Who Was Roger Coudroy?

RC2He had dark hair and eyebrows like thick slashes of marker pen and a grave somewhere in Palestine. Roger Coudroy died at 35-years-old and remains a minor martyr for people who lean so far to the right they’re practically horizontal.

The first European to die for the Palestinian cause, say the blog headlines. Not exactly. Germans and Bosnians and Britons are buried under Arabic pseudonyms out in the desert, volunteers for Muslim armies during the 1948 fighting that gave birth to Israel. Coudroy belongs to a later generation.

The Belgian engineer died in the night of 3 June 1968, apparently when Israeli soldiers shot up a commando from the Fatah faction of the Palestine Liberation Organisation. It was the opening days in the war of attrition that followed Arab defeat in the Six Day War. Palestinian guerrillas penetrated Israeli territory and launched terror attacks on civilians; Israeli planes bombed PLO camps in Jordan and took out Egyptian infrastructure.

The Palestinian cause had a lot of support from young leftists in Western Europe and regimes in the Eastern Bloc. But Coudroy wasn’t a man of the left. Not a chance.

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The Vanishing of a Left-Wing Terrorist

bruno1The President of the United States gets a lot of unsolicited mail. Sack loads of begging letters, death threats, pleas for help, heartfelt congratulations, generalised hate mail, and closely worded arguments for the existence of alien life pour into the over-worked post room at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

Most of it is from correspondents unaware they are less important to the President than he is to them.

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