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Friday, Jul. 28, 2017 at 7:22 PM
An Oakland bakery with a mural of a convicted terrorist has neighbors upset
Why is Reem's Bakery in the Oakland Fruitvale neighborhood promoting hate? Why is Reem's glorifying Rasmea Odeh, the confessed killer of 2 young students? Why is a bakery that claims to "connect people across culture" lionizing a murderer who targeted civilians in a grocery store?
Hebrew University students, Edward Joffe and Leon Kanner were best friends, murdered when members of the terror group Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine bombed a Jerusalem grocery store in 1969. Nine other people were injured.
Rasmea Odeh, a member of the PFLP terror group placed her bomb in a kosher grocery store in Jerusalem for one reason- to target and terrorize Jewish civilians. She was arrested and confessed to the murders after one day in custody. Physical evidence such as bomb making materials were found in Odeh’s home. Guy Wintelir, an observer from the International Red Cross attended the six month long trial and described it as fair. Rasmea was sentenced to life in prison over for her role in the attack.
In 1980, after serving only 10 years of her sentence, Odeh was released in a prisoner exchange
She immigrated to the United States in 1995, escaping detection by using a variety of aliases, but was found guilty in 2014 of lying on her immigration papers. She confessed after an appeal and is currently awaiting deportation.
In a 2004 documentary, Rasmea was implicated by her co-conspirator Aisha Odeh which Aisha admitted to participating in the Super Sol attack and named Rasmea as one of her accomplices. She admitted “Rasmea Odeh was more involved than I was [in the grocery store bombing] ... I only got involved during the preparation of explosives. We wanted to place two bombs to blow up consecutively. I suggested to have the second bomb go off five or six minutes after the first bomb so that those who get killed in it would be members of the army and secret service, but it did not explode. They diffused it 20 seconds before it exploded.”
In a community devastated by violence, why is Reems bakery glorifying this unrepentant murderer?
It remains unclear how glorifying a murderer builds connections across cultures
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by Oakland Warrior
Saturday, Jul. 29, 2017 at 12:09 PM
Facebook Page dedicated to the growing Boycott Reem's Movement: Oakland Unite Against Hate:
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by Abe miller
Saturday, Jul. 29, 2017 at 12:11 PM
We are shamed by our fanatics. We do not see them as role models, heroes, and inspirations. The other side idolizes their fanatics! When they stop, maybe we can have a dialog. Then we really could break manoushe with someone like Reem Assil.
On July 8, a small group of senior citizens conduct a silent, peaceful vigil outside an Oakland bakery. Shortly after their arrival, they are confronted by a group of thugs.
Sometimes a single event is a microcosm of larger and more dynamic forces. The vigil outside the bakery was such an event.
On the one hand, this is a purely American story of entrepreneurship in the manner of 19th century Horatio Alger stories of individual achievement. On the other hand, it’s a grim story of the deterioration of civility and the Left’s increasing use of violence in contemporary politics.
Reem Assil, the owner of Reem’s Bakery, is a former labor activist who holds an undergraduate degree in international relations from Tufts University. After parting ways with labor activism, Ms. Assil showed that she was not afraid to get her hands dirty and that it was not beneath her dignity to enroll in a community college to acquire economic skills.
With some on-the-job experience, a Kickstarter fundraiser, and the courage it takes to start a new business, Ms. Assil launched her bakery. Modeled after the stand-up, Arab street bakery, Reem’s advertises that it extends hands across cultures and experience through the warmth of bread.
So, what’s the problem? A young entrepreneur opens a successful bakery in an underserved part of Oakland and appears to have made a success of it. It’s as American as apple pie.
The problem for some is that staring down at you while you munch on your freshly baked manoushe is a large mural honoring Rasmea Odeh. Convicted of participating in a 1969 terrorist bombing in Jerusalem that killed two Israeli college students, Ms. Odeh spent 10 years in an Israeli prison. She was exchanged, along with 77 others, for an Israeli soldier held by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, a terrorist group to which Odeh belongs and whose founder, George Habash, pioneered airplane hijacking and shooting up airline terminals.
The PFLP, along with German Revolutionary Cells, carried out the 1976 hijacking of an Air France Airbus, flying it to Entebbe, Uganda, ending in the highly acclaimed Israeli commando rescue of 100 hostages.
In 1972, the PFLP teamed up with the Japanese Red Army to execute an attack on Lod (now Ben Gurion) International Airport that resulted in scores of casualties, most of whom were Puerto Ricans on a Christian pilgrimage.
Eating your Arab-street bread under the glare of Rasmea Odeh is offensive not only to Jews but to anyone who objects to the taking of innocent life. For all the warm fuzzy talk about extending hands across cultures and experiences, being looked down upon by the image of a convicted terrorist as you try to savor Ms. Assil’s culinary art is incongruous at best, and indigestion-inducing at worst.
Let’s be clear. Ms. Assil cannot be held responsible for the thuggery of her patrons or even her fellow anti-Zionists whom, some allege, she mobilized. Furthermore, this is America, and Ms. Assil can decorate her restaurant with whatever “art” she wants. And if patrons’ appetites are stimulated by the face of bloodshed, that too is their right.
At the same time, the elderly Jews who stood outside Reem’s bakery with pictures of Rasmea Odeh’s victims have the same right to be there. The attack on them by the restaurant’s patrons and an assortment of Berkeley/Oakland anti-Israel activists is more offensive and a greater threat to our political system than anything Ms. Assil could conceivably hang on her wall.
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