Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Kahane terrorists threaten Rahm Emanuel's family
It's not simply "hecklers" bothering White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel and his family, visiting Israel and East Jerusalem for their 13-year-old son's bar mitzvah.

Zach Emanuel, praying today at the Western Wall in East Jerusalem.
It's a truly scary bunch: Oft-arrested Itamar Ben-Gvir and Baruch Marzel - leaders of the right-wing Kach terrorist organization outlawed by the Israeli government. They were picked up by the Israeli police after their actions almost prevented Emanuel from going up to pray at the Western Wall in East Jerusalem with his son. CBS News reported they had threatened to "take Zach Emanuel "on a day of fun without his father" in order to "teach him a few things about the Jewish peoples' heritage." As a result, the Emanuel family was accompanied throughout their visit by a heavy guard of plainclothes police.

Meir Kahane wikipedia
Infiltrating John Birch Society
In the late 1950s to early 1960s Kahane led a life of secrecy. His strong anti-Communist views landed him a position as a consultant with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). His assignment was to infiltrate the right-wing John Birch Society and report his findings back to the FBI. For this position Kahane took on the false name Michael King and spent nearly two and a half years posing as a Christian, learning all he could about the John Birch Society.

As reported by Michael T Kaufman in The New York Times (and subsequently followed up by The Village Voice in the early 1980s), Kahane (under his pseudonym Michael King) had an affair with a gentile woman, Gloria Jean D'Argenio.[12] In 1966, Kahane/King sent a letter to Ms D'Argenio where he unilaterally ended their relationship. In response, Ms D'argenio jumped off the Queensboro ("59th Street") Bridge; she died of her injuries the next day. According to Mr Kaufman, Rabbi Kahane admitted to him that "he loved Ms D'Argenio and had sent roses to her grave for months after her death."[13]

[edit] Activism
Main article: Jewish Defense League
Kahane founded the Jewish Defense League (JDL) in New York City in 1968. JDL's self-described purpose was to protect Jews from local manifestations of anti-Semitism. These issues were very relevant at the time of mass exodus of urban Jewish population into suburbs and those unable or unwilling to move often becoming victims of violent crimes in the racially and ethnically changing neighborhoods. JDL members led protests against anti-Semitic teachers in the public school system, provided escorts for elderly Jews and educated Jewish youth in the art of self-defense.[14] However, it was the criticism of the Soviet Union that garnered support for the group, transforming it from a "vigilante club" to an activist organization with membership numbering over 15,000.[15] JDL organized mass rallies in New York against the Soviet Union's policy of persecuting Zionist activists and curbing Jewish immigration to Israel. JDL played lead role in the "Free Soviet Jewry" movement ("Let My People Go!") and pushed for the release of Russian refuseniks and their resettlement in Israel. JDL also protested against the oppression of Jewish population in Muslim countries, fought Neo-Nazis in the United States and resisted Christian missionaries' activity to convert Jews.

Earl Krugal wikipedia
Earl Leslie Krugel (November 24, 1942 – November 4, 2005) was the West Coast coordinator of the Jewish Defense League. In 2005, he was sentenced to prison on charges of terrorism after he confessed plotting, with the group's leader Irv Rubin, to blow up the office of Arab-American congressman Darrell Issa and the King Fahd mosque in Culver City, California.[2] He was kept in protective custody for three years for the 2001 bomb plot,[3] but was transferred to a medium security federal prison following his sentencing.[3] Three days later, he was murdered by a fellow inmate, who struck him in the head with a block of concrete.[2]

