(Communicated by the Prime Minister’s Media Adviser)
Prime Minister Ariel Sharon today (Tuesday), December 11, 2001, participated in a solidarity rally, together with US Ambassador to Israel Daniel Kurtzer, and US Special Envoy General Anthony Zinni, commemorating the 3 month anniversary of the September 11th terrorist attack on the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon in Washington DC. The following is the transcript of the address Prime Minister Sharon gave at the rally:
U.S. Ambassador to Israel, Mr. Dan Kurtzer,
Special Envoy Anthony Zinni,
Today, at this hour three months ago on September 11th the clock of history came to a standstill at the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon in Washington.
The forces of terror and evil have taken the lives of thousands of innocent people, through mass destruction on an unprecedented scale. But they will fail to break the spirit of freedom, life and democracy which America has always projected to the world, and which will continue to shine even in hours of darkness.
During those moments, the people of Israel, indeed the entire civilized world, felt these attacks were directed at every human being who believes in freedom and democracy.
Three months have passed. Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness are no longer evident – now we all have to fight for these values and defend them – in the United States, in Israel, in every corner of the globe where the forces of terrorism launch death and destruction.
I recently visited Ground-Zero in New York, I saw the mass destruction and met with the rescue and security forces. Their grief, agony and bravery have reaffirmed the right and duty of self-defense for every democracy, for every civilized nation, as well as for us here in Israel, where we are constantly being subjected to terrorist attacks.
On behalf of the people of Israel and myself, I say loud and clear: we stand as one with America, today and forever! We share with you the deep pain. We share with you the friendship, values and spirit, but after September 11th we also share the common destiny and determination to win this struggle and to restore peace and stability.
We stand with you America, and we applaud President George W. Bush whose leadership, courage and determination in leading this struggle against terrorism has inspired us all. After September 11th President Bush has indeed become the President of the Free World, and the leader of the forces of freedom and democracy everywhere. We are all grateful for that.
America, we are with you, because the struggle against terrorism is also our struggle. We have been facing it for many years.
In our 2000-year heritage, Hannukah, which we celebrate this week, is the holiday that symbolizes light and the quest of the Jewish People for freedom.
It is my prayer and hope that united in our common heritage, spirit and determination, we will rekindle the lights of Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness, and drive away the forces of darkness and terror from our cities and lives. We share a common goal, we share a common vision: to bring peace and security to our peoples in the United States and in Israel. We owe it to those lost in the attacks. We owe it to the living and to future generations.
United, together, we will make it happen.