Monday, September 11, 2006
9-11 all over
I didn't think I was going to write about 9-11, but then I read The Beak Speaks: There are no atheists in Foxholes and I felt the need.
It looked very different here in Israel, especially from my perspective. First of all, my aliyah pre-dated the Twin Towers, so they weren't part of the New York of my memories. Actually I was never there. Even as a New Yorker, all those decades ago, I almost never went further downtown than 14th Street. My Manhattan, New York went from 14th Street to 60th, or from the old OU-NCSY office on 5th Avenue and 14th Street until Bloomingdales, on Lexington and 60th. To the west I went as far as Penn Station, 7th Avenue and 33rd Street. My chief focus was 34-5th Streets, between Madison and Lexington, when I studied at Stern College for two years.
Even more important is the fact that I am a terror survivor. Five and a half years before 9-11, while standing at the French Hill bus stop, waiting for a ride or bus home, a terrorist, armed with a car rammed into us. He murdered one and injured quite a few. I was the least injured. He knocked me over and ran over my foot.
Thank G-d, I wore soft shoes, so no bones were broken, but the soft-tissue damage took over six months to heal. And of course, after an experience like that one is never the same. The neighbor who was standing next to me and witnessed it and heard my scream as I was knocked down is probably even more traumatized. Her parents refer to me as "the person who saved" their daughter, feeling that if I hadn't been there, he would have rammed into her doing even more damage.
The Arab terrorists attack civilians in Israel a lot more frequently than in the states. I expected the understanding that we have the same enemies, but I never heard that, especially soon after 9-11. Americans acted like the only truly dangerous terrorists were the ones who attacked them. They, the United States, are empowered to do everything to destroy their terrorists, but Israel has to tolerate "our" terrorism.
I find this sentiment and philosophy unforgivable and dangerous. Arab Moslem terrorism is the same, with the same mother and father, whether it happens in the Pentagon or the Dolphinarium, whether the victims are Jews, Christian, Hindus, Buddhists, Moslems or atheists.
Terrorism will never be destroyed until it is understood that they are all connected. The so-called Palestinians endanger world peace, and the world encourages them.
Per capita Israel has lost more innocent civilians that the United States, and don't forget that some of the Israeli terror victims also held American citizenship.
We must unite to destroy Arab Moslem terrorism, if not, nothing was learned from the tragedy, and that's the greatest tragedy of all.