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  • Writer's pictureGabriel San Roman

Man of Peace: The Assassination of Alex Odeh Thirty Years Later

Updated: Sep 7, 2020

On the morning of Oct. 11, 1985, Norma Odeh made breakfast for her husband, Alex, in their Orange home. The night before, KABC-TV Channel 7 had interviewed Odeh, West Coast regional director for the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) and one of the U.S.'s most prominent Arab-American activists. The interviewer wanted his opinions about the Achille Lauro hijacking and the subsequent killing of 69-year-old wheelchair-bound Leon Klinghoffer that had happened just a couple of days before. A camera crew filmed Alex at the ADC offices in Santa Ana. He condemned the hijacking, as well as terrorism in general. But he also claimed the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) wasn't responsible for the attack and called Yasser Arafat "a man of peace" for helping to secure the release of hostages. "After he came home, we watched it together," Norma recalls. "I hope to God nobody does anything to you," she told him then.

Read more on my latest OC Weekly cover feature out on newsstands today! If outside the distribution area, click on the link below:

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