Left Coast Voices

"I would hurl words into the darkness and wait for an echo. If an echo sounded, no matter how faintly, I would send other words to tell, to march, to fight." Richard Wright, American Hunger

Remembering Christopher Stevens RIP

Tomorrow is the 30th day since the murder of Chris Stevens, U.S. Ambassador to Libya, and three other members of his diplomatic staff. In Judaism, 30 days represents the end of the second cycle of mourning (7 days sitting shiva and the year anniversary when a stone is set on the grave).

I didn’t know Chris Stevens but he is from around my part of the world. He graduated from Piedmont High School, UC Berkeley, and UC Hastings College of Law (in San Francisco). I wrote about the violence itself, but I don’t want to let this date pass by.

Stevens was killed when the U.S. consulate was attacked in Benghazi, Libya, on September 11, 2012. Libyan protestors, provoked by insults against the Islamic prophet Mohammed in the US-made film Innocence of Muslims attacked the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya.

There were questions about this being a planned attack given that this happened on September 11th and that the murderers knew which safe house the staff had been evacuated to. At the very least, someone tipped them off where to aim the rocket propelled grenade (RPG), where the safe houses are.

Stevens loved Libya, he had worked there before. He passionately believed in cultivating close relationships between that part of the world and the U.S. America has lost a passionate, intelligent and articulate man, a leader of our country who’s path was on the ascent.

The true tragedy is that Libya has lost a very good friend. Please take a few minutes and watch the video that he produced only a few short months ago.

Chris Stevens RIP

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Alon Shalev is the author of The Accidental Activist and A Gardener’s Tale. He is the Executive Director of the San Francisco Hillel Foundation, a non-profit that provides spiritual and social justice opportunities to Jewish students in the Bay Area. More on Alon Shalev at http://www.alonshalev.com/ and on Twitter (@alonshalevsf).

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