WASHINGTON, D.C.– Convicted Palestinian terrorist Rasmea Odeh, who was implicated in a terrorist attack in which two Israelis murdered and was later accused of lying about her security background on her immigration papers to the United States, has accepted a guilty plea deal with federal prosecutors to leave the U.S. while avoiding prison time.
Odeh, who lives in Chicago, was also one of the lead organizers of the Day Without Women March and protest targeting President Donald Trump. Odeh has lived in the U.S. for approximately 20 years allegedly under false pretenses.
According to the Justice for Rasmea website, Odeh “will plead guilty to Unlawful Procurement of Naturalization” on Saturday. She will also lose her U.S. citizenship and be forced to leave the country and evade an 18-month prison sentence.
But she won’t be deported before she delivers the keynote speech at the Jewish Voices for Peace (JVP) conference in Chicago next week. Despite its name, Jewish Voices for Peace is recognized as an anti-Israel organization that engages in the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement targeting the Jewish state.
An op-ed article posted in The Forward by Rebecca Vilkomerson, the executive director of Jewish Voice For Peace, attempts to justify Odeh’s keynote speech at the anti-Israel JVP’s conference in Chicago next week by minimizing her terrorist past. “That Rasmea Odeh was convicted — and therefore labeled a ‘terrorist’ — evades the awful truths and broader context of what military rule actually does to the people under its control.” Vilkomerson adds, “We are proud to host Rasmea Odeh as one of many speakers from whom we can learn from about grassroots leadership in struggles for justice in these very difficult days.”
Odeh was previously sentenced to life in prison for her alleged involvement in a 1969 supermarket terrorist bombing in Israel that left two Israelis dead. Leon Kaner, 21 of Netanya, and Edward Joffe, 22, or died, and eight others were wounded.
After completing just 10 years of her life sentence, Odeh was released during a prisoner swap in exchange for a captured Israeli soldier and emigrated to the United States several years later through Jordan. However, she allegedly lied to immigration officials about her past when she applied for residency and citizenship in the U.S. and was subsequently charged with naturalization fraud.
The Justice for Rasmea website claimed Odeh was unable to get a fair trial in the U.S. federal court “under the regime of racist Attorney General Jeff Sessions.” The site adds, “a new superseding indictment re-frames this as a case about ‘terrorism’ rather than immigration.”
An article in the National Review notes that Odeh briefly worked as an ObamaCare navigator in 2013 before officials learned she was convicted as a terrorist. She also once worked for the Arab-American Action Network; the group was founded by Mona Khalidi, the wife of Columbia professor Rashid Khalidi, who was close with Barack and Michelle Obama when they lived in Chicago.
Morehouse College Professor and CNN Commentator Marc Lamont Hill wrote an op-ed in the Huffington Post defending Odeh. Despite her clear ties to antisemitic groups, Lamont Hill suggested his support for Odeh was also somehow tied to his “struggle against” antisemitism.
As a Black activist, many people ask me why I choose to support Palestinian rights. While the answer is in some ways complicated — triggering significant personal and political questions for me — in other ways it is quite simple: I stand in solidarity with anyone fighting for freedom. No one is free until everyone is free from oppression.
This is why I actively struggle against homophobia, sexism, anti-Semitism and other crippling forms of injustice. This is why I challenge the brutal occupation of Palestine, and support the construction of a safe, peaceful and sovereign Palestinian state. This is why I advocate for the rights of political prisoners around the globe.
And this is why I fight for the release of Rasmea Odeh.
Radical leftist Linda Sarsour was also one of the organizers of the Women’s March and has close ties to Odeh. Sarsour serves as the executive director of the Arab American Association of New York. Obama’s White House praised Sarsour as a “champion of change.”
Despite the left’s attempts to distinguish between the two, anti-Zionism and antisemitism are inseparable.