Friday, August 12, 2005

On the eve of the 9th of Av...

In an address to the nation Wednesday night, President Moshe Katzav asked Jewish residents of Gush Katif and Samaria to forgive the state for demanding their expulsion.

What follows are excerpts from the president's message to the nation, broadcast nationally.

"Dear citizens, my brothers the residents of Judea, Samaria and Gaza: We are standing before the most difficult decisions since the declaration of independence. In a few days, you will be asked, according to a decision of the government and of the Knesset, to evacuate the Gaza region and northern Samaria. We are reaching the moment of difficulty and the pain of abandonment is too heavy to bear," President Katzav said.


"In the name of the State of Israel, I ask of you, the residents, forgiveness for the demand to leave after tens of years of building and sacrifice. Your love for the people and the land is reminiscent of the pioneering forefathers, the spirit beating within you is the spirit of the forefathers of Zionism.


"After a year of difficult struggles and penetrating discussions, the hour has come. You are obligated to respect the decisions of the institutions of the state: the Knesset and the government. It is a decision that has been examined even in the High Court of Justice, and once it has been decided, 'the law of the land is the law.' The Knesset is the symbol of sovereignty and it expresses the will of the people. 'The voice of the masses is like the voice of the Mighty One,' the voice of the Knesset is like the voice of the masses."


"The eyes of Israel and of the entire world are turned to witness the struggle, and the ability of the state to make decisions. The Disengagement Plan does not put an end to your Zionist project. And we must not speak in terms of destruction and finality. You have said: 'Love will win out.' And you are correct; despite the cracks in the dream, love must win out. ...Opposition to the Disengagement must not harm the security of the state, the values of democracy and the most holy values of Judaism, such as the brotherhood of Israel. Whatever it might be, the dispute does not justify a rift among the people."


'The first flowering of our redemption' is not dependent on the Disengagement Plan.

"Dear residents, the pioneering spirit that characterizes you is essential to the nation and the state for the rest of the way. There will certainly remain scars and anger; nevertheless, we must reconnect again. You must maintain your spirits for the main struggles ahead for us. The supporters of Disengagement also understand that the main struggle is over the eastern border, which affects every home in Israel.

"Our struggle for existence continues."


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