Terry Joffe Benaryeh lost her uncle to a 1969 terrorist attack carried out by co-organizer of the Women's Strike Rasmea Odeh, and wrote a heartfelt op-ed in the Huffington Post imploring people to recognize the terrorism Odeh committed. The piece was published one week before the Day Without a Woman Strike on March 1.
Palestine-born Odeh was convicted in Israel in 1970 for terrorism charges after her involvement in two bombings, one of which killed two students, the Washington Free Beacon reported. One of the students was Benaryeh's uncle, Eddie Joffe.
"But, explain how my family is supposed to reconcile the reality that the woman who stripped my uncle of his life is now deemed a hero by many of my fellow Americans," Benaryeh wrote.
Benaryeh wrote that she supports the overall goal of the march, which is "to increase equality, justice, and human rights for women around the world," but she does not agree with the leadership.
She posed a direct question, asking her readers how someone who purposefully took the life of two innocent civilians, "with the intention of killing more," is appropriate to lead a march in the name of human rights.
"Explain to me how explosives found at Odeh’s home matching those used in the bombings sits with your conscience," she said.
Benaryeh compared Odeh's terrorist acts to those performed by the Pulse nightclub shooter Omar Mateen and the Charleston shooter Dylann Roof, among others.
"There is no difference," she wrote. ‘They all carried out acts of terror in the name of their causes, which resulted in the death of innocent civilians. Whether they were targeting the LGBT community, Americans, African Americans, or Jewish Israelis, these were all terrorist acts."
Benaryeh pointed out that Odeh is a member of an illegal terror group in Palestine.
"Explain to me how Odeh, who was a member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), a US designated terrorist group, was chosen to represent American feminists who seek to peacefully stand up for women’s rights," she wrote.
Benaryeh then cited the foremost principle of the strike, which calls for nonviolent protests as a means of "positive force confronting the forces of injustice and utilizes the righteous indignation and spiritual, emotional, and intellectual capabilities of people as the vital force for change and reconciliation."
She wrote that Odeh, who is a "self-confessed murderer," should not be considered a leader for what is supposed to be a non-violent movement.
"A self-confessed murderer should not be the voice for them," she wrote. "Do these feminists support her despite her past? Or worse, because of it?"
"There is a red line," she continued. "Supporting someone who purposefully took the lives of innocent civilians is crossing that line. It seems that many have lost their way."
Odeh had been sentenced for life behind bars for her terrorism, but she was released in a prisoner exchange with PFLP after ten years. She became an American citizen in 2004 after she lied on immigration forms, and was charged with immigration fraud in 2014. Odeh is set for a new trial on her immigration fraud in the spring of 2017. She claims she was suffering from PTSD when she filled out her immigration application.