Sami Odeh stands with a photo of his slain brother in 2005, 20 years after Alex Odeh’s assassination.(Erik Skindrud)
ADC announced earlier this month that Alex’s brother passed away on 6 June after a long illness.
“We regret that Sami Odeh never lived to see justice served for Alex’s death, but are hopeful that this case will be solved soon,” ADC wrote in a press release.
The next day Congressperson Loretta Sanchez, who represents Santa Ana where the bombing took place, sent a letter [PDF] to the attorney general requesting an update on the status of the case:
Close to 28 years have passed since the death of Alex Odeh … To this day, no arrests have been made and no one has been held accountable for the attack. The FBI’s case into Alex Odeh’s murder remains open, and is classified as a “priority investigation.”
Sami spoke to The Electronic Intifada in 2006 on his surprising optimism about the case:
We remain hopeful that eventually, justice will prevail … You have to understand that the FBI is up to their ears in cases. I know that the Israelis are making it tremendously difficult for them to do their job, but given enough time, I think they can finish it. And even if they aren’t brought to justice here — God will mete out justice eventually. And when he does, He won’t be under anyone’s political influence.
ADC communications director Raed Jarrar told me in a Skype interview about new efforts being made to pressure the US government and law enforcement to find the killers.
Jarrar said that getting members of Congress to put pressure on Eric Holder for an update made it harder for him to ignore, and ADC is encouraging people to write to their elected officials about the case via their website.
At ADC’s recent national convention, Jarrar said, four campaigning priorities were set, one of which was bringing closure to Odeh’s case.
Sheila Jackson Lee, one of the members of Congress who spoke at the convention, compared the case to Medgar Evers, a National Association for the Advancement of Colored People activist who was murdered by a white supremacist in 1963.
It took more than 30 years, but eventually Evers’ killer was jailed for the remainder of his life.
The NAACP’s president Benjamin Jealous gave the keynote address at the convention and promised to send out an action alert to the NAACP’s 670,000 subscribers on the 28th anniversary of Odeh’s murder in October, asking members to request an update on the case from the FBI.
The Jewish Defense League is a Zionist terrorist group that was founded in 1968 by the notorious racist Meir Kahane in New York. Kahane later moved to Israel and founded Kach, which was banned as a terrorist group even by Israel and the US. One of Kahane’s slogans was “every Jew a .22” (a reference to .22 caliber rifle).
Hebrew stickers in Jerusalem: “Today everybody knows that Kahane was right”.(Wikipedia)
Kahane, who was once elected to the Knesset, the Israeli parliament, openly called for all Palestinians to be expelled from the West Bank. To this day, many Israeli settlers and racists maintain the slogan “Kahane was right.” JDL has spawned imitators in Europe and Canada.
Irv Rubin, JDL chair at the time of the bombing, said “Odeh got what he deserved,” but denied responsibility. In 2002 he died in jail while awaiting trial on charges of conspiracy to bomb a mosque and an Arab American politician (for which his JDL comrade Earl Krugel eventually received 20 years).
According to the LA Times, former JDL members Keith Fuchs, Andy Green and Robert Manning were privately named by Rubin to Krugel as being part of the plot against Odeh.
Manning was extradited back to the US in the early 1990s and is serving a life term over a different bomb plot. But Fuchs and Green are said to be living comfortably in an illegal Israeli settlement in Hebron.
Why is the US government not requesting their extradition? Why is little or nothing being done to advance this supposedly “priority investigation” while at the same time the FBI chases whistleblowers like Edward Snowden, (who revealed the NSA’s secret PRISM internet snooping system)?