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Bombing in Orange County

October 18, 1985

Now even Orange County wears the scars of international political hatred and intolerance--an ugly mark indeed.

The assassination of Palestinian-American Alex M. Odeh is a crime that not only highlights the savagery of a dispute long confronted in a depraved and insane manner, but also points out the mockery that terrorism makes of situations requiring only that man use his understanding, humility and conscience to solve.

Alex never advocated violence but sought instead to answer the injustices toward his people through a relentless quest to inform, educate and enlighten our brainwashed society. To see that a person or group felt threatened by such an individual should make us again aware of the importance that ignorance and fear play in deterring the American and world populations from getting a true prospective on the plight of the Palestinian people.

As my political science and Arabic language instructor, he chose not to use propaganda, name-calling or hate to win my sympathies and respect. Rather, he knew that anyone of reasonable intelligence, upon hearing or reading the truth, would realize that the violence and rejection suffered by the Israelis is a direct result of their mishandling of domestic affairs, their ethnocentrism (embodied not necessarily in Judaism but in Zionism), and perhaps even their inability to see past the hurt of a war now 40 years buried yet for which the Arab population still continues to suffer as though they were its victims.

I mourn for us, Californians, as the horrors of terrorism are now as close as our neighbors. Mostly, though, I mourn that a gentle, gifted and humble man like Alex was deprived of his right to live in peace, to accomplish his life's work and perhaps one day see a long-awaited conclusion to this mania.

Many persons of greatness and courage have chosen to risk death for freedom: needless to say, Alex is among them.



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