Cornell SJP Condemns Prison Sentence for Palestinian Terrorist Rasmea Odeh

Image via Cornell SJP's website

Image via Cornell SJP's website

Cornell's chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) recently condemned a Detroit court's 18-month prison sentence of Rasmea Odeh, who was convicted on terrorism charges in Israel in 1970. "Throughout the trial, the judge’s rulings made it very clear that the court wasn’t interested in a fair trial for Rasmea, but was simply interested in convicting her," writes Cornell SJP. Arrested in October 2013, Odeh was convicted last November for falsely procuring naturalization after failing to disclose whether she had ever been convicted or imprisoned. The court also stripped Odeh of her U.S. citizenship and ordered her deportation after her prison term.

Image via Cornell SJP's website

In 1970, Odeh was convicted by an Israeli military court and sentenced to life in prison for her connection to a 1969 Jerusalem grocery store bombing that killed two Hebrew University students and an attempted bombing of the British Consulate. In 1980, she was released as part of a prisoner exchange program with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, the terrorist group which conducted the supermarket bombing. She immigrated to the U.S. in 1994.

Odeh dancing after her sentencing. Image via Legal Insurrection.

Cornell SJP is not alone in its #Justice4Rasema opposition to Odeh’s U.S. and Israeli criminal convictions.

Chicago’s chapter of SJP organized a fundraiser at DePaul University for Odeh in February. Josh Ruebner of The Hill called on the Obama administration’s Department  of Justice to drop “spurious charges” against Odeh, and detailed the acts of physical and sexual torture Odeh allegedly incurred at the hands of Israeli Defense Force interrogators.

Cornell SJP also argues that Odeh’s failure to disclose her Israeli court conviction while applying for U.S. naturalization was due to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as a result of the purported torture she experienced. The organization says that Odeh’s attorneys were not permitted to enter evidence or call expert witnesses about Odeh’s alleged PTSD.

“By using the Israeli conviction of Rasmea to build a case against her in the United States, the American justice system has not only denied Rasmea her natural rights within this country’s legal system, but it has essentially acted as an extension of the Israeli military court,” Cornell SJP writes.

Over at Legal Insurrection, William Jacobson, a lawyer, argues Odeh was indeed involved with the SuperSol supermarket bombing and says that her admission of guilt occurred one day after her arrest, not after several weeks as is claimed by her supporters.

Jacobson concludes his lengthy analysis written after her November conviction by writing:

“The Free Rasmea Odeh campaign is based on fiction and political polemics, not the reality of what happened at the SuperSol supermarket and Rasmea’s false answers on her immigration applications.

Perhaps the Court will show some mercy for Rasmea in sentencing in March 2015, and not sentence her to lengthy prison time prior to deportation.

If so, that will be more mercy than Rasmea showed for her bombing victims.”