U.S., Israel & 9/11

On the anniversary of 9/11 it’s worth remembering what the reaction was on the Arab and Palestinian street vs. the response from Israel.


Ten years ago, in the immediate aftermath of the worst terrorist attack on US soil, television news cameras showed the reaction of Palestinians as they danced in the streets.  They clapped, applauded, paraded and held up their fingers in the “v” for victory sign.


But the Arab reaction went beyond just jubilation.  It twisted the horrible attack into a mendacious lie by broadcasting on Arab media how the attacks were part of a Jewish conspiracy and a plot created by the United States.  Those and other crackpot notions are so expansively far fetched, it still strains the theory of The Big Lie propounded by Josef Goebbels and the Nazis.


Yet ten years later and as the theory goes, if you say it often enough people will believe it, the lie continues.   On Wednesday, Iranian media (PRESS TV which is government controlled) reported that New York’s World Trade Towers were, “never hit by a plane” and that fire could not have toppled them.


According the Anti-Defamation League, some 36,000 conspiracy videos have been found on the Internet of which 16,000 implicated Jews or Israelis for 9/11.


With such an onslaught of lies, magnified beyond anything Goebbels could have envisioned, due to the Internet, unimaginable numbers of people can be prone to adhere to the most abhorrent canards. 


For example in a 2008 poll of 17 representative nations by the Center for International Security Studies at the University of Maryland, it found that in Egypt, 43 percent of respondents blamed Israel for 9/11. In Jordan, 31 percent pointed the finger at The Jewish State.


Now as fate would have it, this September and ten years on, the Palestinian Authority has come to the same island, the same piece of land where the towers fell, this time to the UN and unilaterally asking for recognition as a state.


How far the circle around the isle of Manhattan has come.


While the Palestinians seek legitimization, their goal is to continuously delegitimize Israel by promoting an ongoing BDS campaign. Through boycott, divestment and sanctions, they position Israel as the villain, the occupier—they the innocent and oppressed.


No different than combating Holocaust denial, what’s needed today is a reminder of the facts.


What’s needed today is a reminder that ten years ago, the response from Israel was sympathy in the face of tragedy. 


Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon urged the world to fight terrorism and declared a national day of mourning in solidarity with the United States.


In the midst of our newfound reality and a common plight against a common enemy-terror, Israel was by our side.  The Jewish State knew all too well the feeling in the hearts of Americans.


Palestinians danced.  Israel mourned.


Ten years on, Israel not only has to combat lies, today it must fend off rocket attacks from Palestinians including Hamas in Gaza.  Today thousands of missiles are aimed at Israel from Hezbollah to its north on cities all over the country.


Yet today and as Caroline Glick has pointed out, the Obama Administration has created more distance with Israel than any other President in history.  Unlearning everything that 9/11 taught us and turning the last ten years on its head, his administration has had the audacity to accept Hamas as a legitimate actor in Palestinian politics.  When Hamas created a unity agreement with the Palestinian Authority, it should have been clear to the U.S. who its true friend is in the relationship and who was its enemy.  Yet even in the face of the alliance, the U.S. still provides financial assistance to the PA thereby supporting a terrorist organization - Hamas.


This week and as the film loops continuously showing the planes careening into the towers, I would also urge media to juxtapose those images with the 10-year-old celebrations on the Arab streets. And this month, as the Palestinian Authority goes before the UN, expose the lies that were said then and continue to be broadcast by  their state run media. 


Only by shining the light of truth on liars, can we truly know who are friends are and aren’t.


 Abe Novick is a writer and can be reached at [email protected]