To honor the memory of the nearly 3,000 people killed in the September 11, 2001,
terrorist attacks, including five Israelis, the Keren Kayemet LeIsrael-Jewish
National Fund held its 12th annual memorial ceremony with the US Embassy
The memorial, held at the 9/11 Living Memorial in
the Arazim Valley in Jerusalem, was attended by US Ambassador Daniel B. Shapiro,
KKL-JNF World Chairman Efi Stenzler, Intelligence Minister Yuval Steinitz, as
well numerous other dignitaries and mourners.
“September 11, 2001, was a
normal day, like this one, with a clear blue sky,” said Shapiro.
quickly became an infamous day when the sky became filled with ash and smoke –
seeing the world we thought we knew crumbling before us.”
Israel’s and the US’s shared experience of terrorism part of the “unbreakable
link connecting our countries,” Shapiro remarked about the significance that the
memorial coincides with Judaism’s most sacred time of year, which he said is
defined by “remembering.”
“It’s a time to remember our personal history
and behavior over the past year,” he said.
“Why do we remember? Because
remembering events is one of the important ways we mourn.”
continued, “History is an exercise in remembering, not forgetting.”
terms of the US commitment to end the Syrian civil war and respond to its
government’s use of chemical weapons, Shapiro said America’s resolve should not
“Today the focus is on Syria, whose government used
chemical weapons to kill 1,400 people, including 400 children,” he said. “Our
resolve should not be in doubt: that the people of Syria can live without the
shadow of terror.”
Stenzler denounced al-Qaida as an “evil enemy” that
must be powerfully opposed.
“Once again we stand at the foot of this
monument and come back to the death on September 11, 2001, that has become a
symbol of evil and terror,” he said. “On September 12 a sharp and clear truth
arose: There is no place in our world for such an evil enemy.”
emphasized the dually pernicious nature of the terror organization, which he
said is defined by weapons and murder, as well as intolerance and mind
“This enemy doesn’t allow independent thought and kills anything
that is not like itself,” he said. “Therefore, this monument is not just a
memorial site, it is also an expression of hope.”
Steinitz praised the
United States as the strongest defender of human rights over the past 100 years,
adding that the alliance between the world’s leading superpower and Israel has
never been stronger.
“I can tell you as the Minister of Intelligence that
cooperation between the two countries in terms of security and intelligence is
better than ever,” he said.
Stating that it is “crystal clear” that
incitement of hatred is the core element that propagates terrorism, Steinitz
said the mission of peaceful nations must be to “eradicate
With respect to the Syrian conflict, Steinitz said Israel
“doesn’t want any part of the carnage around us,” nor will it interfere, unless
Israeli citizens are attacked.
“We have to do two things simultaneously
to succeed in this present environment,” he said. “Fight terrorists and
incitement, and prevent rogue nations from obtaining chemical or nuclear
Steinitz concluded, “I’m confident that we have learned the
lesson of 9/11, and many other terrorist attacks.”
The 9/11 Living
Memorial is the largest memorial site commemorating the 9/11 terror victims
outside of the United States.
It was erected in 2009 by KKL-JNF, in
partnership with JNF USA, with the support of the generous contributions from
the Bronka Stavsky Rabin Weintraub Foundation and the Edward Blank family of New