A group of protesters — including several Jews and Israel supporters — stood outside Oakland, California-based Reem’s Arab Street Corner Bakery on Sunday to demand that a mural honoring convicted Palestinian terrorist Rasmea Odeh be removed from its wall.
“In Oakland, a community devastated by violence, this kind of glorification of terror and violence is just inappropriate, so we’re here to express our dissatisfaction,” Faith Meltzer, who runs a group called Oakland United Against Hate, told the East Bay Times.
Meltzer reportedly called the mural of Odeh anti-Jewish, and said, “This is about hate in our community, the normalization of violence in our community — and that’s why were here.”
Odeh, who was deported from the United States to Jordan in September for lying on her U.S. emigration papers, was convicted for a 1969 supermarket bombing that left two Israelis dead and several others injured. Leon Kanner, 21 of Netanya, and Edward Joffe, 22, of Kiron, were Odeh’s victims.
— (((ArchitectGuy))) (@architectguy) June 19, 2017
On Sunday, Reem’s reportedly held a private event for for Sunaina Maira, an Asian-American studies professor at UC Davis, who recently published a book about boycotting Israeli academic institutions, Boycott!: The Academy and Justice for Palestine. Maira, through her academic work, has indicated she is a supporter of the effort to delegitimize the Jewish State of Israel, known as the boycott, divestment, and sanctions movement or BDS.
Breitbart News previously reported: “Reem Assil, the owner of the Arab culture-inspired bakery, was a labor and community organizer for almost a decade. In a promotional video for the bakery, Assil says, ‘The dream of Reem’s was literally born in a moment when I walked into a street corner bakery in the streets of Beirut [Labanon]. I saw bread flying off the shelves… I suddenly felt alive.'”
About 30 people stood outside of the bakery to protest against Odeh’s mural and to call for its removal.
One man, wearing a yarmulke, help up a sign that read, “BDS is not a progressive value. Pro-peace, pro-justice, pro-engagement. #NoBDS.” Another sign read, “Honor the victims, not their killer.” Others held up pictures of Odeh’s young victims,
According to the East Bay Times, approximately 15 people stood in “mostly silent” counter-protest outside Reem’s bakery in support of the restaurant and the mural of Odeh. Activists from various social-justice groups, including Arab Resource and Organizing Center spokeswoman Lara Kiswani, were reportedly among the small crowd of supporters.
Osmeh’s supporters claims she was forced into confession by torture.
Protestors gather yet again at Reem’s Bakery in #Oakland demanding the owner do away with a mural of Palestinian #RasmeaOdeh convicted of a bombing that killed 2 in 1969. Supporters defend she was forced into confession by torture. pic.twitter.com/gBCLgeikMi
— Ella Sogomonian (@EllaSogomonian) January 29, 2018
In June, Assil told the San Francisco Eater, “I put Rasmea up there because she is an emblem of resilience. She reminds me that as an Arab woman, I should never be afraid to speak up against injustice, no matter what the consequence.”
Earlier that same month, Reem reportedly told the audience at an event sponsored by Real Food Real Stories, “We put her up there to make sure that we understand that intersectionality is the right symbol.” She told Eater, “The attacks coming against Reem’s are part and parcel of the increased attacks we are seeing against Arab and Muslim communities, even more so under Trump.”