Earl Krugel killed in prison
Written by ck
Wham! One cement block to the head and that’s all she wrote. Earl Krugel, a JDL member sent to prison for 20 years after being convicted for his part in a plot to bomb a California mosque and the office of a U.S. congressman, was murdered in prison. He had only been in the medium security federal penitentiary for three days. Medium security I guess means the guards feel comfortable leaving cement blocks around… anyhow, he’s there for three days when the prison welcome wagon comes along and… well, I’ve already told you. So let’s see, Rabbi Meir Kahane, the founder of the JDL, gets assassinated Nov. 5, 1990 – just 15 years ago – by an Egyptian terrorist who doesn’t get convicted because no one actually saw him pull the trigger (he did eventually get life +15 years for trying to blow up the World Trade Center). Then, his son, Rabbi Binyamin Kahane and his wife Talya, were killed in a shooting attack by Palestinian gunmen in the West Bank. Then Irv Rubin, head of the JDL, who got arrested with the unfortunate Earl, slit his throat and fell to his death in prison. Geez, it’s rough being a Kachnik. Anyhow, I don’t mean to make light of Earl’s death, or anyone’s for that matter. He received a 20 year sentence, not the death penalty. American jails suck.

Read all about it here and here, but details are still scant.

Alex Odeh murder
Twenty years later, still no charges in Alex Odeh assassination
Erik Skindrud, The Electronic Intifada, 6 December 2006

Sami Odeh stands with a photo of his slain brother in 2005, 20 years after Alex Odeh's assassination. (Erik Skindrud)

Palestinian-American activist Alex Odeh was assassinated in Santa Ana, California 21 years ago. No one was ever charged with the crime. An agreement with the Israeli government prevents the extradition and prosecution of the prime suspects.

On the morning of Oct. 11, 1985 Alex Odeh made his way to his Arab-American Anti-Discrimination Committee office in Santa Ana, California. Odeh was likely tired as he climbed to the second-story office -- he had been up past midnight the night before, appearing on a late-night talk show where he condemned the killing days earlier of Leon Klinghoffer, a 69-year old Jewish New Yorker shot and dumped into the Mediterranean by Palestinian gunmen aboard the Achille Lauro cruise ship. On the show, Odeh had also repeated his oft-stated belief that peace and cooperation between Palestinians and Israelis was not only necessary, it was possible.

The group's West Coast coordinator, Alex had a busy day in front of him. He was to speak that evening at Friday prayer services at Congregation B'Nai Tzedek, a synagogue in Fountain Valley.

He wouldn't make it. Around 9 a.m. Odeh unlocked the door to the 17th Street office, triggering a powerful pipe bomb that ripped through his face and chest. (The blast also blew out office windows, injuring seven passersby on the street below.) According to his brother Sami -- who still lives in Orange, California -- Alex also inhaled enough hot blast chemicals to cook his lungs from the inside. Sami reached the emergency room at Tustin Community Hospital in time to meet a silent surgeon emerging from an operating room.

"His face told me everything," Sami Odeh recalls.

Sami faced up to the task -- delivering the news to Alex's wife Norma and the 41-year-old's three little girls, Helena, Samya and Susan.

Each October marks another year since the day that is still recalled by Arab Americans in Orange County and by Muslims, Arabs and others around the world (the Odeh family are Palestinian Roman Catholics). More than two decades later, no one has been arrested in connection with Odeh's assassination, nobody has been charged with the crime and nobody is likely to be convicted. The FBI says the case remains open -- even though government documents and newspaper reports strongly suggest that the man who orchestrated the assassination is already in federal custody.

In September 2005, one strand of the mystery was tied up when U.S. District Judge Ronald S.W. Lew sentenced Earl Krugel, a 63-year-old former dental assistant from Reseda, to 20 years in prison for conspiring to bomb the King Fahd Mosque in Culver City and assassinate Rep. Darrell E. Issa (R-Vista), a congressman of Lebanese descent. Following sentencing, defense attorney Jay Lichtman told reporters that Krugel had supplied investigators with four names in connection with the Odeh killing. The names, Krugel said, had been mentioned by the late Irv Rubin -- Krugel's co-conspirator, who committed suicide last year by slashing his throat with a razor blade and leaping from a walkway inside the federal Metropolitan Detention Center in Los Angeles.

