The Japanese terrorists who fought to free Palestine

The Japanese terrorists who fought to free Palestine

The amazing true story of how a group of Japanese revolutionaries became champions of the Palestinian cause, and one of the most notorious terrorist groups in the world.

The summer of 1972 was bookended by two major terrorist attacks against Israel: the 1972 Munich Olympic attack and the Lod airport massacre. The former remains one of the most well known terror attacks in history, the subject of many dramatizations, both in print and film. Occurring in Germany during a time when international attention was focused on the country due to the Olympics, the Munich attack benefited from the global media frenzy that ensued. The latter incident on the other hand, is virtually forgotten outside of Israel, simply enumerated as one of many acts of violence in the Middle East during the tumultuous 1970s.

The hostility which characterized (and continues to characterize) relations between Israel and the various Palestinian liberation movements has long been a staple element in the regional dynamic. Yet the Lod attack highlights an often overlooked facet of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict; the role of foreign nationals. What makes the Lod attack so interesting is that it was carried out in the name of Palestinian resistance, but not by Palestinians, not even persons of Middle Eastern descent. The Lod airport massacre, which left 26 people dead, was the handiwork of pro-Palestinian terrorists from Japan.

The perpetrators of the attack were members of...

Jeremy Luedi is the editor of Asia by Africa. His writing has been featured in Business Insider, The Japan Times, The Diplomat, FACTA Magazine, Yahoo Finance, Asia Times, Huffington Post and Qrius. His insights have also been quoted by TIME, OZY, and the Washington Times, among others.