"Run Beilin"

Good evening and thank you for coming.

 

You called on me to run, and this evening I will call on you to venture out with me on a new mission towards the establishment of a new movement, a movement whose main role will be to make a supreme effort to unite the peace camp in Israel and to ensure that this country will be a democratic Jewish country based on peace and social justice.

 

Another two days will mark the 35th anniversary of the Six Day War. In looking back, I remember myself as a 19-year-old soldier, who within less than a week became a truly happy man. I conquered for my parents the Sinai and the Golan Heights. I saw Jerusalem being united in my lifetime, so soon after finishing high school. And in fact it seemed to me that this was it, that all my dreams had come true. My biggest dream then was to start the war after days of waiting in which we placed camouflage netting over the vehicles, and removed it, and placed it and removed it, and soldiers in this situation want only one thing: action. And action there was. But very quickly we became prisoners of this resounding victory. The blessing of victory became the biggest curse in the history of our small country. It is easy to say this today. Each one of us, if old enough, obviously calculates where he was in 67-73. And there are those who knew and there are those who woke up early, but not the majority of us. And we in fact, instead of doing what was obvious in retrospect, to finish the campaign and go home, like after the Kinneret campaign, like after Kalkilya, like after Gaza police. They finish the operation, and go home. We simply remained there and we didn't have the faintest notion what to do with the fruits of victory. We placed our fate in the hands of our neighbors.

 

It seemed to us that it was so smart to wait for a phone call as Dayan promised us, so we all waited together with him. And when he told us that Sharm el Sheikh without peace was preferable to peace without Sharm el Sheikh, we didn't find it funny and it didn't seem so absurd. We listened to this familiar voice, to the person we so loved to love and said "He is right again". You look at yourself today, and ask 'Was I there?' 'Did I live there?' 'Did I not jump up when they said these things?' No, I did not jump up. And I also did not jump up when Golda rejected the offer to hold Camp David two years before the Yom Kippur War. I did not jump up. Only later did the penny drop. And then it was a disaster. The disaster that hit my class, the disaster that claimed 2800 of our soldiers and so many wounded in the Yom Kippur War. Which was not only an intelligence defense fiasco, but before anything, terrible political blindness.

 

Let's think today what has happened since then: When I was recruited into the IDF the army service was for two years and two months and "after all the problems were solved" it became three years. Because we had to guard this treasure that we had received, the territories. More soldiers and more years, watching over the same treasure. Within increased defense budgets, with the deteriorating international standing of Israel, who since then has been dealing with "hasbara". And to whom can we explain exactly what we have been doing over all the years? And we are more dependent politically, economically and defense-wise on America, and countries which were way behind us by thousands of dollars in national product per capita, have overtaken us and today are ahead of us, one and half and even twofold, like Japan which then was far behind us. Only because we became a single-issue country. The future of the territories, and we were easily caught up in this cause. Sometimes it seems to me that if someone comes to Israel every ten years, and turns on the TV and randomly watches the talk shows, he must surely comment: 'Hold on, something is wrong here, this is the same discussion, these are almost the same people with the same positions and nothing has moved'. As though frozen. There was a moment of light in the peace treaty with Egypt signed by Begin and Sadat, but this light was quickly extinguished by the unnecessary Lebanon War, lead by Sharon. Since then again the assertions of the Right have increased, assertions which are sometimes so stupid, excuse me, so primitive, excuse me, that the other side understands only force, for example... what profound philosophy. Wasted years went by until the nineties, when a change began. Because of us, because of the world, also because of the collapse of Russia. The Madrid Conference, the late Itzhak Rabin's policy, the Oslo process, peace with Jordan, and suddenly the feeling that perhaps the nightmare was drawing to an end. That perhaps now we were refusing to bear the burden of the long years of this victory-turned-curse. And something else. The world smiles, we gain entry into clubs where previously the bouncers had stood at the doors and said "No" to Israel. Into organizations within the UN, the agreement with Europe, the cancellation of the Arab boycott! And we got so far. To north Africa, to the Gulf states, to meetings with the Saudis. We have new friends, as though they had allowed us to touch something else, to savor the taste of a normal country, which has familiar neighbors. For the first time. No longer living on a deserted island. And instantly, investments and tourists and unprecedented economic growth. We touched this bliss. And Rabin’s assassination changed things, changed a lot. But even after it they said, this is a process from which there is no way back. We are walking towards peace. There will be breakdowns, problems, violence, terror, but the road is clear and unequivocal.

