Two convicted murderers, plus a leftist icon once accused of murder and kidnapping, get a starring role in a video created to show an alliance between Black Lives Matter activists and anti-Israel Arabs.
The explicit embrace of convicted killers comes in the same week that President Obama defended the Black Lives Matter group during a speech at the White House, and that the Democratic National Committed invited the group to host a Town Hall for Democrat presidential nominees.
During the same week, leaders in Arab towns bordering Israel urged more knife attacks on Israeli civilians, cops and soldiers.
The video, titled “When I See Them, I See Us,” has gone viral largely due to the participation and promotion by singer Lauryn Hill. The video’s creators say it is intended “to assert our humanity – and to stand together in an affirmation of life and a commitment to resistance. “
As the Washington Post describes the video’s participants and message:
The video above, published on YouTube on Wednesday, features dozens of #BlackLivesMatter and Palestinian activists delivering a joint message. “When I see them, I see us,” the video’s narrators intone.
These include prominent African American celebrities and thinkers, such as Danny Glover, Lauryn Hill, Alice Walker, Angela Davis and Cornel West. They are accompanied by well-known Palestinian activists and writers. Over the course of a couple of minutes, they unite their perceived struggles through photos, slogans and a shared story of state oppression.
They talk of black youths killed by police and Palestinian children bombed by Israeli warplanes.
The Washington Post article doesn’t mention that the video pays homage to two women who were given life sentences for murders related to terrorist acts.
One of the convicteed killers is a Black Liberation activist and the other is a Palestinian murderer.
Convicted Terrorist #1 is Joanne Chesimard, aka ‘Assata Shakur’
At the 2:17 point in the video, an unidentifed black man can be seen wearing a Palestinian “keffiyeh” scarf around his neck and an “Assata Taught Me” shirt. That is a reference to Assata Shakur, a her to the Black Lives Matter group and convicted cop-killer. She is currently on the FBI’s Most Wanted Terrorist list and is living in Cuba.
Breitbart News has extensively documented the fact that Shakur is a hero to one founder of the Black Lives Matter group. That affiliation is almost never mentioned in the whitewashed accounts of the movement that is published the establishment media.
As the FBI says of her:
Chesimard, who was part of a revolutionary extremist organization known as the Black Liberation Army, and two accomplices were stopped for a motor vehicle violation on the New Jersey Turnpike by two troopers with the New Jersey State Police. At the time, Chesimard was wanted for her involvement in several felonies, including bank robbery. Chesimard and her accomplices opened fire on the troopers. One trooper was wounded and the other was shot and killed execution-style at point-blank range.
Black Lives Matter founder Patrisse Cullors has said that the group pays homage to Shakur “at every event.”
Assata Shakur has become a cause célèbre for leftists, who started a Hands Off Assata campaign.
Convicted Terrorist #2 is Rasmea Odeh
The third person seen holding a sign in the video—after actor Danny Glover and professor/video producer Noura Erakat—is Rasmea Odeh.
The Black-Palestinian solidarity website describes Rasmea Odeh as “a Chicago-based community organizer and the associate director of the Arab American Action Network.”
They don’t mention that Odeh is a convicted killer who was sentenced to life in prison in Israel before being released in a prisoner exchange. She then sneaked into the United States to become a community organizer in Chicago.
Odeh was part of a group called the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, a terrorist group with same goals as today’s anti-Israel movement.
Terry Joffe Benaryeh, a niece of one of Odeh’s victims, filled in some of the details on Odeh’s murderous acts:
On Friday, Feb. 21, 1969, my dad’s brother, Edward Joffe, and his best friend, Leon Kanner, went to the supermarket Supersol at the intersection of Agron and Hamelech George in Jerusalem to make some purchases for a (University of Tel Aviv) botany department excursion. As they approached the meat counter, an explosive device, a biscuit can filled with five kilograms of dynamite, which had been placed there by Rasmieh Yousef Odeh and Ayesha Oudeh, was suddenly detonated, and Eddie and Leon were both instantly killed.
Nine others were wounded in Odeh’s cowardly supermarket attack, but Odeh and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine weren’t finished. Four days later, they took credit for bombing the British Consulate.
Odeh was sentenced, then released after ten years because of a prisoner-exchange. In 1995, she entered the United States from Jordan by giving false information, denying she had ever been “charged, convicted, or imprisoned for a crime.” In 2004, Odeh was sworn in as a naturalized U.S. citizen.
When she was charged with immigration fraud, she became a a cause célèbre for the left, which started a Justice for Ramea campaign.
As Terry Joffe Benaryeh wrote last year:
That Odeh has resurfaced after years of hiding her true identity and now has hundreds of followers and supporters who are unaware of (or worse, don’t care) what she did is sheer agony. That she served only 10 years of her life sentence before being part of a prisoner swap was always painful for us. That she moved to the U.S. and became Associate Director of the Arab American Action Network, an organization which does many things including trying to combat stereotypes of Arabs, all while hiding her past is ironic and hypocritical. That she is now being called an “icon” and a “pillar of her community” by her supporters is alarming.
In November 2014, Odeh was convicted in Detroit of immigration fraud for concealing her conviction and imprisonment for a fatal terrorist bombing. She was sentenced to 18 months in federal prison, stripped of her U.S. citizenship, and will be deported from the United States once she is done serving her time.
Odeh took part in the video project while waiting to serve time in prison before her deportation.
Bonus–Accused (But Not Convicted) Domestic Terrorist: Angela Davis
The video also very prominently features Angela Davis, the 1960s Black Panther radical and Black Lives Matter icon.
The Black-Palestinian solidarity website describes Angela Davis as “a prominent prison abolitionist, political activist, scholar, and author.”
The crime Davis was accused of being involved in was horrific. Davis had become romantically involved with imprisoned Black Panther George Jackson, who she referred to as her “lifetime husband” even though they were not legally married. To try and get him out of prison, a plan was hatched to take prisoners at the trial of another Black Panther, to be used as bargaining chips for Jackson’s release.
The plan went horribly wrong. George’s 17-year old brother Jonathan Jackson, heavily armed, took over a courtroom in Marin County, California on August 7th, 1970. Once in the courtroom, Jackson armed the black defendants and took Judge Harold Haley, the prosecutor, and three female jurors hostage. A skirmish with police ensued, resulting in multiple deaths.
Judge Haley was killed when a sawed-off shotgun–which had been fastened to his neck with adhesive tape–was fired into his face. The shotgun used to kill Judge Haley had been purchased by Angela Davis two days prior the attack. Davis disappeared and a nationwide manhunt ensued until she was caught in New York and brought to trial.
However, Davis—who had become a cause célèbre for the many leftists who started a Free Angela campaign—was found “not guilty.”
After the verdict, one member of the all-white jury raised his fist in a Black Power salute and told the media, “I did it because I wanted to show I felt an identity with the oppressed people in the crowd. All through the trial, they thought we were just a white, middle-class jury. I wanted to express my sympathy with their struggle.”
Angela Davis has gone on to become a leading advocate for ‘criminal justice reform’ and inspiration to the Black Lives Matter movement. She is featured on the main page of the Black-Palestinian solidarity site as the “thumbnail” image for the video.
Earlier this year, Odeh and Davis did an event together at the University of Illinois at Chicago called “Freedom Beyond Occupation & Incarceration: An Afternoon with Angela Davis and Rasmea Odeh.” An article in The Chicago Monitor says activists from Black Lives Matter attended the event.
Follow Lee Stranahan on Twitter at @Stranahan.