Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman on Wednesday took aim at what he called “gangs of anti-Semitic terror supporters,” and said that Israel would continue to defend itself in any way necessary. Israel had been experiencing Arab terror long before it liberated Yehudah, Shomron and Yerushalayim in the 1967 Six Day War, he said. “Those who claim that Arab terror is due to our presence there are wrong. We have seen Palestinian terrorism long before.”
Liberman made the statements on a social media post, in honor of the 51st anniversary of the outbreak of the Six Day War. It was also, Liberman pointed out, the 50th anniversary of the murder of Senator Robert Kennedy, the presidential candidate who was gunned down in June 1968 by Sirhan Sirhan, a hotel worker of Palestinian background.
“Fifty years ago, a Palestinian from eastern Yerushalayim shot Robert Kennedy because of his support for us in the Six Day War,” Liberman said. “He murdered Kennedy to harm the alliance between us and the United States. Palestinian terror was around a long time before there were ‘settlements.’ We will continue to fight the enemies who seek to destroy Israel.”
Sirhan was born in Jordanian-occupied eastern Yerushalayim in 1944, and emigrated with his family to California in 1956. On June 5th, 1968, Sirhan shot a .22 caliber pistol at Kennedy, hitting him in the head and mortally wounding him as he walked through the pantry of the Ambassador Hotel. He was immediately set upon by individuals who were in the room, who subdued and disarmed him. Kennedy died the next day, and Sirhan was later sentenced to life in prison, a term he is currently serving. In 1989, he told interviewer David Frost that “my only connection with Robert Kennedy was his sole support of Israel and his deliberate attempt to send those 50 [fighter jet] bombers to Israel to obviously do harm to the Palestinians.”