DECADES AFTER A PALESTINIAN AMERICAN ACTIVIST WAS ASSASSINATED IN CALIFORNIA, TWO SUSPECTS IN HIS KILLING ARE LIVING OPENLY IN ISRAEL

From time to time, the Palestine Center distributes articles it believes will enhance understanding of the Palestinian political reality. The following article was published by David Sheen in The Intercept on February 6, 2020

 

ALEX ODEH WAS born in 1944 in British Mandate Palestine to a Christian family in the West Bank village of Jifna, near Ramallah, just four years before the founding of Israel. He immigrated in 1972 to the United States, where he became a spokesperson for the Arab American community, challenging negative portrayals of Middle Easterners and Muslims, which were back then at least as commonplace as they are today.

Odeh, the Southern California regional director at the Arab-American Anti-Discrimination Committee, or ADC, was known for his efforts to build bridges between Jews and Arabs, but his outreach was rejected by nationalist elements of the Jewish community, which saw him as an emerging threat.

ADC had become a target of the Jewish right after it began challenging the pro-Israel consensus in the U.S., organizing demonstrations against Israel’s 1982 invasion of Lebanon. In 1984, ADC members were regularly receiving threatening phone calls from an individual or individuals identifying as the leader of the Jewish Defense League, an anti-Arab movement led by Rabbi Meir Kahane. Physical attacks began the following year, after the ADC began taking out advertisements in the Washington Post attempting to convince American voters and public officials that Israel should no longer receive annual allotments of millions of dollars in U.S. foreign aid.”

 

 

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The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The Jerusalem Fund.

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