Since Hillary has broken the ice and brought up Bobby Kennedy's assassination, and with the 40th anniversary of his murder coming up next week, I thought it might be useful to revisit the largely overlooked fact that his killer, Sirhan Sirhan, was a palestinian Arab.
Sirhan Sirhan in custody (UPI/Corbis/Betmann)
Mel Ayton - who's written a book called The Forgotten Terrorist: Sirhan Sirahn and the Assassination of Robert F. Kennedy - explains more briefly in this 2005 article at Crime Magazine. I know, I know, most people wouldn't read such a source, but it's interesting nevertheless (feel free to fact check). It's terribly familiar stuff, and probably even more believable now than it would have been 40 years ago.
.... From the time he was a child Sirhan had been indoctrinated in ideologies that are at the center of his murderous act. Sirhan's hatred had its roots in the milieu in which he was raised and the education he received. Later, as a young adult, Sirhan sought meaning to his increasingly hopeless life by embracing anti-Semitism, anti-Americanism and Palestinian nationalism.
As a child Sirhan had been taught by Arab teachers who instilled in him the principles of the Palestinian cause. They promoted the cause of Palestinian nationalism and made constant references to the great Arab warrior, Saladin, who had expelled the foreign crusaders from Jerusalem. Teachers would attempt to inspire their young students to fight for Palestinian rights.
During Sirhan's trial his mother related how the intense feelings of the Palestinians remained with the family even though they had been far removed from the conflict when they immigrated to America. She told of how her family had lived in Jerusalem for "thousands of years" and she spoke of the bitterness and hatred of the Israelis who had "taken their land." Mary Sirhan believed her son had killed Robert Kennedy because of his Arab nationalism. She said, "What he did, he did for his country."
.... In Sirhan's case, his parents taught him the Jews were "evil" and "stole their home." Sirhan's father, Bishara, regretted Kennedy's death but his hatred and contempt shone through in a statement he made to reporters in the days following his son's arrest. Bishara, himself a victim of Palestinian propaganda, said, "I can say that I do not regret his death as Kennedy the American politician who attempted to gain the presidential election by his aggressive propaganda against the Arab people of Palestine...Kennedy was promising the Zionists to supply them with arms and aircraft…and thus provoked the sensitive feelings of Sirhan who had suffered so much from the Jews…It is not fair to accuse my son without a full examination of Zionist atrocities against the Arabs – those atrocities which received the support and blessings of Robert Kennedy."
.... Following his arrest Sirhan told one of the court-appointed psychiatrists, George Y. Abe, about his political philosophy. Sirhan told him he was solidly anti-Zionist and disgusted at the way Jews in America had such a strong influence within the American political system. Sirhan said he believed Robert Kennedy listened to the Jews and he saw the senator as having sold out to them.
The History News Network ran a review of Ayton's book last year:
.... Robert Kennedy’s support for Israel dated from his stint as a journalist in 1948 when he traveled to the Middle East for the Boston Post to cover the Arab-Israeli war. That experience left him with an abiding admiration for the Israeli people and their leaders. He repeatedly voiced his support for Israel during his 1968 presidential campaign, though Sirhan apparently was unaware of that at first. But on May 27th a local Pasadena newspaper, avidly read by the Sirhan family, carried an article concerning the speech Kennedy had given the day before in Portland at a Jewish temple. The accompanying picture of Kennedy wearing a yarmulke carried the caption “Bobby Says Shalom.”
A clipping of an earlier column from this same newspaper, regarding Kennedy’s alleged contradictory positions on Vietnam and Israel, was in Sirhan’s pocket the night of the shooting.
“I did it for my country,” Sirhan said when he was arrested. “But America either didn’t listen,” Ayton writes, “or failed to understand.
As Yitzak Rabin, Israel’s ambassador to the United States at the time said, 'The American people were so dazed by what they perceived as a senseless act of a madman that they could not begin to fathom its political significance.'
Meanwhile, Sirhan’s murder of Robert Kennedy “was embraced, condoned, and applauded throughout the Arab world.”
One more thing (sorry, source is Crime Magazine again, but they seem to be the only people interested):
... in his journal, Sirhan declared, "Robert F. Kennedy must be assassinated by 5 June 68." That date was significant because it was the first anniversary of the Six-Day War...
Time Magazine - June 14, 1968:
When Sirhan Sirhan was seized after the shooting of Robert Kennedy, he cried: "I can explain! Let me explain!"
The appalling thing is that he really thought that he could.
Time Magazine - March 7, 1969:
.... While Judge Walker hastily sequestered the jury, Sirhan addressed the bench. "I, at this time, sir," he declared, "wish to withdraw my original plea of not guilty and submit the plea of guilty on all counts."
Walker: Do I understand that you want to plead guilty to murder in the first degree?
Sirhan: Yes, sir, I do.
Walker: What do you want to do about the penalty?
Sirhan: I will ask to be executed.
Repudiating his lawyers and demanding that they be fired, Sirhan spoke in quavering tones:
"I killed Robert Kennedy willfully, premeditatively, with 20 years of malice aforethought."
1968 - 20 = 1948Note:
Yes, let us never forget: the so called "Palestinians" are not our friends.Short URL:
Bobby said Shalom... but Sirhan Sirhan was palestinian
Posted on Wednesday, May 28, 2008 @ 14:24:33 EDT in Islam