On October 3, 1985, Leon Klinghoffer, a disabled Jewish New Yorker, and his wife boarded the Achille Lauro to celebrate their 36th wedding anniversary with a Mediterranean cruise. Four days later, four Palestinian fedayeen hijacked the Italian luxury liner and took the passengers and crew hostage. Leon Klinghoffer was shot in the head, his body and wheelchair thrown overboard. His murder became a flashpoint in the intractable struggle between Israelis and Arabs and gave Americans a horrifying preview of what it means when terrorism hits home.
In this richly reported book, drawing on multiple perspectives, Julie Salamon dispels the mythology that has grown around that shattering moment. What transpired on the Achille Lauro left the Klinghoffer family in the grip of irredeemable sorrow, while precipitating tragic reverberations for the wives and sons of Abu al-Abbas, the Palestinian mastermind behind the hijacking, and the family of Alex Odeh, a Palestinian-American murdered in Los Angeles in a brutal act of retaliation.
Through intimate interviews with almost all living participants, including one of the hijackers, Julie Salamon brings alive the moment-by-moment saga of the hijacking and the ensuing U.S.-led international manhunt; the diplomatic wrangling between the United States, Egypt, Italy, and Israel; the long agonizing search for justice; and the inside story of the controversial opera about the Klinghoffer tragedy that provoked a culture war.
An Innocent Bystander is a masterful work of journalism that moves between the personal and the global with the pace of a geopolitical thriller and the depth of a psychological drama. Throughout lies the tension wrought by terrorism and its repercussions today.
|Publisher:||Little, Brown and Company|
|Product dimensions:||5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.10(d)|
About the Author
Table of Contents
Principal Characters xiii
Part 1 The Achille Laura, October 7, 1985-October 22, 1985
1 A Week Earlier… 6
2 The Ones Waiting Back Home 28
3 Big Guns 51
4 The Nightmare 63
5 Lies, Then Heartbreak 81
6 Cowboys and Terrorists 96
7 Fulminations 117
8 Machinations 133
9 Corpora Delicti 148
Part 2 Reckonings, 1985-2009
10 Ilsa's Wedding 161
11 Trials 176
12 Presenting … The Death of Klinghoffer 207
13 Finding Their Place in the Story 226
14 Sidelined by History 239
15 The Optimist 260
16 Operation Legacy 276
Notes and Sources 307
What People are Saying About This
"Salamon plucks the story of the killing of one man out of the rush of history and holds it up for nuanced consideration. In so doing, she shows us how the events around a single murder continue to ripple outward, through the families of both the murder victim and the man who set that murder in motion. An illuminating, necessary book."
“By telling the story of the Klinghoffer murder richly and elegantly, Salamon manages to capture the essence of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict— the injustice, the desperation, the horror, and the folly. Her book sparkles with insight.”
“A gripping, profoundly moving and insightful examination of the Achille Lauro tragedy from multiple perspectives.”