Demand Justice for Alex Odeh: 28 Years Later

I remember well the murder of Alex Odeh.

It occurred exactly 28 years ago today in Orange County, CA. I was living in Los Angeles at the time, and I followed the case closely. Odeh, a young Palestinian American who served as the West Coast director of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee was killed when a bomb ripped through his second story office in Santa Ana. I recall reading that Odeh was a gentle family man and political moderate who called for peace between Palestinians and Israelis. I also remember reading that the FBI suspected three members of the Jewish Defense League, a radical Jewish hate group – and that all three had fled to Israel.

It is now 28 year years later and no one has been arrested for the murder of Alex Odeh – even though the FBI has long suspected the identity of his killers.  Sad to say, I admit I wouldn’t be thinking of Alex Odeh today had I not received this petition just sent out by Jewish Voice for Peace, calling on Attorney General Eric Holder to hold his murderers accountable.

For more information about the Alex Odeh case, click on the clip above. I also recommend this extensive piece by Erik Skindrud from 2006 which, among other things, points out the hypocrisy of our nation’s selective “War on Terror:”

According to an internal FBI memo made public in 1987, the agency made multiple requests to Israel for cooperation in solving Odeh’s murder. Israel has refused repeatedly, although the details of the behind-doors discussions have never been released. This is despite the fact that (the suspects) have been tried and convicted of other bombings and shootings in the U.S. and the West Bank.

The contradiction is more than boggling in the post-9/11 world, where the U.S. government’s vow to take action against states that harbor terrorists is repeated regularly. Writing in 2003 about the Odeh killing and several similar incidents, George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley called the failure “a glaring double standard applied to Arab Americans and Muslims that can be neither denied nor defended.”

2 thoughts on “Demand Justice for Alex Odeh: 28 Years Later

  1. George Polley

    Amen to this, Rabbi Rosen. I am repeatedly appalled by my government’s utter refusal to do even one thing to solve this and other similar crimes, while at the same time telling the world that it (we) will take action against states that harbor terrorists.


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