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Bombing Victim’s Niece: Rasmea Odeh is no hero

Bombing Victim’s Niece: Rasmea Odeh is no hero

An Open Letter to Those in Support of Rasmieh Odeh

WAJ Note: This is a GUEST POST by the niece of Edward Joffe, who was killed in the supermarket bombing for which Rasmea Odeh was convicted and served 10 years in Israeli prison before being released in a prisoner exchange.  Odeh was convicted on Monday of immigration fraud for failing to disclose her conviction and imprisonment on her visa and naturalization applications.  You can follow our coverage of the case at the Rasmieh Odeh tag.


On Friday, February 21st 1969, my father’s brother, Edward Joffe, and his best friend, Leon Kanner, went to the supermarket Supersol at the intersection of Agron and Hamelech George in Jerusalem, to make some purchases for a botany department excursion in which they were to participate.

As they approached the meat counter, an explosive device, a biscuit can filled with 5 Kgm of dynamite, which had been placed by Rasmieh Odeh and Ayesha Oudeh, was detonated and Eddie and Leon were both instantly killed.

It is with much sadness, disappointment, and frustration that I write to you today.

I spent last week attending the Immigration Fraud Trial in Detroit of Rasmieh Odeh. I sat in that courtroom with my father (alone in our row) surrounded by supporters of Odeh. We endured days of hateful looks and the rehashing of a traumatic event that changed my family forever.

While I find a great sense of relief in knowing that a unanimous jury found her guilty in less than two hours, I still remain troubled by her numerous supporters.

As I stated in my piece on Huffington Post, “That she has resurfaced after years of hiding her true person and now with hundreds of blind followers and supporters unaware (or worse, who don’t care) of what she did is sheer agony.

That she only served 10 years of her life sentence before being part of a prisoner swap was always painful for us, but that she moved to the US and became Associate Director of the Arab American Action Network, a group which does many things including trying to combat stereotypes of Arabs and is being called an “icon” and “pillar of her community” while hiding her past is awful.”

I want to ask you this: Can you not pick a hero who has not killed two people by placing a bomb in a supermarket (with the intent to kill many more)? One who did not then place another bomb at the British consulate on the same day (said bomb was found and defused). And one who didn’t go back (alone) to the British Consulate again 4 days later placing another bomb which caused structural damage?

Have you seen the documentary, “Women in Struggle”, in which Odeh and her accomplice sit on a couch together years after the bombing and talk in detail about their gruesome acts? That it was their idea to have a second bomb go off 5 minutes after the first to kill the first responders?

That her accomplice, Ayesha, names her as the ringleader and says she drew her into “military work”?

Women in Struggle Video Rasmiyeh Oudeh more involved

In saying that “the Israeli occupation did it” in this documentary, Odeh is in fact admitting what she did, and merely trying to blame “the Israeli occupation” for her own actions. Are you aware that an international Red Cross worker assigned to her case did not validate the alleged torture charges and also claimed Odeh had had a fair trial? Do you know that explosives were found at her home matching those used in the bombings?

It was troubling to hear Odeh say, while on the stand in court, that she was the happiest she’d ever been in her life when she lived in Amman (after the prisoner swap). That she had a car, house, job, and bank account. Happiest she’d ever been? After killing my father’s brother and his best friend?

While the situation between Israelis and Palestinians is complicated and multi-faceted, the horrendous acts performed by Odeh and her deliberate lying about it afterward have no gray areas. They are black and white. What she was on trial for was a clear-cut case of immigration fraud.

I can’t help but see your support for Odeh as condoning the murders that she perpetrated. I understand that Odeh may have done good work with the Arab American Action Network. I can see she is a charismatic person. But she is also a woman full of hate and one who told repeated lies to our Immigration Services. And one whose actions resulted in the death of two young people. If it is true that she was tortured while in prison in Israel, that is horrific. I would never condone such action. I don’t want her to suffer further.

If I’m being totally honest with you, I don’t really know that I care if she stays here or goes back to Jordan. The damage she did has already been done. The lives already taken.

