The morning of Tuesday, September 11, 2001, was supposed to be just another day at the Consulate General of Israel in Manhattan.
I assumed my position as Israel’s consul for media and public affairs in New York, the country’s largest media relations apparatus, just 10 weeks earlier. Transportation minister Ephraim Sneh was scheduled to address the leadership of the Anti-Defamation League at 8 a.m. and I had to attend the daily conference call with the Foreign Service in Jerusalem at 9 a.m. Those were fierce days of the Second Intifada, and the Foreign Ministry viewed New York as the world’s most important media capital, and rightly so. At 8:46 a.m., just as I was walking to my office near the UN, the hijackers aboard American Airlines Flight 11 crashed the plane into floors 93-99 of the North Tower of the World Trade Center. At 9:03 a.m., just as I sat at my desk and tuned in to the weekly call, I watched live on CNN how the hijackers crashed United Airlines Flight 175 into the WTC’s South Tower.
It was clear to us all at the consulate that this was an event of biblical proportions.
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