9/11: A Covenant of Suffering

Stand for Israel  |  September 10, 2019

Netanyahus at Ground Zero
Netanyahus at Ground Zero

Until September 11, 2001, large-scale terror attacks had largely been committed on foreign soil, at least in the eyes of Americans. That day, writes Breaking Israel News’ Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz, not only brought to American soil what had long been a reality in the Holy Land, it cemented twin towers memorial in Israel and the enduring relationship between the United States and the Jewish state:

On the morning of September 11, 2001, the U.S. suffered a series of four coordinated terrorist attacks by the Islamic terrorist group al-Qaeda which killed a total of  2,996 people and injured over 6,000 others. It was the worst terrorist attack in world history but the U.S. was not alone in its suffering. The attack joined Israel and the U.S. in what one rabbi called a “covenant of suffering.”

Though 9-11 memorials are found in several countries around the world, the tiny country of Israel has 13 memorials, the most of any country outside the U.S. And significantly, the 30-foot-tall 9/11 twin towers memorial in Israel, the Living Memorial Plaza in Ramot, Jerusalem is the only memorial outside of the United States that lists all the names of the victims, including five who were Israeli citizens. A small part of New York City, a metal shard from the ruins of the World Trade Center, is embedded in the base…

The attacks were a graphic reminder that the same evil that targets Israel also targets the U.S. Osama Bin Laden, the head of al Qaeda, stated that one of the main motivations for the attacks was U.S support for Israel. And terrorism in Israel reflected this connection with a spike in terrorist attacks. In 2001-2002, over 250 terrorist attacks in Israel killed 659 Israelis and injured over 3,800. Many of the victims were U.S. citizens

It is interesting to note that 9-11, the eleventh day of the ninth month, has a counterpart in Israel. Like most Europeans, Israelis write the date with the day preceding the month, so September 11th is written 11-9. On the Hebrew calendar, 11-9, or the ninth day of the eleventh month, is Tisha b’Av, the ninth of Av, a day of fasting in which Jews commemorate the destruction of our “Twin Towers”: the First and Second Temples.

Rabbi Pinchas Winston, an American rabbi living in Israel who is a prolific end-of-days author, described how 9-11 essentially changed the U.S. and its relationship with Israel.

“Up until 9-11, the sympathy in the U.S. regarding terrorist attacks was superficial. Terrorism was 6,000 miles away for most Americans. 9-11 brought Israel to the shores of America. Home Front security suddenly became a very real concern, changing the structure of daily life. Neither Jews nor non-Jews could hide from the enemy that was attacking Israeli citizens.”

The rabbi emphasized that this was a bitter lesson in humility for the most powerful nation in the world.

“It opened up Americans’ eyes to the fact that the unbelievable things that happened in other countries, including terror and despotic leaders, could happen in downtown USA. The foundations of the country shifted.”

This transformed the relationship between the U.S. and Israel.

“Rather than look at Israel with sympathy, America looked to Israel for solutions, to learn how we coped. We became true allies…”

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