 

The march backwards began during Netanyahu's time while the big hope was revived during Barak's reign, and with progress with the Syrians and Palestinians. Until September 2000. Personal security, high hopes, unprecedented economic growth and something else very gratifying - finally, finally we left Lebanon, in the face of all those big experts who "knew" exactly what would happen, that the Hezbollah would march on Jerusalem, and thank God, the mothers and the fathers that we left that terrible quagmire.

 

But, instead of achieving rest and legacy, and we were almost there, we got the intifada, and the Israeli response and the same cycle of violence that at a certain point had stopped and at a certain point continued. And it returned with all the assertions and with all the manifestations and with all the characteristics of a cycle of violence. Be it between Pakistan and India, be it between Turkey and Greece in Cyprus, it is not important. It is always the same. "The other side only understands force. Soon we will finish the business, and he will understand very well that with force nothing can be achieved". The contact with the Arab world crashed, tourism collapsed, and the economy unfortunately is marching towards disaster. Immigration has decreased while emigration has increased and we have begun repeating jokes like "Who will turn off the lights at the airport?"

 

The Right will always accuse the Oslo process for causing war. Their logic is definitely working overtime. The Right always believes that you can put out the fire with a little oil. When there is terror they say it is because of Oslo. When the terror stops - they say that it is because of our iron fist. But this time the Right has help from the most surprising allies. Ehud Barak himself and some of the Labor party heads. And I would like to tell you, that I truly truly enjoy very cordial relations with this brave and smart and talented person. But Ehud Barak has managed to sway public opinion in Israel, and not only in Israel, with the biggest con in history in recent years: "We have left no stone unturned in an attempt to achieve peace and the Palestinians responded with the intifada". Lie!The fact that Ehud Barak, despite his sincerest intentions to achieve peace, did not know how to do it, and did not know how to negotiate and did not know how to relate to the other side, also in the face of the historical enemy, says only that he failed, and not that it is impossible to make peace.

 

I want to share with you my feelings. I cannot prove it, but I am convinced that had we offered the Palestinians at Camp David in July 2000 what we were willing to offer them in the midst of the intifada, in Taba 2001, there would already have been a peace agreement, many months ago, and there wouldn't have been the intifada and the situation would have been completely different between us. Because at Camp David, we did not turn over every stone. That was a deceiving lie. And there is something else that we have forgotten in our recent history-geography. Let us not forget and let it not be forgotten that those same Palestinian entities who wanted to begin the intifada, and there were those, got a gift they had never dreamed of in the form of the provocative visit by Arik Sharon the day before, to the Temple Mount. In our attempt to protect ourselves and our mistakes, our errors, it is apparently easier for the Right and for some of the Left to forget that suddenly one morning the leader woke up and besieged by a fervent yearning for the Temple Mount, went there. And since then he was the last Jew to set foot on the Temple Mount. So successful was his visit.

 

Barak speaks about the fact that there will be no peace until 2028, and I quote. Give a year, 2027, why are you so miserly? How do you know so much? You have already shown that you don't know everything. At least Sharon speaks in round numbers. He says one hundred years of living by the sword. And he says of course, that for him, Nezzarim is like Tel Aviv. And I say to both these people, these two army veterans, who were glorified commanders. Where are you living? What are you talking about? In another eight years, according to modest estimates, the Palestinians will be the majority in the territories controlled by Israel today, directly or indirectly. What exactly will you do then? Do you have any kind of plan? Will a small Jewish minority control a Palestinian majority here, and that's it? Will this be a Jewish country? Will this be a democratic country? Will this be a country with human rights? Will this be a country that the world accepts, after having done what it has to others that appear like this? Do you have a solution to this? A change in the situation is just around your closest corner. And in my opinion, if you don't take into consideration the proposal of transfer, heaven forbid, which should really be out of bounds, there are only two options: either we reach peace with the Palestinians based on the 67 borders with an exchange of territories, security and demilitarized zones, or we really retreat to the 67 borders.

