US Senator calls for new investigation into murder of Palestinian activist Alex Odeh – – IMEMC News

In a report filed Saturday in the magazine Liberation by Reem Zubaidi, the author explains that new information has been revealed on the assassination of Alex Odeh, a Palestinian-American human rights activist killed in 1985 by a bomb. handcrafted in his office.

Odeh’s murder has never been elucidated – and he was one of many Palestinian and Arab activists targeted in the 1980s by anti-Arab terrorist groups operating in the United States.

Zubaidi writes: New information came to light during a recent Los Angeles Times interview with a former Santa Ana police officer. The revelations prompted US Senator Richard J. Durbin, head of the Senate Judiciary Committee, to call on the FBI to “step up its efforts to investigate Mr. Odeh’s murder and bring his killers to justice.”

On October 11, 1985, Alex Odeh, 41, was killed in a premeditated attack while opening the door to his office in Santa Ana. Odeh’s office was broken into and the bomb that killed him was planted the night before.

Odeh was a Palestinian activist and the West Coast Regional Director of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, an organization that protects the civil rights of Arabs and Arab Americans in the United States. He was also a poet and the father of three young girls at the time of his murder 36 years ago. So far, no one has been charged with the murder despite strong evidence against the suspects who fled to Israel after the attack.

The Arab-American Committee Against Discrimination (ADC) said it welcomed the renewed interest in Odeh’s case, but wanted to put it in context. “While, naturally, we have focused on bringing Alex’s killers to justice, we also want to make sure that this attack is not seen as an isolated incident. This was a deliberate attempt to silence an Arab-American civil rights icon and organization, ”said Samer Khalaf, CDA national president, adding that CDA offices were also targeted in Boston. and Washington, DC.

The attack came amid a wave of anti-Arab and anti-Muslim hysteria stoked here by the media in response to international incidents where American lives have been lost. Odeh was killed just hours after appearing on two television news broadcasts defending the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), explaining that the PLO played no role in the hijacking of the Achille Lauro ship.

The FBI called the attack a terrorist attack. The assassination has been condemned by President Ronald Reagan and even by Zionist organizations like the American Committee on Israel and the Anti-Defamation League. Two weeks after Odeh’s death, the FBI attributed the assassination – along with two other bombings – to the Jewish Defense League, a terrorist organization founded by fascist American-Israeli politician Martin Kahane. JDL National President Irv Rubin issued a public statement after the bombing: “I have no tears for Mr. Odeh. He got exactly what he deserved.

In response to the FBI’s statement linking the JDL to the attack, Rubin denied any involvement. After facing backlash, the FBI went back to its original position, saying instead that further investigation was needed before any final attribution, although the JDL was “probably” responsible for the attacks.

36 years later, the Department of Justice is still dragging its feet

For decades, the Justice Department dragged its feet in bringing justice to Odeh and his family. Meanwhile, evidence continued to surface that further implicates the murder suspects, who were then under surveillance. A few years ago, retired law enforcement officers handling the case at the time expressed frustration at the lack of arrests despite the identification of suspects: “We know who did it. We know where they lived. We know why they did it, how they did it.

The suspects moved to Israel where two of them still live freely in a West Bank settlement. Israeli officials have continuously thwarted efforts to gain information about the JDL’s movement between the United States and Israel despite the organization and the suspects being linked to several other attacks in the United States. murder after two years of extradition proceedings, but not for the attack that killed Odeh.

ADC Legal and Political Director Abed Ayoub explained on December 21: “To have a senior member of the Senate, a majority whip and the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee take a serious look at this matter is welcoming and long awaited. We hope this provides some answers from the FBI on what is taking so long in this case and why justice has not been served for those responsible for Odeh’s murder.

Zubaidi writes in her Liberation magazine article that she believes Odeh’s murder and the failure of law enforcement to deliver justice to him and his family decades later make it clear that the government American is a partner in silencing pro-Palestinian activists.

She adds that she believes there is a double standard in the way these cases are handled. For example, the US government wrongly designated the Holy Land Foundation, the largest Islamic charity in the United States, as a “terrorist organization”, shut it down, and even jailed its organizers and activists. Yet the United States supports Israeli NGOs that raise funds in the United States for illegal Zionist settlements and settler terrorism.

Most recently, on December 15, the civil rights group Council for American Islamic Relations revealed that informants there were recording and passing confidential information to an anti-Muslim hate group with ties to the Israeli government. Yet there has been no media outcry or investigation by the Justice Department.

Featured Image: Alex Odeh with his daughters months before his murder. Photo: American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee

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