via ‘I Just About Vomited’: Texas Man Says He’s Sickened After Hearing Chicago Arab & Muslim Community Praise His Brother’s Terrorist Killer | TheBlaze.com.
Arab and Muslim American organizations – along with radical left-wing academics and a Quaker group – are closing ranks behind a convicted Palestinian terrorist who on Wednesday rejected a plea deal that would have allowed her to avoid a 10-year prison sentence for failing to disclose her terrorist past to U.S. immigration authorities.
The groups, including the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the Arab American Action Network (AAAN), and the United States Palestinian Community Network (USPCN), insist Rasmieh Yousef Odeh, a 66-year-old Chicago woman who was convicted for taking part in a 1969 terrorist bombing that killed two students in Jerusalem, is a simple victim of government profiling and prejudice.
Among the community’s efforts on behalf of the woman who reportedly has used up to nine aliases (at her workplace she’s known as “Rasmea Yousef”): the sale of “I support Rasmea” T-shirts, the hiring of buses to bring “hundreds” of Chicago-area supporters to her June 10 trial in Detroit, the solicitation of contributions to her legal defense fund and a letter-writing campaign to the U.S. Attorney in Detroit.
CAIR-Chicago posted this photo of the table where “I support Rasmea” T-shirts were sold.
The brother of 21-year-old Eddie Joffe – one of the two victims of the bombing she took part in with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) – lives in Houston and only last week learned she had been living in the U.S. for 20 years. Basil Joffe told the National Review that he was sickened to hear about the praise being heaped upon Odeh by her community.
His brother Eddie and his best friend Leon Kanner were stocking up on groceries for a hiking trip when a can of sweets rigged with dynamite detonated at the Jerusalem supermarket, killing both.
Basil Joffe told National Review that “the body was so badly burned and blackened from the explosion that they could barely recognize it” and that his parents never recovered until the day they died from the devastation of losing their son.
Joffe said “I just about vomited” after hearing the praise being poured on his brother’s killer, particularly the allegation that she’s an innocent victim of discrimination.
“How could they purport to prevent unfair discrimination and stereotyping when one of their [leaders] is a convicted terrorist, murdered people, and is unrepentant? It makes a hypocrisy, a mockery, of what they’re trying to accomplish,” Basil Joffe told National Review.
National Review noted a 2004 documentary film called “Women in Struggle” in which Odeh and one of her co-conspirators in the PFLP attack spoke proudly of their violent activities.
The second woman described the effort put into killing as many Israelis as possible, saying, “We wanted to place two bombs to blow up consecutively. I suggested to have the second bomb go off five or six minutes after the first bomb so that those who get killed in it would be members of the army and secret service, but it did not explode. They defused it 20 seconds before it exploded.”
Given the official glorification of terrorism in the Palestinian Authority, Basil Joffe said he is worried that if she is deported from the U.S. and returns to the region she will receive “a hero’s welcome.”
Odeh was sentenced to life in prison by an Israeli court in 1970 but after ten years was released as part of a PFLP prisoner exchange deal.
Margaret Jackson, the interim regional director of the American Friends Service Committee, a Quaker group that supports a boycott of Israel, told National Review of her belief that Odeh’s immigration prosecution is rooted in bigotry. “It just infuriates me that this country continues to discriminate on color and religion and they’re so desperate that they go back into the past to do that,” Jackson said. “As an organization that is almost 100 years old and committed to non-violence, I’m just appalled by this situation.”
The Israeli government will not comment on the case playing out in Detroit, but an Israeli official told TheBlaze on Thursday that U.S. law enforcement officials contacted their Israel counterparts early in the investigation to verify that Odeh was the one involved in the 1969 terrorist attack.
“She was released from jail. That’s a decision we made. We have to live with our decisions, but from that day onwards we’re uninvolved,” said the official who asked to not be named due to the ongoing legal proceedings. [Deport her back to Israel]
Though most people facing deportation over immigration fraud remain locked up after they serve their sentences until the moment they are deported, Tukel explained that in Odeh’s case the U.S. was willing to allow her to remain free in the U.S. for half a year.
Palestinian and other activists continue to praise her and have organized a fundraising dinner for her this weekend in honor of her birthday.
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