 

I believe that an agreement based on the Saudi plan or on the Clinton plan is the preferable solution. I think that unilateral withdrawal is an alternative, an option. It cannot and dare not be an ideology. If it is impossible to reach an agreement, we will do this. And therefore my proposal to the peace camp is as follows: to announce openly: In our next term of office there will be a border between us and the Palestinians. This is our responsibility. In the first year we will make a supreme effort to reach an agreement. We all know how it will be. The Palestinians too understand that the refugees can return to a Palestinian state, to their national home. They cannot return to Israel. If this will be implausible, we will find another way to determine the border, whether with the help of international entities or unilaterally. We will not leave the system without a solution. We will not finish our term and say: in the next term there will be a solution. In one term, in my opinion, we can reach an agreement with the Palestinians. Certainly a border with them. We can also reach an agreement with Syria which was unfortunately missed in recent years, that will stand on the basis of 67 borders, demilitarization of the Golan Heights, and a special force in the north east region of the Kinneret which was the area in dispute in the Fredstown talks.

 

I am convinced that these steps are easier than they appear. I think that there is someone who is constantly giving reasons and excuses why not to reach agreements. The peak was when Sharon stood in the Knesset and spoke about social reform as a condition for negotiations with the Palestinians. Because he is not a stupid man I hope that at least at night, when he was alone, he had a good laugh.

 

If we really want to achieve peace, we know how to do it. It is not so difficult. Last week, we - Avraham Burg, Amnon Lipkin-Shahak, David Grossman and Naomi Chazan met with the heads of the warring groups in Ireland. And they described to us how they speak to one another, and how they make peace with one another. And they poke one another in the ribs, remembering some operation or another that one launched against the other. And in the end they tell us how they achieved conflict "management" between them, as a solution they have not yet found. I told them: 'We have a huge advantage over you. We know what the solution is'. There are some 70 international conflicts. There is only one with a clear solution. And this is our conflict. How lucky we are. And how miserable we are. Because if you ask me honestly why we have reached these days of darkness, of despondency, of a feeling of the impossible, it is not because we were so far away. But because we were so close and we had touched the truth. At the crucial moment we burnt our fingers. When we knew that we had to go back to our communities and say, there is no right of return, there is no united Jerusalem, there is no this or that we said: perhaps it is better to return as heroes. To say, we did not give in, we did not betray, we held our ground. To receive applause from the home audience.

 

The peace process can in my opinion lead to a professional army in Israel. We have a good army. But a professional army would be even better. A general recruitment of everyone for a few months in order to train civilians, and then whoever wants would stay in the army as part of the new professional framework.

 

The Arabs of Israel. For 54 years with short intervals, we specialized in depriving Israeli Arabs. Most of the time wittingly, with certain subtlety. And some of the time - just so. We deprive them of infrastructure, education, local government, sport, health and welfare. We treat them like a potential threat and we don't accept their existence as equal citizens, and do not give them legitimacy as citizens of our country. Not in finding work, not in being accepted to live where we live, not in being accepted into the neighborhood and of course not at the airport. There is a group of Arab and Jewish planners, who are currently in the process of preparing a multi-year plan for the full, orderly, professional equalization between Jews and Arabs in Israel. Not patchwork. Not some electrical wire for the Bedouin or some water pipe to win votes prior to the elections, not preventing a demolition order of a wealthy family, but an orderly, inclusive, full solution that will cost billions of shekels over several years. But its implementation must be instantaneous, in the first term of the peace camp in Israel. Today there is a trend of isolation in the Arab streets, of not participating in general elections, of establishing separate institutions. Our role as the joint camp of peace and social justice is to do everything so that this trend will dissipate, to be replaced by a trend of integration. Because this is the true chance to realize and exploit the opportunities that exist in Israeli society to promote the Arab citizens.

 

I think that this is the most vociferous argument today on the Arab street. The Jews in Israel have something to say in this matter. Because we are one society and because they are our brothers.

 

In the economic and social sphere we can no longer continue with the policy that has lead us to demise. This is where a true revolution is needed. Here we need an about turn of 180 degrees. For many years we were a successful welfare country. We created the national insurance, we created monthly allocations that reduced the social gap. We were one of the most egalitarian countries. At a certain stage, in the late seventies and eighties, we were so pleased with ourselves as we drowning in a sea of allocations. For us a welfare country is allocations. We spend billions of dollars on allocations today, making it the largest budget item, before defense, before education, before anything else. And what really happened? From a certain stage the allocations no longer help. They do not manage to close the gap significantly. And we ask: Why? The reason is the poverty trap. Whoever qualifies for income completion after having received his unemployment payment, falls into a cycle in which he can obtain a reduction or cancellation of municipal taxes, a reduction in the TV fee, and I believe that he will not be willing to take that step up, to make the switch from a situation in which he does not work to a situation in which he accepts work.

