October 18, 2007
Briefs: Debate tournament date debated, Weiss out of recall danger, Governor signs Iran divestment bill
(Page 2 - Previous Page)The occasion was the 30th anniversary of Egyptian President Anwar Sadat's visit to Jerusalem, and it drew some 300 Angelenos to the memorial tribute at Sephardic Temple Tifereth Israel.
In attendance were Begin's daughter, Hasia Begin Millo, his granddaughter and great-grandchildren, as well as Yechiel Kadishai, Begin's former chief of staff.
Consul General Ehud Danoch, who initiated the event, pointed out that Begin's last stay in the United States was in Los Angeles, where he addressed a large Israel Bond rally in 1982. The visit was tragically cut short when Begin was notified that his wife, Aliza, had died in Israel.
For Danoch, whose second daughter was born to his wife Miki on Oct. 1, it was his last official public appearance as Israel's top representative in the Southwest before returning home.
Gilad Erdan, a Likud member of the Knesset, gave the key address, in which he described Begin's humility and intense national pride, a combination not seen in an Israeli leader since, Erdan said.
He cited Begin's three principles as no Jewish civil war, as demonstrated during the Altalena confrontation in 1948; no division of Jerusalem, despite pressure by President Carter at Camp David; and a deep sense of humanitarianism that extended to Vietnamese refugees admitted to the Jewish state.
In a panel discussion, Kadishai, Erdan, Danoch and Herzl Markov, director of the Begin Heritage Center in Jerusalem, recalled some of Begin's thoughts and sayings.
Kadishai quoted his former boss speaking in 1980 at the 100th anniversary of Revisionist leader Ze'ev Jabotinsky's birth, in which Begin vowed that "Jerusalem is the eternal capital of Israel, which will never be divided for all generations to come."
-- Tom Tugend, Contributing Editor
Odeh Slaying Case Re-Opens
The cold case of a 22-year old murder of an Arab civil rights official is warming up again, putting the names of two deceased Jewish Defense League (JDL) officials back in the news.
Federal and local officials have received new evidence in the slaying of Alex Odeh, former Western regional director of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, the Los Angeles Times reported on Oct. 11.
Odeh was killed and seven others injured when he opened to door to his Santa Ana office, triggering a bomb explosion. One day earlier, Odeh had publicly criticized the news media for linking the PLO (Palestine Liberation Organization) to the hijacking of the Italian cruise ship Achille Lauro and the murder of a wheelchair-bound American Jewish passenger.
Suspicion for the crime fell immediately on two JDL leaders, Irv Rubin, who had just been named national head of the militant group by its founder, Rabbi Meir Kahane, and Rubin's deputy, Earl Krugel.
The two men were never charged with the crime, but in 2005, when Krugel was sentenced to 20 years in prison in a separate case, he entered a plea agreement promising to help FBI agents still probing the Odeh killing.
Shortly after entering prison, Krugel was killed by a fellow inmate, but not before providing some details on the Odeh slaying and the names of three accomplices, of whom two are believed to live in Israel, according to he Times.
Reportedly, this new evidence has now led a joint federal and local Terrorism Task Force to reactivate the case.
Sami Odeh, the murder victim's brother, said that task force agents, who briefed him last week, seemed to be upbeat about the importance of the evidence.
Rubin died in November 2005, after jumping from a balcony at a detention center. Prison officials termed the death a suicide, a verdict adamantly rejected by Rubin's family.
-- Tom Tugend, Contributing Editor
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