Richard Lakin, 76, who died on Tuesday two weeks after being shot and stabbed in a terror attack at Armon Hanatziv in southern Jerusalem, believed in coexistence and even marched with Dr. Martin Luther King.
The background photo in Lakin’s Facebook page depicts the word “coexist” in which some of the letters are replaced by a Star of David, a Muslim crescent and a cross.
He was also the leading figure in the current lawsuit against Facebook for featuring Muslim incitement to terrorism.
“I have a strong sense that these ‘random’ terror attacks are being orchestrated by the Northern Branch of the Islamic (Brotherhood) Movement in Israel,” he wrote in a recent Facebook post. “Their goal is the destruction of the State of Israel and of Coexistence between the Arab and Jewish communities.”
His son, Micha, told Channel 2 that Lakin was active in coexistence and equality projects in the US in the 1980s, and worked to advance good relations between Jews and Arabs after making aliyah to Israel.
He lived in Armon Hanatziv and together with his wife operated a school for teaching the English language, in which both Jewish and Arab pupils are enrolled.
And yet, as his leadership in the lawsuit against Facebook shows, he was well aware of the danger of Arab incitement. The same incitement cost him his life, according to his son, who said that one of the terrorists involved in the attack that killed his father told his interrogators he had been influenced by materials he saw on the internet.