Marking 9/11, Israeli Leader Warns of ‘Ultimate Terrorist Nightmare’
"This struggle is not over," he said during a cabinet meeting on Sunday. "We are still in the thick of it. It is clear that it will be indescribably huge if the radical Islamic forces or regimes acquire the ultimate weapon - weapons of mass-destruction - and the terrorists will stand together and will be able to operate under the nuclear umbrella of a radical regime, or even with tools for mass-destruction that they will acquire."
"Therefore, the struggle against radical Islamic terrorism, which is, in effect, a description of the past decade, is at its peak; it is not yet over," he said. "We must all unite, countries that aspire to life, certainly the democracies that cherish life, and act in concert against this blight."
Later in the day Netanyahu and U.S. Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro visited an exhibition in Jerusalem of photographs taken at Ground Zero on September 11, 2001 by American-Israeli photographer Robby Berman.
There the prime minister said that while there had been successes in the campaign against terrorism over the decade since 9/11, the forces of terror had also "enjoyed some victories."
"They struck in Bali, in London, in Madrid, in Mumbai - and yes, here in Jerusalem and elsewhere," he said. "They control Lebanon, they control Gaza. And they're racing to produce nuclear weapons in Tehran."
"Ten years after 9/11, the possibility that the world's most dangerous weapons will fall into the hands of the world's most dangerous regime, that possibility is all too real," he said. "The international community, led by the United States, must do everything in its power to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons."
Pointing to photos on display, including graphic scenes of chaos at the World Trade Center, Netanyahu said the images "cry out to us to remember - to remember those who attacked America, to remember why they attacked America, to remember the many thousands felled by terrorism on 9/11, the many thousands who were murdered since 9/11, and to remember the thousands of brave soldiers who have paid the ultimate price in fighting terrorism since then.
"On this day let us remember them, and let us recommit ourselves to do all in our power to ensure that the forces of barbarism are defeated and that the forces of progress and peace will prevail."
Turning to Shapiro, Netanyahu said, "I believe that there's no greater bond in facing the scourge of terrorism ... than the bond between Israel and America, because it reflects the deepest bond, of two societies that were born in freedom and that share so many ideals, so many values."
Addressing another commemorative event Sunday, held at a 9/11 memorial in the Jerusalem Forest and also attended by Shapiro, Israeli deputy foreign minister Danny Ayalon said those who attacked the U.S. in 2001 "did so not because of what America does or does not do, but because of what America is and what it represents to the entire world. This can be summed up in two words: ‘democracy' and ‘freedom' - core values which both Israel and the United States share."
"Democracy and freedom are ideas which are the antithesis of those held by the mass murderers, who perpetrated the atrocity on September 11," he said. "They sought, and their successors seek, to forcibly establish, by violence, a world which will be coercive, backward and devoid of basic dignity for the individual - a world where people will be forced to live in fear of organized and government sanctioned violence.
"Israel, which has unfortunately known all too well the terrible price that terrorism inflicts upon individuals and society, stands with America in its continuing battle for democracy and freedom," Ayalon said. "Know that we are at you side as you defend the core values of our civilization and pursue, in righteous anger, those who would destroy our lives and our societies."