Abraham Accords Signing Ceremony Address
delivered 15 September 2020, South Lawn, White House, Washington, D.C.
[AUTHENTICITY CERTIFIED: Text version below transcribed directly from audio]
Our dear friend, President Trump, First Lady Melania Trump, thank you for hosting me, my wife Sarah, and our entire delegation on this historic day.
I want to recognize Vice President Pence, Secretary Pompeo, National Security Advisor O’Brien, and other Cabinet members; Jared Kushner, Avi Berkowitz, Ambassador Friedman, and other members of the President’s able peace team; senators, members of Congress; Israeli Ambassador Ron Dermer, his Emirate and Bahraini counterparts; as well as all the dignitaries gathered here on this sunny day.
I want to also express my gratitude for all the Israelis who have worked for years, sometimes in less sunny climes, to bring this date. And I thank each and every one of you. Thank you.
Ladies and gentlemen, Mr. President, this day is a pivot of history. It heralds a new dawn of peace. For thousands of years, the Jewish people have prayed for peace. For decades, the Jewish State has prayed for peace. And this is why, today, we’re filled with such profound gratitude.
I am grateful to you, President Trump, for your decisive leadership. You have unequivocally stood by Israel’s side. You have boldly confronted the tyrants of Tehran. You’ve proposed a realistic vision for peace between Israel and the Palestinians. And you have successfully brokered the historic peace that we are signing today -- a peace that has broad support in Israel, in America, in the Middle East, indeed, in the entire world!
I am grateful to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed, of the United Arab Emirates, and to you, Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed.1 I thank you both for your wise leadership and for working with the United States and Israel to expand the circle of peace. I am grateful -- I am grateful to King Hamad of Bahrain, and to you, Foreign Minister Abdullatif Al Zayani, for joining us -- joining us in bringing hope to all the children of Abraham!
To all of Israel’s friends in the Middle East, those who are with us today and those who will join us tomorrow, I say: As-salamu alaykum. Peace unto thee. Shalom!
And you have heard from the President that he is already lining up more and more countries. This is unimaginable a few years ago. But with resolve, determination, a fresh look at the way peace is done, this is being achieved. Thank you, Mr. President.
Ladies and gentlemen, the people of Israel well know the price of war. I know the price of war. I was wounded in battle. A fellow soldier, a very close friend of mine, died in my arms. My brother, Yoni, lost his life while leading his soldiers to rescue hostages held by terrorists at Entebbe.
My parents grief over the loss of Yoni was unrelieved until their dying day. And over the years, when I’ve come to console the families of Israel’s fallen soldiers and victims of terror, I have seen that same grief countless times. And this is why I am so deeply moved to be here today: for those who bear the wounds of war cherish the blessings of peace.
And the blessings of the peace we make today will be enormous. First, because this peace will eventually expand to include other Arab states. And, ultimately, it can end the Arab-Israeli conflict once and for all.
Second, because the great economic benefits of our partnership will be felt throughout our region, and they will reach every one of our citizens.
And third, because this is not only a peace between leaders, it’s a peace between peoples. Israelis, Emiratis, and Bahrainis are already embracing one another. We are eager to invest in a future of partnership, prosperity, and peace. We’ve already begun to cooperate on combating corona [virus], and I am sure that, together, we can find solutions to many of the problems that afflict our region and beyond.
So despite the many challenges and hardships that we all face, despite all that, let us pause for a moment to appreciate this remarkable day. Let us rise above any political divide. Let us put all cynicism aside. Let us feel, on this day, the pulse of history, for long after the pandemic is gone, the peace we make today will endure.
Ladies and gentlemen, I have devoted my life to securing Israel’s place among the nations to ensure the future of the one and only Jewish State. To accomplish that goal, I work to make Israel strong, very strong, for history has taught us that strength brings security, strength brings allies, and ultimately -- and this is something President Trump has said again and again-- ultimately, strength brings peace.
King David expressed this basic truth thousands of years ago in our eternal capital Jerusalem. His prayer, immortalized in the Book of Psalms in the Bible, echoes from our glorious past and guides us towards a brilliant future:
Adonai oz le’amo yiten; Adonai yevarekh et-amo va’shalom.2
May God give strength to His people[!] May God bless His people with peace[!]3
Mr. President, distinguished guests, this week is Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. And what a blessing we bring to this New Year -- a blessing of friendship, a blessing of hope, a blessing of peace.
1 Source audio clipped for approximately 7 seconds during extended applause. No verbal content delivered during this period as comparatively verified here.
2 Psalm 29:11.
3 New Revised Standard Edition version of the English
Original Text Source: WhiteHouse.gov
Original Audio Source: C-SPAN.org
Text Note: In an otherwise
outstanding text, several minor errors in
the White House transcription have been corrected in the version above,
including the addition of the word "in" in the line "a peace that has
broad support in Israel, in America, in the Middle East"
thereby sustaining the rhetorical figure
Page Created: 9/20/20
Page Created: 9/20/20
U.S. Copyright Status: Text = Uncertain. Audio = Property of AmericanRhetoric.com.