Thursday morning on “Democracy Now!,” Rep. John Conyers called on the Justice Department to pursue the case of Alex Odeh, who was assassinated 28 years ago this month. On October 11, 1985, Odeh, the the Southern California regional director of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, was killed when a powerful pipe bomb exploded as he unlocked and opened the door of the ADC office in Santa Ana, California.
Said Conyers of the government’s lack of pursuit in the case: “The fact of the matter is that this is an embarrassment. They haven’t even dismissed the witnesses or the suspects involved. And it’s like they just put this into a closet and locked the door.”
BENJAMIN JEALOUS, via Derek Turner, dturner at naacpnet.org
Available for a limited number of interviews, Jealous is the president of the NAACP. He said today: “The Odeh case is similar to that of Medgar Evers, the civil rights activist killed in 1963 in Mississippi. It took 30 years to bring his assassin to justice. Sometimes, a residue of discrimination gums up the wheels of justice in bringing cases to a close. It would be foolhardy to believe that police and prosecutors are all completely immune from the bias of discrimination that leads some people to believe that some lives are worth less than others.”
ALBERT MOKHIBER, WARREN DAVID, RAED JARRAR, media at adc.org
Mokhiber is a former president of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee. He was also on “Democracy Now!” this morning. He said today: “Alex Odeh was a dear friend and colleague of mine. None of us should rest until this case is resolved and justice prevails. The terrorist attack that killed Alex Odeh also sent a intended shock throughout the Arab American community, creating a chilling effect.”
David is current president of the ADC. He said today: “ADC, in collaboration with our friends at the NAACP, Jewish Voice for Peace, and other organizations, launched a national petition calling on the Department of Justice to hold Alex Odeh’s murderers accountable. We’re also supporting Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez’s efforts to send a letter to the Attorney General asking for an update on the case.” See the petition at: alexodeh.org.
Jarrar is the communications director of the ADC. He said today: “The fact that the suspected murderers fled to Israel right after the attack should not affect the investigation. ADC and the Arab American community at large call on the Department of Justice to adhere to the same standards while fighting terrorism.”
For background, see the 1990 piece by Robert I. Friedman in the Los Angeles Times: “The California Murder Case That Israel Is Sweeping Under the Rug: In 1985, Alex Odeh was killed by a pipe bomb in Orange County. The FBI has three suspects, but they are in Israel; extradition is unlikely.”