June 5 is the 40th anniversary of the first act of Palestinian terrorism against America -- the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy by Sirhan Bishara Sirhan. While Kennedy's 1968 murder is a defining moment in American history, his killer's motive has faded from memory. It's worth recalling for the light it sheds on the world today.The assassination of Robert Kennedy also marks the genesis of apologetics for Palestinian terrorism:
Apologists for Sirhan quickly sprang up. For example, Mohamed T. Mehdi, secretary-general of the Action Committee on American-Arab Relations, published "Kennedy and Sirhan: Why."Read the whole thing.
According to Mehdi, Sirhan's act had a rational rationale: "The one and only reasonable explanation for Sirhan's decision is to bring the tragedy of Palestine to the attention of the American people so that the people of the United States would not continue the strange policy of helping Zionist Jews of Europe and elsewhere go to the home of Christian and Moslem people of Palestine."
Mehdi concluded that Sirhan had acted in justifiable self-defense: "[W]hen Robert F. Kennedy supports Israel against the Arabs, he is assuming the role of an Israeli high ranking official.... Sirhan was defending himself against those 50 Phantom jets Kennedy was sending to Israel."
And so began the excuse that Palestinian terrorism was merely a form of acting out, trying to bring attention to their problems. Further, just as the murder of any Israeli civilian could be excused by seeing them as part of an 'occupational' force--taking the 'logic' one step further, an ally of Israel could also be seen as part of the problem.
Mohamed T. Mehdi is known as the “father of the Arab movement in America”--more likely he laid the foundation for the apologetics and tactics of CAIR.
Crossposted at Soccer Dad