By Debbie Schlussel

Recently, Lisa Klinghoffer e-mailed me about an important anniversary: the murder of her father, Leon Klinghoffer, by Islamic terrorists.

20 years ago, this past Saturday (October 8 ), Leon Klinghoffer — a helpless 69-year-old in a wheelchair on a cruise ship — was cruelly murdered for the dual crimes of being a Jew and an American. After hijacking the ship, cowardly Palestinian terrorists assassinated Klinghoffer by gunshot and threw his body overboard, a plot masterminded by Abu Abbas.

Here’s what one of many, who’ve written posthumous notes to Klinghoffer over the years through a cemetery website, wrote:

“You are a model of courage and strength for all of us to be proud of. You did not bow to the animal terrorists that took your life, but you, instead, showed them your true bravery, strength, and proudness.”

Unlike Klinghoffer, Abbas led a great life and was never punished. He was allowed to live in freedom — under the protection of Saddam Hussein in Iraq. He died in captivity shortly after U.S. troops captured him during the start of the War in Iraq. Abbas never faced justice.

Writes Lisa Klinghoffer: “We tried hard all these years to have him brought to justice. When he was caught, we tried to have him brought here to be tried for the Murder of my father, but, alas, he eluded us again and died in prison. If you ask me, he didn’t suffer enough!!!!!!!!!”

AMEN, Lisa!

An Egyptian jet tried to fly the Islamic hijacker-murderers to freedom, but U.S. Navy F-14 fighters intercepted it and forced it to land in Sicily. Now, however, there is word — through an FBI informant (whom I represented) — that the U.S. government may have shamefully allowed one of Klinghoffer’s murderers to live in freedom in the Washington, DC area, under an assumed name — “in exchange for information on al-Qaeda.” No information is enough to justify freedom (or even life) for any of Klinghoffer’s murderers.

When I wrote about the 20th anniversary of the torture murder of Navy diver Robert Stethem by Hezbollah terrorists, Lisa reminded me: “October 8th is the 20 year anniversary of the murder of our father, Leon Klinghoffer, aboard the Achille Lauro. For us, it is so hard to believe that it has been 20 years, and just look what has gone on in the world since!!!!!!!!”


In a few cases where Klinghoffer’s murder was “remembered,” it was nauseating. Despicable Brit John Adams created an “opera” about the murder of Klinghoffer, denigrating him and glorifying his Palestinian Islamic murderers. Here’s what a smart Aussie reviewer said about the film adaptation of this outrage:

“Nails scratched across a blackboard. The sound of a dentist’s drill. Plucking nose hairs with a pair of tweezers. All painful experiences but not a patch on watching this torturous two-hour[s].”

Lisa is right. It’s not just that we haven’t remembered Klinghoffer and his murder with proper attention and resolve. It’s that in the 20 years since his murder, we have empowered radical Muslims and the terrorists they support — the same ones who murdered her innocent, disabled father and threw him overboard. And now we are being asked — in our schools, our popular culture, our government policy — to “understand” them.

Klinghoffer’s murderers weren’t Christians. And they weren’t from Samoa or Fiji, either. They were Arab Muslims. The same group we keep denying is after us, today.