But one thing I can still do is stand up and speak out. Please reconsider your public support for a woman who is not deserving of it.


Terry Joffe Benaryeh is the niece of Edward Joffe, who was killed by the bomb at the Supersol in Jerursalem. She is a reading specialist and a mother living with her family in Austin, TX.


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That is terrible that two human beings, Edward Joffe and Leon Kanner, were blown up while shopping in 1969. It’s terrible when any human being is killed by another human being. 1969 was two years after the 67 war, when Palestinian territory was confiscated and Occupied by Israel and is so to this day.

The problem with Odeh’s conviction was that it was by a military court and she was tortured to make a confession. That is not the same thing as justice being fulfilled with a legal trial. Here in the United States, our government cannot try Gitmo detainees because they tortured them.

This poor woman who wrote this article is grieving her loss. She wants justice. We have a young 40 year old American in our town permanently disabled when he and his Jewish girlfriend visited Israel and went out to observe a protest. He was shot at close range by a high velocity teargas canister. To this day, the Israeli government has side stepped and spun the situation. The family, to goes Israel to participate in a trial but has to put down a financial bond (the purpose: to insure that they do not intend to stay in Israel!). Then, the court postpones it again. And the family and those other witnesses coming in from other countries have to head home (again). So much for Israeli justice.

There are many people like the woman who wrote this article. Almost three thousand of them in Gaza after Israeli’s recent “mowing the lawn.” Justice never has come from the end of gun or a bomb. Justice, if true justice is practiced, is a two way street, available for all, not just one race.

Justice, at least according to International Law, is not Occuping another country and confiscating their land (which is what settlements do). Justice is not IDF doing extrajudicial killings (several of them caught on CNN tape), nor interferring with another religions holy site that is on land controlled by Jordan.

Yes, it is absolutely terrible what the woman who wrote this article has gone through. And, she has alot of others for company, both Israeli’s who have lost loved ones and Palestinians who have lost those they love.

The American judge handling this case was partisan and showed his hand several times, including in the closing comments. The worst of it, though, was his not allowing the information that Odeh was tortured.

    faboutlaws in reply to Dean Olson. | November 13, 2014 at 11:33 am

    Despite all of the niceties of language in your comment, your partisan position comes through loud and clear. You hate Jews and love so called Palis. Your accusation of partisan behavior on the part of the trial judge is off the leftist wall. The judge followed American law that has plenty of precedent to back up his decisions. Perhaps you don’t like American law. May I wish sharia upon you?

    BS. Odeh is a terrorist and a murderer. There is no doubt of what she did. She lied to gain entry. No doubt about that. Your BS is nothing more than a cover to the truth.

    Valerie in reply to Dean Olson. | November 13, 2014 at 11:59 am

    When even the King of Saudi Arabia has to publicly acknowledge that Hamas’ behavior is at fault in the most recent war due to its terrorist crimes and Geneva Conventions violations, it’s time to take a deep breath and re-examine the sources of your claims of “atrocities” by Israel.

    all that bullsh11t you wrote has nothing to do with this case.
    form asks if ever convicted. it says nothing about the legitimacy of the conviction.
    she was convicted.
    she said she wasn’t on the form.
    she lied.
    she then tried to say someone else filled it out for her and she signed off on it, still a lie.
    so she was found guilty here.

    nice try though you dumba$$

    Milhouse in reply to Dean Olson. | November 13, 2014 at 5:23 pm

    What a load of BS.

    First of all, it is not terrible when a human being is killed by another human being. Was it terrible when ten Nazis were hanged at Nuremberg, or when Eichmann was hanged? No, it was justice.

    Second, it is impossible for Israel to have “confiscated” Palestinian territory in 1967, since there was no Palestine to confiscate it from. Or what did you mean by that?

    Third, it makes no difference where Odeh’s conviction was, or how it was obtained. Even if it had been in the USSR or the Third Reich, she would still have had to report it, and when she denied ever having been arrested or convicted of a crime she perjured herself. Her admission to the US was obtained under false pretences, and is thus invalid, just like John Demjanjuk’s was.

