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Arab-Israeli Leader Takes Civil Rights Mission to U.S.

  • Soft-spoken Ayman Odeh casts self as new kind of Arab leader
  • Cites Martin Luther King But Won't Decry Palestinian Violence
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Ayman Odeh, who has helped turn Israel’s marginalized Arab politicians into the third-biggest force in parliament, is preparing for his next campaign by visiting the U.S. this week and going to the church where Martin Luther King Jr. once preached.

With his native land suffering through a spasm of violence, Odeh has been seeking political support in Washington and New York, and spiritual nourishment in Atlanta. On Sunday, he attended services at Ebenezer Baptist Church where King and his father were pastors. He says he shares King’s goals: dialogue and civil rights.