10th October 2001
US Double Standards Against Terror
With the launch of military attacks on Afghanistan, the USA has resorted to unprecedented action to bring to justice those it alleges were behind the attacks on the World Trade Centre and the Pentagon on 11 September 2001.
However the same sentiments of justice were not expressed following the murder of Palestinian-American Alex Odeh, regional director of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC). He was killed by a bomb explosion when he opened the door of his office in California in 1985.
FBI investigators identified three members of the Jewish Defense League – Robert Manning, Keith Fuchs, and Andy Green – as the chief suspects of the killing. Following the killing, they fled to the ‘safe haven’ of Israel. All three have been arrested and convicted of earlier bombings or shootings in the US and the West Bank. The three suspects are devoted followers of Rabbi Meir Kahane, founder of the JDL and the violent anti-Arab Kach Party in Israel.
According to an internal FBI memo made public in 1987, the Israeli government failed to cooperate with the US investigation of this murder. Neither has there been any cooperation in the investigation of a series of seventeen JDL terrorist incidents in the US from 1981-1986. The FBI made numerous requests for information about terrorist suspects and had meetings with Israeli representatives, but their responses have been of a futile nature. To date, Israel has refused to comply with demands of extradition of the terrorists. All three are currently reservists in the Israeli army.
In drawing an analogy with the situation in Afghanistan, the country has found itself a victim of military action ‘for harboring terrorism’ and for its refusal to hand over Usama Bin Laden, regardless of the failure of the US to provide sufficient evidence to prove his alleged involvement. However, in the case of Alex Odeh, the US failed to take any action against Israel for harboring terrorists and for its refusal to extradite them, even in the light of overwhelming evidence.
One must ask, do the principles of justice differ when Arabs or Muslims are involved?
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