    Fourth, there is nothing illegal about military tribunals. Every military has them. Trials before them are perfectly legal, and they are not required to follow the same rules as civilian courts do.

    Fifth, there is no evidence or reason to believe she was tortured.

    Sixth, her confession was not the only evidence against her.

    Seventh, the peculiar rules that US courts impose on themselves are not binding on the rest of the world. If US courts decline to try Gitmo prisoners, that’s their prerogative, but there’s no reason Israeli courts should follow suit.

    Eighth, even if it had been the only evidence against her, and even if it had been obtained by torture, we now have her own statements on TV boasting of her crime, so there’s no doubt she did it.

    Where are we? OK, skip two irrelevant paragraphs, and we’re down to the graf beginning “Justice”.

    Ninth, there is no “international law” against occupying another country. The USA occupied Germany, Austria, and Japan after WW2. Was that illegal or unjust?!

    Tenth, Neither Judea nor Samaria are “another country”. Jordan occupied them for 19 years, without ever having a valid claim to them; Israel not only has a valid claim, but has now held them for more than twice as long, so any claim Jordan may have obtained by virtue of 19 years’ tenure is now gone, and Israel has at least as much right to keep them now as Jordan had in ’67.

    Eleventh, whose land was confiscated? How do “settlements” confiscate anyone’s land? As far as I know all Jewish villages in Judea or Samaria are either on Jewish-owned land, or on unoccupied state land. Anyone who opposes “settlements” is really saying that Jews have no right to live in their own homeland. How can anything be more antisemitic than that? Imagine telling Indians they can’t live in NY, or for that matter telling black people there’s a place in the world they can’t live. How is this different?

    Twelfth, every army does “extrajudicial killings”. That’s what war is. Do you imagine we held trials for each German soldier before killing him?! Should we have?!

    Thirteenth, and what a whopper. The Temple Mount belongs to the Jewish people. We paid for it. Aravna offered to donate the land for the Temple, but King David insisted on paying him its full price of 600 shekels, and taxed each tribe 50 shekels to pay for it, so that it would belong equally to the whole nation. The Christians had no right to build their church there, and the Moslems had no right to take that church and turn it into a mosque, and Jordan certainly has no business there.

    Summary, you’re a f—ing antisemite, and belong in Hell.

    JusticeDelivered in reply to Dean Olson. | November 13, 2014 at 5:24 pm

    Both before and since the creation of Israel Arabs have been picking fights with Jews and getting their tails kicked. Since Arabs are clearly slow learners, perhaps it is time that Israel drive the rift raft back to Jordan or into the sea?

    What would America do if we had neighbors doing this? How about responding to each missile with a fuel air bomb?

    Milhouse in reply to Dean Olson. | November 13, 2014 at 8:46 pm

    Oh, I forgot the most important point of all, which seemed so obvious that it shouldn’t need pointing out, but you seem so ignorant that you need it told to you explicitly. You wrote that 1967 was “when Palestinian territory was confiscated and Occupied by Israel”, as if that were the significant event of the year. You are wrong. The significant event of the year is that Nasser, Assad, and Hussein gathered their armies and tried to continue the job that their ally Hitler had been interrupted in 22 years earlier. In doing so they had the full and enthusiastic support of every Arab living in Judea, Samaria, and the Gaza Strip (this is before they started calling themselves “Palestinians”). The general opinion in the world at the time was that they were likely to succeed. But God didn’t let that happen; the IDF miraculously defeated all those armies in less than a week, and liberated the heart of the Jews’ native land from the brutal murderers’ occupation. That is what happened in 1967.

Richard Aubrey | November 13, 2014 at 1:38 pm

Somebody is unclear on the concept, probably due to an excess of charity in his or her nature.
Odeh is a hero–to some–precisely because of what she did. Repeating what she did as if to change the minds of those folks is a waste of time, as if they don’t already know it or haven’t thought to condemn it.
They think it was a terrific idea.

Dean Olson: Is your real name Mohammed? Or are you really a native-born American who loves him some Islamo-fascism?