- - Thursday, June 9, 2016

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

The day after the 2016 U.S. presidential primary campaign effectively ended, two Palestinian gunmen murdered four Israelis in a terror attack at a Tel Aviv cafe (“At least 3 killed, 5 wounded in Tel Aviv mass shooting,” Web, June 8). Remarkably, 48 years earlier, on June 6, 1968, another American presidential primary campaign intersected with Palestinian terrorism when Sen. Robert F. Kennedy was assassinated by Sirhan Sirhan, a Palestinian, who shot Kennedy for supporting Israel’s right to exist.

Kennedy knew the Middle East well, having covered the region in 1948 as a reporter for the Boston Post. In a dispatch, Kennedy presciently wrote of the belief that “if a Jewish state is formed, it will be the only remaining stabilizing factor in the Near and Middle East.” Later, as a U.S. senator, he staunchly supported Israel. For this, Sirhan decided he had to be killed.

Sirhan wrote in his journal that “Kennedy must die before June 5th,” the one-year anniversary of the start of the 1967 Six-Day War. During his trial, Sirhan admitted that he had killed Kennedy “premeditatedly with 20 years of malice aforethought,” referring to the 20 years since Israel’s creation. Yet for daring to support Israel Kennedy himself became a victim of Palestinian savagery. Forty-eight years later that savagery still has not been tamed.

STEPHEN A. SILVER

San Francisco

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