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.
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.”