Last year, Rasmieh Yousef Odeh was convicted of federal immigration fraud in Detroit after she hid on her immigration forms that she once was convicted of a 1969 terrorist bombing in Israel that killed two college students.
Now, pro-Palestinian students at DePaul University in Chicago are holding a fundraiser for Odeh’s legal defense fund, one month before her scheduled sentencing.
A description of Tuesday’s event posted on the Students for Justice in Palestine Chicago Network’s website says the fundraiser — which includes dinner, comedy and dance performances and a speech by Odeh’s defense committee — aims “to celebrate the resilience of Rasmea Odeh.” [Her name has been spelled both Rasmieh and Rasmea.]
Odeh’s supporters maintain that her trial was “unfair” and a “sham” and that her prosecution and conviction stand as examples of government efforts to “silence” pro-Palestinian voices.
The Zionist Organization of America has written a letter to the president of DePaul, urging him “to publicly and unequivocally condemn” SJP over its planned campus fundraiser.
“We question the legality of the SJP’s fundraiser – and the use of DePaul University resources to carry it out – since federal law clearly prohibits providing material support to terrorists, and Odeh is a convicted terrorist,” the organization wrote. “Even if the SJP has the right to proceed with this fundraiser, you have the right – and indeed the moral obligation – to speak out and condemn the SJP for lauding and fundraising for a convicted terrorist murderer in Israel who now has a separate criminal conviction here in the U.S. based on her lies about her criminal history.”
Odeh was convicted in Israel over the 1969 bombing of a Jerusalem supermarket that killed students Edward Joffe and Leon Kanner. That same week, Odeh and a group of activists with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine tried to blow up the British Consulate in Jerusalem. She was later released by Israeli authorities as part of a prisoner swap with the PFLP, after which she moved to the U.S.
William Jacobson, a Cornell University law professor who runs the blog Legal Insurrection and has covered Odeh’s case closely wrote Sunday of the organized efforts to support Odeh: “As with all anti-Israeli propaganda campaigns, facts are invented, denied or twisted, and repeated with religious fervor to the point that Rasmea now is portrayed as the victim rather than the perpetrator.”
National Review Online reported last February that Odeh had worked briefly as an Obamacare navigator until the Illinois insurance department discovered her terrorism conviction and then “quietly revoked” her certification as an in-person navigator to help people sign up for insurance under President Barack Obama’s signature health care law.
(H/T: Legal Insurrection)