I never forgot Leon Klinghoffer
Abu Abbas, the Palestinian terrorist who masterminded the 1985 hijacking of the Italian cruise ship Achille Lauro in the Mediterranean Sea, has been arrested by U.S. personnel in Iraq.
Abbas was arrested about 50 miles west of Baghdad after being turned away from Iraq's border with Syria, a Palestinian source told CNN.
The hijacking of the ship led to the killing of disabled passenger Leon Klinghoffer, an American Jew. Klinghoffer was shot in his wheelchair and thrown overboard by Abbas' men.
I still have nightmares about this. I don't recall many news stories that stayed with me as long as this one did.
I imagined again and again the horror of Leon Klinghoffer plunging into the water, still in his wheelchair. I imagined his wife watching this happen. I never forgot about it.
Klinghoffer was dead when they pushed him overboard. The terrorists shot to death a helpless man who could not defend himself. I could not let go of the thought that he went into that ocean in his wheelchair. There was something so barbaric, so raw and sinister about it. Leon was killed because he was a Jew. An American Jew. An American Jew sitting in a wheelchair doing his best to fend off the terrorists using only his voice. (To the terrorists, this was "provocation.")
I spent a lot of time at the library discovering all kinds of sordid things about the Palestinian Liberation Front after that incident.
I never forgot those things. I never forgot Leon Klinghoffer.
May Abu Abbas meet a worse fate than Leon Klinghoffer did.
Update - 3/10/04 Abu Abbas is dead. I hope his death was painful and protracted.