Fifty years ago tonight, Israel lost her best friend and most vocal supporter. He was an American politician who saw both sides of the Israeli-Palestinian divide and bravely chose the side which was not in keeping with America’s official stated policies. He visited Israel and wrote of his travels and of the people he met along the way at a young age. He was cognizant of the sensitive nature of relations between the Jews and Arabs, but was deft at cutting through the rhetoric to arrive at some solid conclusions which are pertinent even today. He firmly believed that Israel was a stabilizing factor in the Middle East and should be supported because of that fact and for many other reasons. He wrote of the commonality of goals by both countries. As a direct result of his publicly-made comments and writings, he was murdered in the kitchen of the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles by a Palestinian.
Sadly, we will never know what changes could have been brought to both our countries and the wider world if this man had lived out his life and fulfilled his trajectory towards ascendancy to the highest office in the land. Today, people everywhere should remember Robert F. Kennedy. He deserves mention on the facades of all American institutions in the State of Israel. He died simply because he loved Israel and the Jews.
For some odd reason, modern Israelis think Donald Trump is their greatest champion. Nothing could be further from the truth. His racism disqualifies him from being mentioned on Israeli street signs, embassy plaques and anywhere else that acknowledgement of American assistance would ordinarily be mentioned. The only reason he moved the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem was to placate his Christian evangelical base. These are the same miscreants that stood at the lectern in Jerusalem for the embassy dedication even though Israel did a poor job of screening the speakers for their views beforehand. These religious leaders are, in fact, racists. They firmly believe we will all have to die in a massive battle at Megiddo before they can achieve their “rapture”. They are decidedly not our “friends”. No such comments were ever written or expressed by Kennedy. In point of fact, Trump uses Jews for his own purposes then leaves them twisting in the wind afterwards as he has done with the likes of Michael Cohen. Only anti-Semites act this way. They deserve condemnation, not our unswerving support.
Israel will never enjoy full security from her enemies until she recognizes who her true friends are and treats them with respect and honor. Just as she honors those who gave their lives for the State, Robert Kennedy should be likewise honored. May his memory be a blessing.