 

And the second, no less grave reason is the issue of the orthodox. In Israel today there is a group of some 5% at modest estimates, that live off the welfare country. Not because at some point in their lives they encountered a crisis and therefore need the safety net, but because this safety net is their way of life. And this combination of child allocations and income completion payments to Yeshiva students, who did not lose their ability to work but live this way, is fatal and this can and should be changed. This is not difficult. Look what we are doing with the child allocations. What a formula we have devised. The first and second child get the same amount. With the third – it increases, and with the fourth - fourfold. This formula is very simple. You are in fact saying to poor people for whom this allocation is meaningful: Please have another child and see what you will get. And in so doing you turn them quite patently into even poorer people. What has happened since this allocation was introduced in the 70s, is that in certain population groups, mainly among the orthodox, the number of children per family has doubled. And don't tell me that the money is not relevant and that it is all from God. God is important, but money is also important. What we need to do in this regard is to spread out the allocations. In other words, each child gets the same amount. There is no reason that the seventh child should receive more than the first. The cost of raising the first child is higher than the cost of raising the others. Because the sweater, the coat are handed down, there is already a crib in the house, there is already a rocker, there are toys.

 

If we spread out the allocations and tax them, then people like me will receive marginal tax from the allocation - let's say 50% and people who pay only 20% tax will receive 80% of the allocation and whoever does not pay tax at all, and this is almost half the population, will receive the full allocation. We will enact social justice, we will save vast sums of money for the country and most important, we will shift the emphasis, and herein lies the revolution, from the allocations to services, mainly to education and health.

 

This can be done if there is general reporting to income tax and if we tax all the income sources, including of course, capital gains. I think I will not surprise you by saying to you that the solution to equality rests in education, not in other things. The allocations are a safety net, help for the weak. Education is the opportunity to be equal. Jews and Arabs, Arabs and Arabs, Jews and Jews, the world over. And here I propose something which has been mooted for a long time and in which I firmly believe. It was Dr. Shimon Shoshani who spearheaded the concept in Israel, who tried to introduce this in Tel Aviv and then on the national level: to start first grade at 4 years of age, to introduce a long school day in all the schools in Israel, not only in the poor neighborhoods, and to promise lunch in the middle so that the children finish their day without feeling hunger. This will serve to reduce the gaps. The mother who wants to work will finally have the opportunity to go out and work, in what she wants, and will not have to be home by 12 because the children are back from school.

 

 A few words about the dispersion of the population. Here too in my opinion, we need a revolution. We all pay lip service to dispersion of the population and most of us prefer to ignore reality.When Ben Gurion went to the Negev, when he returned to Sde Boker he called on the nation to follow him, but it was only his security staff that followed him. This tendency over 54 years of calling on the nation to go to the Negev, I would say succeeded only partially. But there is something even more serious. Those same people that the establishment, out of good will, out of a somewhat naïve, somewhat foolish comparison between what happened in the days of the pioneers on the kibbutzim and what happened with the mass immigration, those people who the establishment sent to distant development towns, had their fate in fact sealed, except for a few who managed to escape. Their fate was sealed in terms of education and their fate was sealed in terms of occupation, because naturally in these places there was no choice. But we continued speaking about dispersion of the population and about dispersion of the population and about dispersion of the population. Let us make these places pleasant to live in, to learn in. But don't bring the metal, textile and food factories. Build roads and trains and give the people the choice to travel from their place of residence to Beer Sheva and to Tel Aviv, to Jerusalem and to Haifa. To places where it is also possible to attain higher learning and also to choose culture and to find suitable employment, and then the development towns will no longer be places of raging unemployment and despondency, where the residents are the first to pay the price. Because the centers of employment will be easily accessible.

 

And another myth regarding this. We always claim that everything happens between Gedera-Hadera. As though this is terrible. And you must always apologize if you find yourself somehow between Gedera and Hadera. But here too I have a secret for you - this is where most of us live. And there is no reason not to do the opposite. To build the Israeli Manhattan between Gedera and Hadera. With serious, substantial infrastructure in all spheres. And with green lungs. And to convert Israel into something more attractive, also for people who are considering coming from abroad. For so long we have lived a lie. After all, anyone who wants to ensure quality of life for himself can live in the Galilee, in the Negev, in other places while working in the center of the country. This shame of Gedera and Hadera in this soon-to-be-tiny country in which we will live, is ridiculous and unnecessary. And I think that instead of continuing to lie to ourselves out of good will, for once and for all let us look at reality and ask if the time for change hasn't come.

