US Ambassador: Israel stood by US in darkest hour

At ceremony, Dan Shapiro recounts the pain of 9/11, reiterates the US' unshakeable commitment to alliance with Israel.

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September 11, 2012 18:20
2 minute read.
US AMBASSADOR Dan Shapiro

Dan Shapiro 370. (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)

 
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US Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro said on Tuesday that his country would not permit Iran to acquire a nuclear weapon, and reiterated America’s “unshakable” alliance with the Jewish state and its “shared commitment” to countering mutual security threats.

He was speaking at a memorial ceremony marking the 11th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks – in which terrorists crashed planes into New York City’s Twin Towers and the Pentagon building in Washington, killing thousands of people – hosted by the US Embassy and Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael-Jewish National Fund at KKL-JNF’s Living Memorial monument, which commemorates 9/11, in the Arazim Park outside Jerusalem.

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“The US takes pride in its alliance with Israel,” Shapiro said, adding that the alliance “remains unshakable and includes a shared commitment to counter today’s threats.”

The ambassador went on to list some of those threats: “The threat of terrorist organizations which fire missiles at civilians, the threat of extremists who seek to wreck peace treaties and perpetuate conflict, and the threat of the terrorist- sponsoring regime in Iran acquiring a nuclear weapon.”

Regarding the last, Shapiro said: “An Iran armed with a nuclear weapon is an unacceptable threat and we will not permit it to be realized.”

Turning to the events of September 11, 2001, he said the attacks were felt by Americans as a permanent wound.

“The pain of knowing how our friends, neighbors and fellow citizens died and the pain of watching helplessly as the towers crumbled, the pain of watching families trying to carry on in the face of unimaginable heart break” will never disappear, he said.



The ambassador noted that the Living Memorial was the only monument to 9/11 outside the US to bear the names of all the victims, and also recalled the five Israelis killed in the attacks: Daniel Lewin, Leon Lebor, Hagai Shefi, Shai Levenhar and Alona Avraham.

Also present at the ceremony was Labor MK Isaac Herzog.

Drawing on the words of US president Franklin D. Roosevelt after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, he said 9/11 was “a day that should be remembered in infamy.”

Herzog talked of the “sense of utter shock at the brutal, violent, despicable act of war against the United States of America” and said it served as “a wake-up call to all those who ignore evil forces and tend to forget lessons of the past.”

He also referenced the Iranian nuclear program, saying the world was yet again “in confrontation against a major source of evil, against Iran, a nation which spreads terror all over the world and vows to destroy Israel and the values with which every American is brought up.”

The MK said that dealing with the problem requires intimate cooperation between the US and Israel, the removal of external distractions “and the understanding that we are dealing with a stubborn, manipulative and vicious enemy” that should not be allowed to acquire nuclear weapons “even if it takes the use of military force to reach this objective.”

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