Middle East Monitor / May 23, 2020
David Sheen, a friend of mine and a fellow journalist, published a great investigative story the other month. It tells a tale of murder, racism, duplicity, and justice denied.
In October 1985, Palestinian-American civil rights activist Alex Odeh was murdered by Zionist fanatics in California.
Odeh was blown to smithereens by a pipe bomb. His murderers have never been arrested.
Hours after Odeh’s brutal slaying, Irv Rubin, the national chairperson of the Jewish Defence League (JDL) at the time, justified the murder: “I have no tears for Mr. Odeh. He got exactly what he deserved.”
Despite a $1 million reward being announced by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) for information leading to the conviction of Odeh’s killers, no arrests have ever been made.
The police and the FBI’s main suspects have so far escaped justice. They are Baruch Ben-Yosef (born Andy Green) and Israel Fuchs (formerly known as Keith Fuchs).
They have been able to do so for one reason: Ben-Yosef/Green and Fuchs fled the US for Israel some months after the terrorist bombing.
In my view, they are being protected by the Israeli government.
The FBI is being obstructed in its investigation by the Israelis. On the flip side, it seems clear that the US government is not exactly pulling out all the stops. No pressure is being put on Israel to bring Odeh’s killers to justice, to extradite them to stand trial in the US, or even to cooperate with the investigation in any way.
As Sheen detailed in his extensive piece, Odeh was a Palestinian born in the majority-Christian village of Jifna in the West Bank (close to a particularly extremist Israeli colony). He dedicated his life and activism in the US working for the Arab-American Discrimination Committee, or ADC.
He worked to build awareness of the plight of his people under Israeli occupation and to build bridges with US Jews. On the very day of his murder, he had been due to speak at the Congregation B’nai Tzedek, a Reform synagogue in Santa Ana.
Very clearly, his killers saw such efforts as a threat to their extremist Zionist agenda.
Due to Israel’s racist “Law of Return”, Fuchs and Ben-Yosef were able to claim citizenship in the country where they are now fugitives from the law. Israel has for decades stonewalled FBI attempts to bring the killers to justice.
This is all quite typical behaviour for Israel – certainly one of the world’s worst rogue states. Jewish extremists like Fuchs and Ben-Yosef are habitually harboured in Israel.
Israeli protection of these racist criminals is no aberration. Zionist extremists fleeing justice from all over the world know they will be safe in Israel. Grégory Chelli for example, the French hacker, known as Ulcan, is accused in a French court of making hoax phone calls, one of them lethal. Chelli was a member of the French branch of the JDL and fled to Israel before the court could try him.
Using weasel words, the official Israeli government has in the past stated its condemnation of the JDL’s openly racist founder, Meir Kahane. He won a seat in the Knesset, Israel’s parliament, in the 1980s, but his party was later banned.
In reality, the government of Benjamin Netanyahu and his “moderate” ally Benny Gantz, along with his coalition government and allies in the so-called Labour Party, have all endorsed the racism of Kahane – even if they had a personal rivalry with him.
In practice, Kahane’s policy of driving all Palestinians out of the so-called “Land of Israel” by force is endorsed in one form or another by all Zionist parties in Israel. The differences between them are merely ones of emphasis, strategy, and personal rivalry.
Today, Odeh’s killers are being sheltered in the illegal Zionist colonies which occupy stolen Palestinian land in the West Bank.
Ben-Yosef is particularly brazen – as Sheen’s reporting shows. He is a high-profile lawyer in Israel, defending some of the most fanatical Zionist terrorists, religious extremists, and murderers.
He is also at the forefront of the “Temple Movement”, the Jewish extremist group that wants to blow up Al-Aqsa Mosque and raze the Dome of the Rock – which are some of Islam’s holiest sites, two important Palestinian national symbols – in order to build a synagogue.
Asa Winstanley is an investigative journalist living in London who writes about Palestine and the Middle East