Convicted Palestinian Terrorist Celebrated by Anti-Israel Supporters in Farewell Party

Rasmea Odeh set to be deported after pleading guilty to immigration fraud

Anti-Israeli protesters shout slogans
Anti-Israeli protesters shout slogans / Getty Images
August 14, 2017

A convicted Palestinian terrorist set to be deported from the United States later this month after pleading guilty to immigration fraud was given a farewell party in Chicago on Saturday, where she was celebrated by her longtime supporters in the anti-Israel movement.

Rasmea Odeh was seen off by Black Panthers-associated activist Angela Davis during a program that included numerous mentions of Odeh's work in the anti-Israel movement and that campaign's shared mission with other forms of social justice "resistance." Odeh and Davis were both involved in organizing the Day Without a Woman strike.

According to footage on social media, Odeh said "all of our struggles are connected," while Davis said, "Rasmea, one day we will rejoice together in a Free Palestine."

Odeh was imprisoned in Israel for her membership in a terror group, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, and for her role in two 1969 bombings: a Jerusalem supermarket terror attack in which two university students, Leon Kanner and Edward Joffe, were killed, and an attempt on the city's British Consulate. She was released in a 1980 prisoner exchange.

She will be sentenced on Thursday in a Detroit federal court and subsequently deported for omitting her terror conviction from her naturalization papers when she moved to the United States over a decade ago.

Odeh was described during Saturday's program as a "good and kind friend, mentor to hundreds, and mother to thousands." She was called the "absolute personification of our struggle for the liberation of all of historical Palestine," a reference to the activists' hope of eliminating Israel.

Odeh has been a popular figure in the Chicago anti-Israel community and has drawn the support of the region's student activists. DePaul University students in 2015 held a fundraiser in her honor, and earlier this year she was invited to speak by Northwestern University's chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine.

Peggy Shapiro, the Midwest executive director of pro-Israel group Stand With Us, discounted the program organizers' claims that 1,000 individuals came out to honor Odeh.

"I would take whatever numbers or statements they put out with a grain of salt. Truth is not one of their values," said Shapiro.

Shapiro also drew a connection between those who celebrated Odeh and the white supremacist groups that marched that same day in Virginia, explaining that they "are from opposite ends of the political spectrum, but they meet at the intersection of hate and anti-Semitism."