Friday, September 11, 2009

My Memories of 9-11

by Aliza Davidovit
On the 10th floor of ABC News 20/20, where I worked at the time, producers, anchors and interns gathered around the TV sobbing as the horrors of 9/11 unfolded. Some had parents, husbands, wives and friends who worked in the area—the cell phones were down the fates and futures of our loved ones were unknown. There was no rank among us that day—we were equal, united in grief, united in uncertainty, united by the hate and evil that was perpetrated against us. My ex-spouse who worked on Wall Street at the time, like so many others—if they were lucky enough to do so—had to walk miles and miles from downtown to get home. When I finally saw my husband, his pants were covered with ashes and soot; we both broke down and sobbed.

His father was a survivor of the Holocaust where human beings walked into buildings and exited as ash and smoke. And as he gently pushed my hand away from brushing off his pants, he said. “This is not dirt, this is not dirt, this is human remains, the ashes of human beings people who also walked into a building as human beings and exited as smoke and ash.”

In 2002, I began to work with John Miller at ABC News, the first American journalist to interview Osama Bin Laden and author of The Cell, a book that recounts the events that led up to 9/11. As Miller set up his new office, it seemed strange to me that among the awards and stylish d├ęcor he put out a hat on display that seemed oddly out of place. The hat, he explained, was that of John O’Neil, his best friend and the Chief of Security at The World Trade Center—a man who for years was aware of and warned about the threat posed by al Qaeda and Bin Laden. Ironically and sadly, he too died that day. I wonder now, eight years later, will that hat alone be his 9/11 legacy and have we learned anything at all?

May God bless the memories of the victims and may their souls finally be at peace.
(In memory of Calvin Gooding--who once lived in my building until he died in the WTC.)
by Aliza Davidovit

Friday, September 4, 2009

Obama doesn't accept legitimacy of continued settlement expansion


Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release September 4, 2009

Statement by the Press Secretary on Israeli Settlements

We regret the reports of Israel's plans to approve additional settlement construction. Continued settlement activity is inconsistent with Israel's commitment under the Roadmap.

As the President has said before, the United States does not accept the legitimacy of continued settlement expansion and we urge that it stop. We are working to create a climate in which negotiations can take place, and such actions make it harder to create such a climate.

We do appreciate Israel's stated intent to place limits on settlement activity and will continue to discuss this with the Israelis as these limitations are defined.

The U.S. commitment to Israel’s security is and will remain unshakeable. We believe it can best be achieved through comprehensive peace in the region, including a two-state solution with a Palestinian state living side by side in peace with Israel.

That is the ultimate goal to which the President is deeply and personally committed.

Our objective remains to resume meaningful negotiations as soon as possible in pursuit of this goal. We are working with all parties – Israelis, Palestinians, and Arab states -- on the steps they must take to achieve that objective.