“The whole world has witnessed the tip of the iceberg of the problems we will have to overcome in implementing even the first phase. . . .
“There is opposition on both sides to what we are doing today. We are trying to create peaceful coexistence between two entities where there is no love lost between them, and I put it mildly. It’s a very daring project, and we are committed to make sure it works.”
-- Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin
“If this step needs great courage to complete it after long decades of war and violence, then the coming steps will need even greater courage and deep vision. Our peoples have struggled for a very, very long time to witness this day. . . . We must all realize that all those who are lovers of peace must consider the seriousness of this step to see that it is carefully executed and implemented.”
-- PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat
“Chairman Arafat, our partner in a very difficult journey: We did it!
Once we had a dream before we had a map. Now we have a map and a dream together.
For almost half a century, we experienced blood and hatred, terror and war. Today, we declare that the conflict is over. We don’t want to be the generals, the judges or the police of the Palestinian people. . . . Today, we welcome you, the Palestinian people, as neighbors.”
-- Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres
“This is a black day for the state of Israel, and one of the most difficult days in the history of Zionism. Rabin will be able to say, ‘In Cairo, I established the Palestinian state, the Palestinian terrorist state.’ ”
-- Likud opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu
“A historical move toward peace in the land of peace has started. Caravans are on the move. It is now time to plant roses in place of barbed wire and land mines.”
-- Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak
We’re here today because unspeakable acts of violence could not still the voices of peace, or weaken the resolve of the peacemakers.”
-- Secretary of State Warren Christopher
“The whole world got to watch what has often gone on in the negotiations themselves. It’s been the most incredible negotiation anyone has ever been involved in.”
-- An American official who has been a key player in the talks