Strangely, just three days after arriving at the Federal Correctional Institution in Phoenix, Ariz. (in Nov., 2005), Krugel was murdered in an exercise yard by another prisoner.

After Krugel's death, his wife suggested his killing was related to Odeh's assassination.

"It was all about Alex Odeh and my husband did not know anything about Alex Odeh," Lola Krugel told the Associated Press.

In 1985, Rubin was chairman of the Jewish Defense League, a group of radical pro-Israelis listed as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Following Odeh's killing, Rubin openly gloated about the Palestinian-born American's death, telling the Los Angeles Times, "No Jew or American should shed one tear for the destruction of a P.L.O. front in Santa Ana or anywhere else in the world."

Rubin was arrested in 2002 after the FBI recorded Krugel and others plotting "a wake-up call" for Arab Americans by destroying one of their "filthy mosques," according to court records.

Before his suicide, Rubin told Krugel that four men had been involved in the Odeh killing. Investigators haven't released the names, but Sami Odeh believes they include three names previously listed by the FBI as suspects: Robert Manning, Keith Fuchs and Andy Green.

Fuchs and Green continue to reside in (relative) safely at Kiryat Araba, a Jewish settlement near Hebron in the occupied West Bank. All three were disciples of the late Rabbi Meir Kahane, the rabidly anti-Arab founder of the JDL.

The presumed mastermind of the Odeh killing, Manning fled to Israel immediately after the Santa Ana incident. He was extradited to the U.S. in 1993, where he was convicted of the 1980 killing of Patricia Wilkerson, a Manhattan Beach secretary who had the misfortune of opening a package bomb aimed at Manning's estranged business associate. (Manning's fingerprints were found on the package by investigators.)

It wasn't the first time Manning had been caught tinkering with explosives, however. In 1972, he was convicted of bombing the Hollywood home of Palestinian activist Mohammed Shaath.

With so many arrows pointing, why wasn't Manning prosecuted for Odeh's killing? In what amounts to a political compromise of Biblical proportions, Manning can't be tried for Odeh's murder because of an extradition agreement between the U.S. and Israel. The reason: the assassination occurred after he became an Israeli citizen.

Manning swallowed 20 sleeping pills on the eve of his extradition in an attempt to escape justice.

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 both Fuchs and Green -- like Manning -- 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."

There was no ceremony to mark the 20th anniversary of Odeh's killing by terrorists. There will be no birthday remembrance.

"He was a very intelligent, very calm but passionate young man," recalls Haitham Bundakji, former director of the Islamic Society of Orange County in Garden Grove. "He loved the U.S. as his new country, but he never forgot Palestine, which was his homeland. He believed in the Palestinian people and he worked very hard to shed some light on the other side of the coin, the other side of the issue that most Americans don't hear about."

Arabs, Muslims and others in Orange County, Calif. and elsewhere continue to feel frustrated about the apparently immovable roadblock that still sits in the path to justice.

Contacted for this article, Arab-American academic Jack Shaheen (who spoke at a memorial service for Odeh in November 1985) said the lack of resolution continues to trouble the community.

"Sadly," he said, "the tragedy of Alex's assassination shows that the life of an American civil rights advocate with Palestinian roots is not valued by our government or media as much as the lives of other Americans."

"There is the feeling that the great influence pro-Israel groups have in this country had an influence on the investigation," Bundakji said.

Surprisingly, Sami Odeh, who works as a real estate broker in Orange, Calif., is more sanguine about the case.

"We remain hopeful that eventually, justice will prevail," he said. "I happen to believe that despite the enormous power that the Israeli state wields in this country, the American justice system will continue to push.

"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."

Erik Skindrud is a magazine editor and journalist in Huntington Beach, California. He attended U.C. Berkeley�s Graduate School of Journalism.

Alex Odeh Memorial Statue Vandalized in “Hate Crime”

April/May 1997 pgs. 67-68

California Chronicle

by Pat McDonnell Twair
The sickos are back.

