"I have a dream about two peoples in whom one can see the cradle of three monotheistic religions. It can be seen not only in the ancient stones of the Wailing Wall, of the Church of the Resurrection, and of the Dome of the Rock, but in the people themselves — Jews, Christians, and Muslims. A bit of the divinity of their God is evidenced in their dealings with each other, in the way they use the freedom and power granted to them.

"I think of two peoples who keep the name of God holy and do not misuse it to further their own interests or suppress others. The fact that they obey God's law is made evident by how they obey and protect human rights. I have a dream of two peoples who daily carry out what is written in the Declarations of Independence of their respective states, two peoples who respect, honor, and protect the freedom of religion and opinion of all their citizens — Jews, Christians, Muslims, religious people as well as atheists, liberals as well as fundamentalists. The freedom to express themselves and to progress is given to all, though the freedom to interfere with the freedom of others is denied to all.

"I have a dream of two peoples who work closely together to ameliorate and heal the wounds of their members and citizens. The trauma of the Holocaust roused many fears in the Jews that need to be overcome. The wounds of the Palestinian refugees and exiles are still bleeding and cry out for healing. Both peoples need to be cured of fear, bitterness, mistrust, and pain. It will take the exertions of all of us to achieve the goal of having everyone thinking in terms of a common future and working for it — the young Palestinian demonstrators and the Israeli soldiers who shoot them, the Palestinian prisoners and their Israeli prison guards, the Palestinians and Israelis full of fear.

"Yet that must not be the end of my dream. On the contrary, I dream that — after a period of nationalism — we begin to think in international terms and that a commonwealth of all states is created in the Near East with Israel, Palestine, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, and the Gulf states as members. Each of these can have its own state, in which each people can exercise its sovereign rights. Yet all these states are nevertheless allied in a primarily economic bond. These states will shake the dust of the East-West conflict from their feet, develop common interests, and set out to improve the region so that justice and prosperity will be available to all. These states will have learned that the future of one cannot be attained at the cost of the others, and that security for one can never be achieved at the cost of others. They are states that are grateful for their God-given riches and use them accordingly, for the welfare of all their citizens.

"Now that the Cold War that had splintered the Middle East is ended and a peace agreement, however fragile, has been forged, even if there are not many results as yet, my dream is no longer a total illusion. If these efforts break down or if one side manipulates all the others, then the North-South conflict will come through the Middle East, causing constant instability and letting no one have peace.

"That is my dream. I ask, 'Is it too beautiful to be real? Is it too reasonable to become reality?'

"That is my dream. It is no longer an illusion if people find it believable. If people work to achieve it, the reality is no longer very far off. But if it is abandoned, then all of us — really all of us — will sink into a terrible nightmare."