The call from the Left is to “resist” a “Fascist America,” which is supposedly the direction the United States is taking under President Trump. Among other things, leftists regularly accuse President Trump and members of his administration of anti-Semitism. Yet one of the leaders of the “resistance” movement, and a co-organizer of the next women’s protest on March 8th is Rasmea Yousef Odeh, a convicted Palestinian terrorist. Odeh had participated in bombings in Israel nearly 50 years ago, one of which resulted in the killing of two Israeli students. Now she is advocating militant resistance in the streets of the United States. For Palestinians, “resistance” is often used as a rationalization for acts of terrorism. Odeh has not explicitly advocated the use of violence – at least not yet. However, Odeh and her co-organizers have called for the March 8th protest to include blocking roads, bridges, and squares. We have seen such uncivil acts of disobedience lead to violence in the past.
Odeh has joined with several other militants as co-authors of a manifesto for a new, more radical form of feminism. Odeh’s co-authors include Angela Davis, who supported the Black Panthers and was a former leader of the Communist Party USA, and Tithi Bhattacharya, a Maoist supporter. The manifesto heralded what its authors called an international “anti-capitalist” feminist movement that is “at once anti-racist, anti-imperialist, anti-heterosexist and anti-neoliberal.” So-called “lean-in” or “other variants of corporate feminism” are not “feminism for the 99%,” according to the manifesto’s co-authors.
Move over, Hillary Clinton and Elizabeth Warren. Leftists have found new radical feminist heroines to embrace. According to Workers’ World, “Progressive women in the U.S. eagerly responded to the call. Posted on womenstrikeus.org is the strike platform: ‘In a spirit of solidarity and internationalism, in the United States, March 8 will be a day of action organized by and for women who have been marginalized and silenced by decades of neoliberalism directed toward working women, women of color, Native women, disabled women, immigrant women, Muslim women, lesbian, queer and trans women. … [We are organizing] resistance not just against Trump and his misogynist policies, but also against the conditions that produced Trump, namely the decades-long economic inequality, racial and sexual violence, and imperial wars abroad.’” In other words, a whole potpourri of favorite leftwing causes.
Rasmea Yousef Odeh is particularly beloved in Muslim and leftwing circles. “She’s an icon, actually, across the country amongst Arab and Muslim organizations, around civil liberties organizations, among women’s empowerment organizations,” said Hatem Abudayyeh, a member of Chicago’s Arab-American community where Odeh was active as an organizer.
Angela Davis participated in an event in 2015 with Odeh, co-organized by the Chicago chapter of Black Lives Matter, entitled “Freedom Beyond Occupation & Incarceration – An Afternoon with Angela Davis and Rasmea Odeh.“ According to a report in Ebony, “Davis and Odeh discussed the importance of Black-Palestinian solidarity, political imprisonment in the US and Israel, as well as the need for the abolition of prisons and ending the Israeli occupation of Palestine.”
Odeh praised the Black liberation movement. “I now more fully understand the prison-industrial-complex that sister Angela Davis so eloquently talks and writes about,” Odeh remarked, “and the reason that she discusses the need for the abolition of prisons and not simply reform.” Angela Davis returned the praise, and said that the federal government was targeting Odeh as “part of the broader struggle against political imprisonment in the US.”
Actually, the federal government targeted Odeh because she was a convicted terrorist whom should not have even been in the United States in the first place. Years after her release from Israeli prison, she came to the United States in 1995. In 2004, she became a U.S. citizen after concealing her terrorist background. Odeh answered “No” to questions in the naturalization questionnaire regarding whether she had “EVER” been arrested, charged, convicted or imprisoned. In 2014, ten years after becoming a U.S. citizen based on false pretenses, Odeh was convicted for unlawful procurement of naturalization. But Odeh, with a variety of leftwing and Islamist advocates rallying to her side, managed to avoid serving a prison sentence and eventual deportation, at least for the time being. An appeals court granted her the right to a new trial so that she could present evidence of her supposed post-traumatic stress disorder allegedly suffered while in Israeli captivity. It seems that this “disorder,” which she claimed was brought about by acts of rape and torture committed by her Israeli interrogators, confused Odeh when she was filling out the naturalization questionnaire. She interpreted the word “EVER,” which was capitalized on the original questionnaire, to mean only the time she resided in the United States.
Odeh continues to play the part of a Palestinian victim of Israeli “oppression” and “political imprisonment,” when it was she who was responsible for the deaths of two innocent Israeli students. She then conveniently forgot all about her terrorist background in order to slip through naturalization screening.
Members of the “fake news” mainstream media seem to have forgotten as well. For example, in an article appearing on New York Times.com, writers from Women in the World identified Yousef Odeh simply as an associate director of the Arab American Action Network.
The Huffington Post published an article by Black activist Marc Lamont Hill, who uncritically accepted Odeh’s narrative of being unfairly convicted by an Israeli military court on the basis of a coerced confession. He ignored the fact that there was corroborating evidence of her complicity in the terrorist acts, independent of her confession. Moreover, Odeh’s trial was witnessed by an observer from the International Red Cross, who determined it was fair. However, facts mean little as far as radical ideologues are concerned. They resist the truth, and are provided a platform in the mainstream media to promote their false narratives.
“Like many Palestinian freedom fighters,” Marc Lamont Hill wrote, “Odeh’s story should resonate with Blacks here in the United States. She is the victim of a criminal military court system in Israel, much like many Black people are victims of a criminal racist justice system in the U.S. Odeh’s is an important story. A story of Palestine. A story of refugees, of military occupation and torture, of political imprisonment, of women’s rights organizing, of freedom. But Odeh’s must also be understood as a Black story. A story of global resistance to colonial power. A story of challenging unjust government action. A story of solidarity.”
Rasmea Yousef Odeh does indeed have a story. But it is not the story that Odeh and her supporters would want us to believe. To the contrary, it is a story of a convicted terrorist who lied her way into the United States and now seeks to radicalize it with her leftwing allies through acts of “resistance.” We can only hope that Odeh’s story will end with her new trial scheduled to begin on May 16, 2017 and a verdict of guilty that will ultimately lead to her deportation.