 

In the religious domain we can make the change ourselves. We don't need anyone else. We do not need to live another generation in a situation in which the religious marriage laws are part of the law in Israel. And I propose we adopt a law, which I tabled two years ago in the Ministry of Justice, the Law of Partners, according to which it will be possible to register a couple who does not want to or cannot be married according to Jewish law. Again - look at the lie. According to the records the number of rabbinical marriages today is similar to the number of couples married in the seventies, even though the population has more than doubled. Many get married in Cyprus and others prefer to live together without a hupa and its blessings.

 

The rabbis prefer this lie, according to which in Israel there are only religious marriages, where in reality only a minority of the couples marry this way. And someone should stand up and say: Let us be registered in our country as a married couple, without having to go via Cyprus. This is not a reckless demand. No one remembered that I was the Minister of Religious Affairs. I was really insulted. But I did not manage to dismantle the ministry. This is possible. We have already written the dismantling manual. There are no departments in this ministry for which preparations have not been made for transfer to the Ministry of the Interior, the Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of Education. Believe me, for the good of all religions, without going into detail, it is better this way. The Ministry of Religious Affairs is a ministry which has no justification, and I say this cautiously, not only for reasons of correct administration.

 

I think that the time has come to define differently the question of who is a Jew. We cannot allow the rabbis to decide for us, for the secular majority, who is a Jew. First of all - if one of the parents is Jewish, and the person sees himself as a Jew and does not belong to another religion, he should be accepted as Jewish. There is no justification for the fact that only someone with a Jewish mother is considered a Jew, when talking about a nationalist and not a religious definition. Secondly - regarding conversion. There is no logic in the fact that a non-Jewish secular person who wants to be a Jewish secular person, has to go through a rabbi, and to promise him of course to observe the mitzvoth seeing that this is part of converting. I think that we, as a non-religious majority, should be allowed to determine who enters our gates. We will set tests in Hebrew, history, literature and poetry. Our secular tests can be further reaching that the religious conversion. But there is no reason, none whatsoever, to give the monopoly to the rabbis in this sphere. This is one of the reasons that many people who came from Russia, hundreds of thousands, remained non-Jewish, because they do not want to lie to themselves and do not want to go through the rabbis. And this holds true for all the Jews in the world. Too soon we make peace with the fact that world Jewry is disappearing, particularly in the US. It is not disappearing. It is not becoming Christian. And it is possible, definitely possible to define a large part of them as Jews, if we did not give the rabbis the right to decide for us who our brothers are.

 

And of course the easiest thing, the simplest thing, without the Tal Commission, without civil war is to disconnect military service from studying in the yeshiva. The minute we allow those studying in yeshiva not to serve in the army, even if they don't study in the yeshiva, they won't be there. Never in our history was every orthodox person a yeshiva student. This is the first time. Somehow there is no orthodox person that you know who is not a yeshiva student. How did this happen? Only because their breadwinners are not the family but the country. If we were to say: Dear friends, you can sign that you do not want to serve for religious or conscience reasons - they would enter the job market. The fact that the orthodox are not in the job market costs us tens of billions of dollars every year. I am not talking about their cost, I am not talking about the allocations, only about the fact that there is this workforce - young, healthy, functioning people, who do not work. I estimate that 15%, 20% would remain in the yeshivot. 80% would go to work, and not in the black market. We are really, I don't want to say stupid, I need some more Yossi Beilinism word - we are naïve. Naïve is always good. We say to them: Look if you don't want to go to the army - then you must all study in the yeshiva, we will hold a roll call and whoever is missing from the yeshiva will be punished and recruited. If they are in the yeshiva, the yeshiva will get help from the Ministry of Religious Affairs, and each yeshiva student will receive income completion, and this is simply a dream. There are those who want civil war and this is okay, but I don't want it. We can reach a decision where simply we make a far reaching change and change life. Simply we will decide that whoever refuses to serve for conscience or religious reasons - will not serve. If the army is a professional army, this of course will make it much easier.