At 4:30 a.m. Feb. 6 Santa Ana police received an anonymous call that red paint had been poured on the Alex Odeh Memorial Statue in front of the Santa Ana Central Library. Police headquarters are just yards from the statue, but for the second time in four months, hatemongers got away with defacing the statue. The first incident happened Oct. 11, on the 11th anniversary of Odeh’s assassination. He was killed in 1985 when a pipe bomb exploded as he opened the door to enter his Santa Ana office. He was the regional director of the American- Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee and the night before had said on a radio program that Yasser Arafat was a man of peace.

Police estimate that two gallons of paint were thrown on the statue; two sets of paint-soaked footprints were visible from the statue to the nearby curb. The FBI is treating the vandalism as a hate crime.

JDL Harassment
When the statue was placed in the Santa Ana Civic Center, the Orange County seat, in April 1994, the Jewish Defense League protested vociferously. On Aug. 27, 1996, when the FBI announced a $1 million reward for information leading to the arrest of Odeh’s killers, JDL hecklers yelled and shouted obscenities at the FBI spokespersons who announced the reward.

In Washington, DC, ADC President Hala Maksoud voiced her concern that the JDL continues without restraint to slander Odeh and to spread hatred against Odeh and, by implication, against Arab Americans. A case in point is the JDL Web site on the Internet that calls Odeh a “terrorism lover.”

In a national statement, Maksoud concluded: “This cowardly act of vandalism highlights the urgency to resolve this case, as Alex’s murderers are still at large.”

Khalil Bendib, the Algerian-American sculptor who created the Odeh statue, told the Washington Report: “I read that there were straight lines of red paint across the neck and wrists as if the perpetrators were trying to kill Alex again. That is sick.”

The same sentiment was echoed by Odeh’s brother, Sami, who viewed the defaced statue and commented: “Whoever did this must be a sick, deranged person.”

Anaheim attorney Stephen Mashney told reporters that not enough is being done to solve violent crimes directed against Arab Americans. “Of course the objective of law enforcement is to protect citizens. But certain groups are not pursued as vigorously as others when it comes to investigating these crimes.”

JDL chairman Irv Rubin again went on record stating: “I think the guy [Odeh] is a war criminal.”

Immediately after the 1985 assassination the FBI identified three suspects, all of them believed to be affiliated with the JDL, who fled to Israel. Two of the suspects were Robert and Rochelle Manning, who took refuge in the settlement of Jewish religious militants at Kiryat Arba outside Hebron on the West Bank. After years of legal delays Israel consented to the extradition of Robert Manning to the U.S., where he is serving a life sentence for his role in a murder-for-hire plot in which a Manhattan Beach, CA secretary was killed by the explosion of a package bomb mailed to her employer. The Israelis claim Rochelle Manning died of a heart attack just before she, too, was to be extradited to California.

David Cole
on this affliction of the fanatic is a simple one. The one universal good that outweighs all others must be a person's right to follow any life path they choose so long as they offer no infringement on the rights of others. Our Declaration of Independence speaks of the inalienable rights we all have to our lives, liberty and pursuit of happiness, which is to say the sanctity of our own bodies, freedom of movement and association, and freedom of thought.Those who seek to deprive others of any of these outside the unfortunate but necessary repressions of the State we call justice earn for themselves what they gave. The principle is that of equity at its most basic level. As you deprive others of their liberty, so shall society see that you are deprived in equal measure, because there is no justification for any individual to take away any other individual's freedoms, even to the smallest part. That power is and must be confined to our mechanisms of government.

The right to harbor unpopular, even intolerant beliefs, and the right to express them are protected by the Constitution, which spells out the unqualified right of all Americans to unfettered freedom of speech. But intimidation aimed at silencing speech, and thus infringing on that right, be it through slander, threats or force, is not so protected. In fact, people who used those exact methods of intimidation to keep blacks from voting found themselves jailed for conspiring to deprive others of their lawful civil rights.

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