The American Presidency Project
John T. Woolley & Gerhard Peters • Santa Barbara, California return to original document
• Gerald R. Ford
Toasts of the President and Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin of Israel.
June 11, 1975

Mr. Prime Minister:

I am very delighted to have you here and to welcome you back to Washington. You have been here a number of times, plus your long service as a member of the diplomatic corps, and we are delighted to have you here on this occasion. I think it also gives to all of us an opportunity to thank you for your very generous hospitality on behalf of many Members of the Congress and others, as well as many Americans, who have visited Israel. I thank you on their behalf.

I think your visit comes at a very important moment in the history of both of our countries. As Americans, we face our Nation's 200th anniversary, and in the process, of course, we are reviewing the past in search of some of the fundamental human values which characterize, as I see it, the very best in America.

The most basic of this, of course, is the desire for freedom and the desire for independence and the right of each individual to live in peace. Fortunately, Israel shares this view with us. It is this sharing which is the basis of our fundamental relationship--of the United States strong and continuing support of the State of Israel and Israel's understanding of the essential interests of the United States.

Mr. Prime Minister, when we met in Washington 9 months ago, at the very outset of my Administration, we jointly reaffirmed the need to continue our intensive efforts for peace. We then recognized the importance of maintaining the momentum of negotiations toward this end.

Having admired you as an Ambassador, we found it easy, I think, to establish a good working relationship. We agreed that it was in our mutual interest that these efforts succeed, and it would be a tragedy if they failed. I think we recognize that stagnation would be most unfortunate in our work for peace.

We met today to insure that this does not occur, to seek progress toward a truly just and durable peace, a settlement that is in the best interest of all of us, in the Middle East. I consider the meeting this morning very constructive and our conversations here tonight equally so. I think with perseverance we can be successful.

Gentlemen, let me ask that you join me in a toast to the success in these efforts to obtain a just and durable peace in the Middle East, to the close relationship between our two countries, and to an individual of dedication and courage in the service of his country, the Prime Minister of Israel.
Mr. Prime Minister.

Citation: Gerald R. Ford: "Toasts of the President and Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin of Israel.", June 11, 1975. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project. http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=4986.
 
© 1999-2011 - Gerhard Peters - The American Presidency Project