 

We don't have time for another term of blindness. I hear many of my colleagues saying listen Yossi, between us, the next elections will be Sharon and Bibi, right? You don't have a chance. And I say - we don't have time for this. We must do everything as the peace camp so that in the next election the choice will be between us and the Right, and not between Sharon and Netanyahu.We need a large and united camp of peace and social justice, that will defeat the Right in the next election and this camp exists. Why am I so optimistic? Because I know them. I know them. They are the people who were very enthusiastic in 99, who stood at the intersections, who stuck stickers, who were with us. Who in 2001 had a trip abroad, but remained at home, despondent. Who in 2002 do not know. In polls they are okay. They are in favor of a Palestinian state. Two states. Two nations. 67. And you see this dissonance, this terrible disparity between the positions of people who stay home. They pick up the phone - they are the peace camp. A slightly tougher demonstration. Thank heavens, two weeks ago they came. One hundred thousand people in Rabin Square. And this tells me that they are waiting for us. They are waiting for something. They are waiting for the camp. They are waiting for a call. They are mainly waiting for the hope in the midst of the terrible, artificial and unnecessary despair. And we will call them. And we will tell them, you are right after all. What do you think - that Landau is right? That Efi Eitam is right? It is you who are right. Ultimately we will reach the same position of strength. But we need you for this. Because without your help we will not be able to achieve even the most normal, simple, elementary thing. To return to the peace process and to finally close the circle that we began a few years ago and to live like any other country, not more.

 

The camp must naturally be headed by Meretz, lead by Yossi Sarid. The party headed by Roman Bronfman. Our good friends like Salaam Gubran and colleagues, and Ramze Halavi. Peace movements under Zalai Reshef and colleagues. And all those here today. All the people who came here. All the people who bothered to come. As to the head? Who should stand at the head? The Labor party naturally, the largest party in the left camp. But this will not happen. The Labor party under its current leader cannot stand at the head of a peace camp because its leader has marred the Labor movement, its history, its values with an indelible mark. Being part of the Sharon government is destroying the Rabin heritage layer by layer, day after day. Whoever is part of the Sharon government cannot lead the peace camp. And like Sharon, the Labor ministers are responsible for hurting the peace process, they are responsible for unemployment and for distress and for the economic disaster. They are responsible for the despondency and frustration, for emigration from Israel and for the brain drain. They are responsible for constantly harming Israeli democracy. They are responsible for resuscitating the discrimination between Jews and Arabs through the child support payments which we cancelled. Apparently they don't look in the mirror. But perhaps more than anything else, I accuse them for being responsible for the absence of a serious alternative to the Right government. Do you really believe that Sharon is an invincible leader? With 60%, 70% 80% support? This is utter nonsense. Sharon has all this support simply because behind his apron stand Ben Eliezer and Peres and Matan Vilnai and Sneh and Dalia Rabin and Dalia Itzik. And they are all there and people look around and say: If they see Sharon as their leader, who are we to see him differently? This is the reason that he is supposedly so popular. I advise him not to be mistaken. But first I advise you to believe with me that the possibility to defeat people like Sharon and Netanyahu is not difficult. It is not impossible.

 

This will be the first time in 30 years that I am not participating in the Labor party convention. I have decided not to be part of this farce. When a party that is part of the Sharon government and does what it does in the defense and social fields, goes to a convention, the resolutions are not to be trusted, even if they adopt the Clinton plan and the Saudi initiative together. I heard Ben Eliezer at the last center meeting of the Labor party, he surpassed us all. But this isn't serious. When they go back to the government session on Sunday and vote for all these things, and are responsible for this terrible policy, it is impossible to take this seriously and I am not willing to be part of this theater of the absurd.

 

Therefore I turn to you and ask you to join me in a campaign to establish a new party. Shahar (dawn) is its name, and it will deal with peace, education and welfare. Its goal will be to establish the broadest welfare front possible against the Right. If the Labor party has a peace leadership, it can be part of this front, and if not, only some of the Labor party members, with my consent, will establish this new movement.

 

The media loves to call me 'a lone dove', or 'the last optimist'. I know that sometimes I am invited to TV talk shows because they are short of an optimist. But I must say that seeing you today before me I know that with so many 'lone doves', with so many 'last optimists', we can indeed change our world.

 

 

 

 

Tel Aviv - June 3, 2002