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Tuesday, May 18, 1999 Published at 03:01 GMT 04:01 UK


Barak's victory speech

Ehud Barak thanks his supporters

Extracts from victory speech of Ehud Barak, Israel's prime minister-designate and leader of One Israel, at the Dan Hotel in Tel Aviv

Thanks to all of you, we want to start, and I ask you to be quiet for a few minutes.

Israel Elections Special Report
I want to say a few words, before I continue from here to Rabin Square in Tel Aviv.

Ladies and gentlemen citizens of the State of Israel, dear sisters and brothers wherever you may be, good evening to you.

First of all, I want to extend from here a supporting hand to the residents of the north who at this moment, as we celebrate here, are in the bomb shelters

End to Lebanon conflict

May it come about that within a year we will be able to put an end to the conflict in Lebanon.

One of the prayers said by the cantor on Yom Kippur starts with the words: I stand before you humbly.

With these words I chose to start here tonight and tell you: I stand humbly before you tonight, excited and moved, to thank you all from the bottom of my heart.

Praise for Netanyahu

An hour ago, I spoke with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and thanked him. (boos from the audience).

No, we will not boo an incumbent prime minister of Israel.

A short time ago, I spoke with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and thanked him for his service to the State of Israel.

I ask you to join me in wishing him success wherever he may go.

'Prime Minister for all'

I also respect the hundreds of thousands who fulfilled their civic and democratic duty and decided not to vote for me, but from this moment on we are all together, we are one nation.

I intend to be the prime minister of all.

Whatever the differences between us may be, we are brothers.

People, we are brothers, and as Memad's motto says, brothers go together.

All Jews are responsible for each other.

Tonight we extend a courageous hand to the secular and the religious, to the ultra-Orthodox and the residents of the settlements, to Israelis of Middle Eastern origin and to Israelis of Ashkenazi extraction, to the immigrants from Ethiopia and the former Soviet Union, to the Arabs, the Druze, the Circassians, the Bedouin - everybody, everybody, everybody is part of the Israeli people.

I want to send many thanks to some 2 million citizens who voted for me for prime minister.

Tribute to Rabin

I would like to mention in particular that one special person who had a unique role in our reaching this moment, somebody who was my commander and guide and the person who led me into politics, our teacher and guiding light: Yitzhak Rabin.

I know that if Yitzhak is looking down at us from heaven, he is proud of us today, just as we are proud of him, and he knows that together we will fulfill his heritage.

Among us on this podium tonight is Le'a, who accompanied him all along the way, and Shim'on (Peres), who together with him was the architect of the peace agreements.

'Blood, sweat and tears'

In one of his famous speeches in the midst of World War II, Churchill promised his people blood, sweat, and tears.

We are here in order to try to avoid the blood and tears, but it will undoubtedly cost us a lot of sweat, a lot of hard work, and a lot of joint work by all of us.

In order to bring security and peace to the State of Israel, it is important that we know first how to bring peace among ourselves and peace between ourselves, and I intend to do that.

I wore a uniform for many years.

Together with my friends, I have seen terrible scenes.

We have lost many friends throughout the years.

We know that it is the duty of our generation, which fought Israel's wars, to do what is possible to strengthen the state's security by advancing it toward peace agreements, which will be made with responsibility for security, and wisdom, and political thought.

In the coming months and definitely in the coming years, we will be facing some of the most difficult and fateful decisions in the history of the State of Israel.

In a joint effort by us all - I tell you that we will not stop making difficult decisions - we will lead to security and to peace.

It is our hope that our actions will contain the spirit of the prayer of the Jewish people throughout the generations: God shall bestow glory on his people, God shall bless his people with peace.

Extracts from speech to rally of supporters on Rabin Square:

We are meeting here, in this place of memory and hope, to start out on our expedition to attain unity, peace, security, and prosperity for the Israeli people.

I came here, to Rabin Square, to the place where our hearts broke when a huge rock blocked the gate we were about to cross into a new era. I came here to pledge before you, citizens of Israel, and before you, my friend and commander, Yitzhak Rabin, that indeed this is the dawn of a new day.

'Victory for peace'

This is not only the victory of a candidate but the victory of a path. This is not only the victory of One Israel as a movement but of One Israel as an idea. One united Israel is the aspiration of all of us, and ahead of us lies a lot of work to attain it in the future.

This victory belongs to the entire Israeli people, to heads of family who work hard for a living; too many people, too many people who don't work at all; citizens who know that today's education is the economy of tomorrow; families whose families are fighting in Lebanon; new immigrants who fill us with pride; Sephardim and Ashkenazim; secular, traditionalist, and ultra-Orthodox; Jews and Arabs. From each one of you I heard the call for change.

We are not afraid of anything. I heard the voices at my feet here, and nevertheless I tell you all: The first and most important hope of all of us is the hope for unity.

Appeal to end divisions

I tell you here that the time has come to end divisions; the time has come to make peace among ourselves. Whether we are traditionalists or secularists, ultra-Orthodox or religious, we must not be enemies to each other.

Our scriptures say: The temple was destroyed because of gratuitous hatred and only because of gratuitous love will it be rebuilt. We are brothers, and brothers walk together. I know that this victory was not possible without your support, but it was also not possible without the support of many Likud supporters. I appreciate that, and I undertake to be the prime minister of all.

I undertake that I will always consider the good of the country. That which unites us is greater than that which divides us. The people of Israel wanted unity. The mission will not be completed overnight, but I tell you all: This unity starts here and now.

The second hope, which has not been fulfilled in its entirety since the establishment of the State of Israel, is the ancient hope which has been renewed: that we should not know war anymore. I tell you that the time for peace has come - not peace through weakness, but peace through might and a sense of security; not peace at the expense of security but peace that will bring security.

We will move quickly toward separation from the Palestinians within four security red lines: a united Jerusalem under our sovereignty as the capital of Israel for eternity, period; under no conditions will we return to the 1967 borders; no foreign army west of the Jordan River; and most of the settlers in Judaea and Samaria will be in settlement blocs under our sovereignty. As I undertook, any permanent arrangement will be put to a national referendum. In the long run, you, the people of Israel, will decide.

BBC Monitoring (http://www.monitor.bbc.co.uk), based in Caversham in southern England, selects and translates information from radio, television, press, news agencies and the Internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages.



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