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Excerpts from Sharon’s speech


JERUSALEM, Feb. 6 (JTA) – Following are excerpts from Ariel Sharon’s acceptance speech following his landslide victory in Israel’s elections for prime minister:

• Goals: “Today we have embarked on a new path, toward domestic unity and harmony, striving for security and a real, genuine peace…”

• Security: “From the very earliest days, I have dedicated my life entirely to strengthening the security of the country, in all my posts and positions… The government under my leadership will act to restore security to the state of Israel.”

• National unity: “I shall do everything in order to succeed in this mission you have consigned to me. This is the fate of all of us, and all of us have a shared future and single destiny… In the course of the years, the divisions and fissures in our people and in our society have proliferated, baseless hatred and fury has multiplied. The time has come to seek out as wide-based government as is possible. There is a deep-felt desire among the people to stand firmly together … on the difficult path toward security and peace.”

• The Palestinians: “I am aware that genuine peace requires painful compromises, on both sides… I will call on my Palestinian partners to cast off the path of violence and return to the path of dialogue… Any and every political arrangement will be based on the security of all the people of the region.”

• Jerusalem: “I will strive to strengthen and consolidate a united Jerusalem as the eternal capital of the Jewish people.”

• His deceased wife: “At this moment, when the Israeli people have expressed their confidence in me to head the country for the next several years, Lily is not with me, and I miss her here.”

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