Washington’s ambassador to Israel marked the anniversary of the September 11, 2001, attacks by thanking Israel for standing by the US during its “darkest hour.”
At the same time Dan Shapiro sought to calm Israel over fears the US would not support Jerusalem in preventing Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons.
“You can rest assured that America supports you,” he said, adding that a nuclear Iran was “unacceptable.”
Speaking on the 11th anniversary of the terror calamity, in front of Israel’s memorial to its victims, the envoy reached out his hand as a friend of the Israeli people and recited a Hebrew citation from the Talmud about the sanctity of life.
The September 11 attacks, Shapiro declared, were an assault on “the values of freedom and liberty that the US shares with so many countries.” Today, “we remember those who were killed or injured in terror attacks that took place around the world.”
Shapiro also recalled Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech to a Congressional committee nine days after the attack, in which he said Israel stood by the US.
“I’m certain that I speak today on behalf of my entire nation when I say today we are all Americans in grief and in defiance,” Netanyahu said at the time.
Shapiro added that America and many other countries had learned a lot from Israel because the country understands, “at the deepest level,” how easily terrorism can cause fear and harm life.
He said the US continues to learn from Israel — “the knowledge you shared with us helped prevent terror attacks in the US and abroad” — and praised the deep commitment and cooperation the countries share.
Shapiro also nodded to Israel’s own enemies, noting that Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Hezbollah, and Iran pose a “constant threat” to Israel — and that America does not “take this lightly.”
Speaking later at the annual summit of the International Institute for Counter-Terrorism in Herzliya, Shapiro said the US was determined to prevent the “terror-sponsoring” regime of Iran from “acquiring a nuclear weapon,” and that a nuclear weapon in Iran’s hands was “an unacceptable threat” to both the United States and Israel.