Guliani's lesson

Seventeen years after the worst terrorist atrocity in history, Giuliani’s message of solidarity with Israel is worth recording.

Rudy Guliani talks to OneFamily (photo credit: MEIR PAVLOVSKY)
Rudy Guliani talks to OneFamily
(photo credit: MEIR PAVLOVSKY)
Rudy Giuliani, the legendary mayor of New York at the time of Al-Qaeda’s 9/11 assault on the US that claimed almost 3,000 lives, visited Israel in June and addressed a gathering at the OneFamily Center in Jerusalem. Seventeen years after the worst terrorist atrocity in history, Giuliani’s message of solidarity with Israel is worth recording.
“I remember on the day of September 11, standing and watching the two towers burning,” he said. “I realized we would have an enormous number of people who died, and a large number of firefighters would not get out of the buildings in time. The only thing I could think of was what can I do for them? First you want to save as many people as possible. Then I vowed that we would start a fund to take care of their families.”
OneFamily – a Jerusalem-based philanthropic organization established in 2001 to support victims of terror and their families – provides that vital service for the citizens of Israel, Giuliani said. “Your country is under constant possibility of attack,” he said. “Thank goodness, it doesn’t happen as much now as in the past, but it is still an everyday reality, and the people who protect you have to know that if something happens to them, they’re not going to be abandoned. OneFamily has from the very beginning stepped in and fulfilled that role, a role that the government cannot fulfill.”
Giuliani, who is 74, said he had learned from Israel’s example in combating terror. “I don’t think I would understand terrorism as much as I do if I wouldn’t have come here after a bus bombing in Jerusalem in 1996,” he said. “I called Mayor Olmert from City Hall in New York, and I said, ‘What can I do to help you?’ And he said, ‘You can come here!’ I thought he wanted medical supplies and the like, but he said, ‘I want to you to come here so that you can show terrorists that they can’t stop us. They’re not going to stop us from riding our buses, going to work, enjoying our entertainment, arts and culture, and being a civilized country in the middle of an uncivilized portion of the world.’”
Giuliani continued, “When I came here after that bombing, and then again after the Sbarro pizza house bombing in 2001, I remember going to Hadassah Hospital, and we visited this young girl, aged 16, whose face had been scarred by shrapnel from the bombing. And she said, ‘Will I ever be beautiful?’ And I said, ‘I don’t know much about medicine, but you’re beautiful now, and you’ll be beautiful because surgeons can do wonderful things,’ and now she is. But she was the lucky one, in a way, because [15] other people died.”
He paused, then added that a month later, “I saw almost 3,000 killed, melting in front of me, because of 19 insane Muslim extremist terrorists.” Terrorism will end, Giuliani concluded, only when our enemies “stop teaching their children to kill us.”
Terror struck painfully on September 16, when Ari Fuld, 45, an American Israeli self-defense instructor who was an eloquent defender of Israel, was fatally stabbed in Gush Etzion. Despite his wounds, Fuld jumped over a wall and shot the 16-year-old terrorist, preventing him from harming anyone else. “Ari” means lion in Hebrew, and he was eulogized as a “Lion of Zion.”
“You were always running toward danger instead of away from it,” said his wife, Miriam. “You never backed down from a fight because you knew you were in the right and you fought for what you believed in.”