Menu JTA Search

Premier’s Rosh Hashana Message; Mideast Peace is ‘achievable’ if Israel Remains Strong

Premier Yitzhak Rabin declared in his New Years message to world Jewry that peace in the Middle East “is achievable” only if Israel remains strong, “for our neighbors will agree to negotiate only with a very strong Israel.” In his first Rosh Hashana message since becoming Premier, Rabin pledged that Israel would continue to “probe every possible avenue that might lead to the end of the conflict” with the Arab nations. But, he added, “there is a limit beyond which Israel cannot go, dare not go. Israel will not surrender its vital security in return for palliative arrangements that go by the name of peace.”

Rabin, who will visit Washington this week, continued: “On this, the eve of the Jewish New Year whose intrinsic message is peace, I say to our neighbors: Israel seeks the peace of our common region. It seeks reconciliation through dialogue and mutual compromise through negotiation.”

He said that Israel has proven. in its disengagement agreements with Egypt and Syria, “its willingness to assume risk for the sake of the advancement of this goal, but the goal must be mutual and the quest for a solution shared.” The goal of peace “Is achievable–providing one primary condition is guaranteed. Israel must be strong and must be seen to be strong,” Rabin said .

The Premier recalled that almost one year ago, Israel was plunged into war. “Every Jew worthy of the name will surely be moved to pause on this Tom Kippur and remember what happened on that day of fasting and prayer a year ago when the nation of Israel, confronted by a terrible threat to its very life, rushed from its synagogues to meet the invading enemy. Let the ‘Yizkor’ of this Yom Kippur solemnly recall the awesome sacrifice of the sons of our people who. with their bodies, stemmed the onslaught, turned the tide of battle and swept the enemy back.” he said.

HOPES FOR TRUE PEACE THIS YEAR

Rabin appealed to “my fellow Jews everywhere not to fetter in giving of your best, spiritually and materially for the sake of the welfare and peace of Israel which, ultimately, are the welfare and peace of Jews everywhere in need of Israel.”

Expressing hope that the year 5735 would “witness true shalom for the State of Israel and for our people everywhere,” the Premier declared that Israel’s “strength and tuner fortitude” extended “into every Jewish community and into every Jewish home where people are ready to give to work and. if necessary, to sacrifice for Israel.”

Israel, Rabin said, “speaks in the name of all Jews, in the name of decent people everywhere, when it now reiterates afresh the appeal and the demand that the gates of Russia be opened to all Soviet Jews who wish to join their brethren in Israel just as it calls upon Syria to let its remaining Jews go.”

Declaring that only loss of Jewish identity, not repression, can weaken the Jewish will to live as Jews, the Premier said the Jewish home and classroom, “our bastions against assimilation.” must be protected and strengthened, a task for Israel and the diaspora together. Israel was built on aliya he said, calling “for an increased aliya for the sake of what the newcomers can give to Israel and for what Israel can give to them.”

NEXT STORY