologize for not being able to spend the evening
here with you. I know that there are so many songs that I would like to
hear, but I'm busy with all those terrible events that have to [be]
concluded yet there, and therefore I would like to apologize again. So thank
you again for your friendship, which is so needed. Thank you for your
understanding. And I would like to wish you Shana Tovah, which is happy new
year to all of you; to you our friends; to the Jewish people around the
world, and to our, I would say, [to] all the human beings that would like to
live peacefully, in peaceful lives, normal lives which all of us would like
to have. Thank you so much again. Thank you.
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