Yesterday, March 12, 2015, Rasmea Odeh was sentenced to 18 months in prison, stripped of her U.S. citizenship, and ordered deported. None of that will take effect until her appeal is concluded, and she is free on bond pending appeal.

There was a “national mobilization” to bus supporters to the court, and an organized letter writing campaign to the Judge. The supporters apparently filled the court room and designated overflow room, but as this video indicates, their protests were pretty lacking:

(language warning)

Rasmea’s crime for which she was sentenced was unlawfully procuring naturalization by falsely stating on her immigration and naturalization applications that she never had been convicted of a crime or been incarcerated. In fact, Rasmea was convicted in 1970 in Israel of a 1969 supermarket bombing in which two students — Edward Joffe and Leon Kanner — were killed, and other terrorist activity including the attempted bombing of the British Consulate.

The evidence of Rasmea’s guilt on both the immigration and terrorism charges was overwhelming.

Rasmea’s supporters continue to claim that Rasmea was found guilty in Israel only because she confessed to the bombing after 25 days of sexual torture.

In fact, Rasmea confessed one day after arrest, there was substantial other evidence against her, and years later her co-conspirators gave interviews to pro-Palestinian filmmakers highlighting that Rasmea was the mastermind of the bombing.

Rasmea was so admired in the terrorist community that a special brigade led by the infamous Leila Khaled was named after Rasmea, and Rasmea was part of a 1979 prisoner exchange for an Israeli soldier captured in Lebanon:

“I am the leader of the hijack. My name is Leila Khaled and a member of the PFLP and from the unit of Rasmieh Odeh, a Palestinian woman prisoner.”

Rasmea never has expressed any regret for her past, or condolences to the Joffe or Kanner families.

After her sentencing yesterday, Rasmea danced and celebrated.

Rasmea Odeh Dancing Bus after Sentencing

Rasmea Odeh Singing Restaurant after Sentencing

I was quoted in The Detroit Free Press about the sentencing:

Odeh’s case was followed closely by people interested in Israel. Cornell University law professor Bill Jacobson said the judge’s decision today “demonstrates that Odeh is not a victim, but a perpetrator. The sentence was modest in the context, but at least sends a message of deterrence to others. Most of all, my thoughts are focused on Edward Joffe and Leon Kanner, who died in the SuperSol supermarket bombing perpetrated by Odeh.”

In imposing the modest 18 month sentence and rejecting the prosecution’s request for a 5-7 year sentence, the Judge indicated he felt Rasmea had changed.

The Judge, while well-intentioned, was wrong.

Rasmea reinvented herself, but she has not changed.

[Featured Image source: @48refugee on Twitter]


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