“Will ye steal, murder, and commit adultery, and swear falsely, and offer unto Baal, and walk after other gods whom ye have not known?” Jeremiah 7:9 (The Israel Bible™)
A women’s strike has attracted criticism despite its universal cause, as one of its main organizers is a convicted Palestinian terrorist with Israeli blood on her hands.
The anti-Trump “Day Without a Woman” strike held on Wednesday asked women not to go to work and to limit their shopping to businesses owned and operated by women and minorities. Organizers also requested women wear red as a sign of “revolutionary love and sacrifice,” stating that red is a color of action traditionally associated with the labor movement. The first principle of the movement, as stated on their website, is that “nonviolence is a way of life for courageous people”.
However, much of the event’s message got lost in the controversy surrounding one of its organizers, Rasmea Odeh, a convicted terrorist guilty of murdering Israelis and currently awaiting trial for crimes in America.
The niece of one of Ode’s victims, Terry Joffe Benaryeh, stated this in an op-ed published in Huffington Post last week.
“I support the empowerment of American Muslims and refugees, and especially Muslim women at this time of heightened prejudice,” she wrote. “A self-confessed murderer should not be the voice for them. Do these feminists support her despite her past? Or worse, because of it?”
Odeh was arrested in Israel in 1970 for her participation in two terrorist bombings and for membership in the illegal organization, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP). Two Israelis were killeds in one of the bombings. Her conviction was based on testimony by her co-conspirators, who implicated Odeh, claiming she had instigated and organized the bombing. In addition to the testimony, bomb-making materials identical to those used in the attacks were found in her bedroom.
One day after her arrest, Odeh confessed to the bombings. At the same time, she was also convicted of an attempted bombing of the British Consulate. Odeh was sentenced to life imprisonment, but was released as part of a prisoner exchange with the PFLP in 1980.
In 1995, Odeh entered the US. In 2004 she applied for citizenship, which was granted. In 2013, Odeh was arrested for immigration fraud, since she lied on her application by stating she had no criminal record. She also claimed her only country of residence had been Jordan. In her trial, Odeh claimed she suffered from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder as a result of weeks of sexual torture by Israeli security forces, despite having confessed the day after her arrest.
In March 2015, Odeh was sentenced to 18 months in a federal prison, and ordered deported to Jordan after completing her sentence. Odeh has appealed her conviction and is free on bail until the matter is resolved. A retrial is scheduled for May.
Odeh is not standing idle while she waits for a retrial. In addition to organizing the Women’s strike, she is scheduled to be a featured speaker at Jewish Voices for Peace (JVP) 2017 National Member Meeting next month. Odeh will be joined by Linda Sarsour, one of the co-organizers of the first anti-Trump women’s rally. Sarsour, a Palestinian born in America, has relatives who were arrested in Israel for their association with Hamas.
Odeh has been associated with many left-wing movements that support her court battle against her convictions for her crimes in America. In 2015, just after her conviction, Odeh was featured in a video for Black Lives Matter, which touted her a “feminist icon”.
Benaryeh noted in her article that Odeh openly admitted her terrorist actions in a documentary.
“Explain how my family is supposed to reconcile the reality that the woman who stripped my uncle of his life is now deemed a hero by many of my fellow Americans,” Benaryeh demanded.
“There is a red line. Supporting someone who purposefully took the lives of innocent civilians is crossing that line. It seems that many have lost their way.”