Fifty years ago, supporters of Robert Kennedy’s presidential campaign gathered for a victory party after a hard-fought California primary. For those of us who were there at LA’s Ambassador Hotel that fatal night, it became one of the most searing experiences of our lives. In retrospect, it’s surprising that media paid so little attention to the Palestinian identity and terrorist intentions of RFK’s killer—Sirhan Sirhan. Contemporary press accounts often labeled him as Jordanian, not Palestinian, since he had emigrated with his family from Jordanian-occupied Jerusalem in 1956.
He never lived in Palestine since a separate nation of that name never existed. His violence against Kennedy may have been irrational, but its motive is no mystery: an obsessive hatred of the Jewish state and its American supporters.