A Decade Later and We Are Still All Israelis
I will never forget what happened on 9/11. It is happening still, it has never stopped happening. This war against the West is far from over. The Arab Islamist terrorist attack pierced the historical veil, tearing a hole through all our denials about Jihad. What happened that day would inevitably determine the course of my future work and political priorities.
On September 11, 2001, at about 11 a.m., I walked over to my computer and typed the sentence, “Now we are all Israelis.”
Always, it begins with the Jews. Osama Bin Laden called the assault on America ‘blessed attacks” against the “infidel…the new Christian-Jewish crusade.” He explained that the twin towers had fallen because of American support for Israel.
Both war—and a new kind of anti-Semitism—had been declared.
These are the opening lines of my 2003 book about The New Anti-Semitism, which characterized anti-Zionism as the new anti-Semitism and spelled out the danger of the alliance between western intelligentsia and Islamic Holy Warriors in an era of sophisticated Big Lie propaganda. I viewed this alliance as lethal to America and the West and potentially genocidal to the Jewish state.
I had been busily brooding and speaking about this subject for the previous thirty years and knew its time had really come round the moment Arafat launched his bloody beast of an Intifada in 2000 -- even more so when, on 9/11, Arab Muslim jihadists attacked my beloved country America. My fate — our global fate — was sealed. It was time for me to take a public stand on behalf of the truth, the Jews, Israel, the West, and America—the consequences be damned.
9/11... I can still smell the air: scorched souls, acrid and agonizing. It was a sickening combination of industrial fuels, hate, and human cries. It burned my throat and my eyes and my mind. I knew in my bones that nothing would ever be the same again. I would no longer feel safe in my native city or country or even in the world. I would no longer be able to assume that life as I’d known it — with all its illusions — would continue.
Now, a decade later, I understand that many Americans — mainly our chattering classes, our self-appointed “good” people who will save the world once they convince us to get out of the way — refuse to live without their illusions intact; indeed, they would rather die than sacrifice them.
Are they insane or merely more terrified than I am? Are these “good” people blind or simply unable to feel compassion for their own countrymen and women and innocent and peaceful citizens of the world -- including Muslims --- who are all together within the cross-hairs of jihadic evil?
As I said on that awful day: “Now, we are all Israelis.” For example, just like Israelis, precious American children have grown up knowing they are not automatically safe in their country or in their world. They understand the need for security at airports; they do not protest taking off their little shoes and standing for a long while in a long line. Even children understand that no one is admitted into a public building without going through a metal detector before turning over their backpacks and briefcases to armed guards. Some children who watched the twin towers fall thereafter obsessively drew pictures of it happening as if doing so could help them master their fear.