When Cathy and I went to New York City during the 15 year anniversary of 911, we learned to use Uber. One of the best things about that was speaking with the different drivers, all residents of Manhattan to get their perspective of the Big Apple before and since that tragic day.
One of our drivers was an Israeli national who was driving a delivery truck directly into the area when the first plane crashed into the South Tower. He immediately called his wife as she was working across the street from the World Trade Center and he wanted to see what she knew and be sure she was safe.
His story was incredible as he eventually raced to the scene to dig out survivors, while not knowing if his wife had made it out of her office or even escaped the explosion. She was not an Israeli national but was a native New Yorker, and although she did escape unharmed by the attack, he said she was ultimately victimized.
As we exited his car he said "I have no problem sleeping at night because I grew up in Israel with bombs going off everywhere all of the time. But my wife, having been so insulated from war living in America, is to this day traumatized by her memory of 911 and has serious insomnia. She watched people leap from the top floors to their death to escape the flames."
As we watch the bombing of Israel today it is frightening how insensitive many Americans have become to the anti-semitism and bigotry our Jewish allies have to endure every single day of their existence. And equally disturbing is the selective amnesia many Americans seem to have about 911 and the fact that it was an attack designed to ultimately undermine our unity and moral strength and solidarity with Israel.
Almost 20 years later and Israel is still under relentless attack and America today is more divided than at any time since the Civil War.