Remarks by Prime Minister Ariel Sharon
at the Ceremony in solidarity with the American people and the families of the victims on the first anniversary of the September 11th 2001 terror attack

September 11, 2002

(translated from Hebrew)

Ambassador of the United States to Israel, Mr. Daniel Kurtzer,
Families of the victims,
Distinguished guests,

A year has passed since September 11th, when the clock of history stood still at the World Trade Center in New York, at the Pentagon in Washington and in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.

A year has passed since the assault by the forces of terror and evil, an assault which claimed the lives of thousands of innocent civilians, and sowed unprecedented and massive destruction. An assault which positioned the strategic threat of terror to the values, culture and very existence of Western democratic society at the core of world awareness.

A year has passed and the images of the burning Twin Towers in New York now return to the screens and to our consciousness. A picture speaks a thousand words. In those long minutes, the entire world watched the collapse of the Towers, and the smoke screen which shrouded the sun.

I recall one unforgettable image from that day: amid the sirens, destruction and smoke which engulfed the City of New York immediately following the collapse of the Towers, a camera lens captured the Statue of Liberty and her Torch, symbols of the spirit of America, standing steadfast. That image – perhaps more than anything else – expressed what I felt when I visited Ground Zero, and met with the security and rescue forces and the brave residents of New York. While the attack did succeed in destroying buildings and lives, and in causing agony, grief and profound shock to millions of people, it failed to extinguish the spirit of freedom and the eternal flame of the Torch of Liberty – that spirit which beats in the hearts of all New Yorkers and indeed all Americans, and the spirit which was then and is now shared by all freedom-loving people.

It has been one year since September 11th and the Free World has gradually come to the realization and understanding that there is no good terror and bad terror and that terrorism knows no geographical boundaries. Bin Laden’s suicide terror, the terrorism of Hamas, Tanzim and Hizbullah, the terrorism engineered by the Palestinian Authority, Saddam Hussein’s involvement in and support for Palestinian terrorism, and the terrorist networks directed by Iran are all inseparable components of that same axis of evil which threatens peace and stability everywhere in the world.

The international community is being gradually exposed to the connection between terrorism and the development of weapons of mass destruction. Countries such as Iraq, Iran, Libya and Syria, which support terrorist organizations and use terror to achieve their objectives, are precisely the same countries working tirelessly to acquire weapons of mass destruction. This combination creates a new dimension to the threat on our way of life in the 21st century.

In the campaign that he has relentlessly spearheaded against the forces of evil and terror since September 11th, President Bush has accentuated the right and responsibility of every democracy – if it wishes to survive – to protect itself and its values.

Israel, an embattled democracy, has been fighting terrorism for over 100 years. On this day, we stand together with the American people: we remember, grieve and will never forget. We will continue to support President Bush and his Administration in the campaign to remove the threat of the Axis of Evil and the forces of terror from our lives. This is our shared responsibility to the victims, our historic obligation to the living and our moral duty to future generations.

(In English):

Today, one year after the terror attack of September 11, we stand by the American people and salute President Bush for his courageous leadership, wisdom, and determination in the worldwide campaign against the forces of evil and terrorism. We stand by America as it struggles to make life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness once again self-evident for all of us.

 Remarks by PM Sharon at the ceremony in solidarity with the American people and families of victims on the 1st anniversary of the September 11- 2001 terror attack-11-Sep-2002
 Remarks by PM Sharon at the ceremony in solidarity with the American people and families of victims on the 1st anniversary of the September 11- 2001 terror attack-11-Sep-2002
Israel Remembers September 11