A convicted terrorist, who emerged as a key figure in the anti-Trump “Women’s March,” will be deported.
Rasmea Odeh, 69, had been imprisoned in Israel for more than ten years after committing two acts of terrorism, including a 1969 supermarket bombing that left two Jewish students dead. She was released from jail in 1980, and has lived in the United States for more than 20 years.
Odeh never disclosed the convictions to United States immigration authorities—which constitutes immigration fraud. Rather than risk an 18-month jail sentence, Odeh agreed to take a plea that would strip of her U.S. citizenship and return her to her native Jordan, but avoid jail time. Despite the plea, Odeh has since claimed that “post-traumatic stress” caused her to lie on her citizenship application.
Odeh has emerged as a big presence in the “Women’s March” movement, and was the major organizer of the “Day Without a Woman” general strike last month.
A statement on the website Justice for Rasmea accused the Trump Administration of denying Odeh a fair trial, stating: “The prosecution team is now under the regime of racist Attorney General Jeff Sessions, and a new superseding indictment re-frames this as a case about ‘terrorism’ rather than immigration.”
But William Jacobson, a law professor at Cornell, said the decision was “no surprise” based on the letter of the law.
“She was convicted of immigration fraud in the first trial, and would have been convicted in the re-trial,” he said. “Her new defense that PTSD caused her to falsely answer simple questions on her naturalization papers about past convictions and imprisonment was laughable. Rasmea and her supporters invented an alternate universe based on hatred of Israel, but alternate universes tend not to do very well in court when faced with real world evidence.”
Odeh has vowed to continue her work as a feminist and Palestinian activist, regardless of where she is in the world. However, she’s already had to cancel her next speaking engagement—ironically, at the Jewish Voice for Peace conference in Chicago next weekend.