Rasmea Yousef Odeh was stripped of her US citizenship and will be deported after lying about her past imprisonment for terrorism in Israel when filing for US citizenship in 2004.
A Chicago-based Palestinian activist lost her US citizenship Thursday and will be deported for failing to disclose convictions for terrorist attacks in Jerusalem decades ago.
Rasmea Yousef Odeh was interrupted three times by a judge as she used her court appearance in Detroit to criticize Israel and the US and deny that she’s a terrorist.
“This is not a political forum for you to fan the flames of Israeli-Palestinian disputes…. It’s about the application you filled out,” said US District Judge Gershwin Drain, who threatened to find her in contempt and send her to jail.
Odeh, 70, pleaded guilty in April to concealing her previous convictions when she entered the US in 1994 and applied for citizenship a decade later. She would have been barred from the country.
Drain followed the plea deal and ordered no prison time. Odeh now will wait for the government to deport her, likely to Jordan, her country of origin, .
Odeh was sentenced to life in prison in Israel for her involvement in two terrorist bombings in Jerusalem in 1969, one of which took place in a crowded supermarket and killed two people, 21-year-old Leon Kanner and 22-year-old Eddie Joffe, and wounded nine others. A second bomb found at the supermarket was defused.
Four days later, she bombed and damaged the British consulate in Tel Aviv.
A member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) terror organization, she spent 10 years in an Israeli jail before being released in a prisoner exchange with the PFLP in 1980.
Odeh claims she failed to disclose her past in 2004 because she was suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), claiming she had been tortured into confessing to her role in the bombings.
She was convicted in 2014 and sentenced to 18 months in prison, but the conviction was overturned. She chose to make a deal with the government rather than face a second trial.
Several supporters traveled from Chicago to attend the court hearing. More than 1,000 people attended an event last weekend to honor Odeh.
“I will raise my voice to say this: We have the right to struggle for our country,” she stated.
By: AP and United with Israel Staff