A Mideast Political Assassination in O.C.?

The vigilant statue of Palestinian activist Alex Odeh brings an international conflict home

Alex Odeh was killed when he opened the front door of the Santa Ana offices of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, setting off a pipe bomb. The Oct. 11, 1985, explosion injured seven other people and caused massive damage to the building where Odeh served as the committee’s western regional director. Within a year of the blast, an FBI official attributed the act to Jewish extremists; the agency even identified suspects. Yet to this day, no arrests have been made despite a $1 million reward for information that would help solve the crime. A 9-foot statue of Odeh, dedicated on April 12, 1994, stands in front of Santa Ana’s Main Library at Civic Center Square. Sculpted by Arab-American artist Khalil Bendib, the neoclassical figure wears a toga and clutches a book in one hand; in the other he holds a dove. The late radio personality Casey Kasem, an Arab-American, led the effort to raise funds for the piece, and was on hand for its dedication. It has been vandalized several times.

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