Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Rasmea Odeh, convicted terrorist, pleads guilty to immigration fraud

In the recent annual conference of Jewish Voice for Peace, Rasmea Odeh, a convicted terrorist, was one of the featured speakers in the closing plenary session. She pleased guilty today of immigration fraud and she will be stripped of her American citizenship and deported. As many others have noted, JVP disgraced itself by having Odeh speak, thereby giving support to a person who murdered two young Israeli men in 1969.

As Legal Insurrection reports, Rasmea Odeh acknowledged in her guilty plea that she lied on her visa application and her application for naturalization, asserting that she had never been charged or convicted of any crime, when in fact she had been arrested and convicted in Israel of taking part in a bomb attack on the Supersol supermarket on Agron St. in Jerusalem, which killed two young men. The attack occurred in 1969 and she was convicted in 1970. The two young men, Edward Joffe and Leon Kanner, were students at the Hebrew University at the time.
At the time of the bombing and conviction in Israel, Rasmea was a military member of the terrorist group the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. Rasmea was so important to the group that Leila Khalid, the first female airplane hijacker, formed to Rasmea Odeh Brigade to try to free her. Rasmea also was on the list of prisoners whose release was demanded by the Black September terrorists who took Israeli hostages at the 1972 Munich Olympics. Yet Rasmea’s supporters would have you believe she was just an innocent political activist. 
Rasmea didn’t serve her life sentences in Israel, however. In 1979 she was released in a prisoner exchange for an Israeli soldier captured in Lebanon. She made her way to Lebanon, then Jordan, then to the U.S. in the mid-1990s, when she lied on her visa application by denying any prior convictions or imprisonment, or being a member of a terrorist group. 
Rasmea again lied on her naturalization papers, denying that she “EVER” (caps and bold on application) was convicted or imprisoned. She also falsely stated that she never was a member of a terrorist group or was involved in terrorism....
After an initial conviction in November 2014 for obtaining naturalization unlawfully, Rasmea was given a new trial so a psychologist could testify on her behalf that Rasmea falsely answered the immigration questions because she was suffering from PTSD as a result of alleged Israeli torture. That claim was ludicrous on its face, but it was enough to earn her a new trial. That new trial was supposed to take place in May 2017.

Instead of taking the case to trial again, and obviously fearing a lengthy prison sentence, Rasmea accepted a plea deal. While Rasmea’s supporters claim the deal was a victory because it would keep her out of jail, in fact is almost identical to the plea deal Rasmea was offered and rejected in 2014.
The following is an excerpt from the plea agreement, as posted by Legal Insurrection on Scribd (https://www.scribd.com/document/346364164/Rasmieh-Odeh-Case-Plea-Agreement#from_embed):
Defendant Admits That the Following Facts Are True:

In 1969, Defendant Rasmieh Odeh was arrested and charged by an Israeli Military Court for participation in placing two bombs. One bomb had been placed in a supermarket. The other had been placed at the British Consulate. In 1970, Defendant Odeh was convicted of the charges and sentenced to life imprisonment, although she was released in 1979 after having served approximately ten years. 
In December 1994, Defendant Rasmieh Odeh submitted an application for United States Immigrant Visa and Alien Registration, Department of State form 230. Question 21 of the Application for Immigrant Visa and Alien Registration required Odeh to list all places she had "lived for six months or longer since reaching the age of 16." Defendant Odeh's full response falsely stated that she had lived in Amman, Jordan, from 1948 onward, thereby intentionally omitting the fact that following her release from prison she had lived in Lebanon for approximately three years. 
Question 33 of the Application for Immigrant Visa and Alien Registration asked whether Defendant Odeh ever had been convicted of a crime of moral turpitude, or of two or more offenses for which the aggregate sentences were five years or more imprisonment. Defendant Odeh falsely checked the box marked "No." 
Question 31 of the Application for Immigrant Visa and Alien Registration asked if Defendant Odeh had ever been "arrested, convicted, or ever been in a prison[.]" 
Defendant Odeh falsely checked the box marked ''No." 
On June 4, 2004, defendant Odeh filed an application for naturalization (Form N-400) with United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to afford her the status of a United States citizen. On November 3, 2004, an immigration officer interviewed Defendant Odeh regarding her naturalization application at the USCIS office in Detroit, Michigan. In defendant's naturalization application defendant made the following material false statements, which she reiterated and reaffirmed during her naturalization interview: 
1. Defendant falsely stated that she had never been arrested, cited or detained by any law enforcement officer or military officer. 
2. Defendant falsely stated that she had never been charged with committing any crime or offense. 
3. Defendant falsely stated that she had never been convicted of a crime or offense. 
4. Defendant falsely stated that she had never been in jail or prison. 
5. Defendant falsely stated that she had never given false or misleading information to any U.S. government official while applying for any immigration benefit or to prevent deportation, exclusion or removal. 
At the time she made the false statements, Defendant knew the statements were false. Defendant also admits that all of these false statements were material, in that they had a natural tendency to affect the decision of the State Department and USCIS. She made the false statements intentionally and not as a result of any mistake, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder or any other psychological issue or condition or for any innocent reason, and notwithstanding any other statement or testimony Defendant Odeh may have made at any other time regarding those answers. At the time she made the false statements, Defendant knew that it was unlawful for her to provide false information to the United States Department of State and to United States Citizenship and Immigration Services in connection with her application for immigration Visa and her application for naturalization.  
On December 9, 2004, defendant was sworn in as a United States citizen in an oath ceremony conducted by the United States District Court, Eastern District of Michigan. 
Defendant procured her citizenship by virtue of the false statements, because she would not have been granted citizenship had she revealed the truth.


  1. PTSD! What chutzpah! Personally, I cannot believe that the State Department could not have found out about those convictions and prison terms in the 1970's. It had been all over the news. Just a bit of a Google search could have caught her up.

  2. But she applied for an immigrant visa in 1994, before the archives of many newspapers were on the Web. Even if the news of her arrest & conviction made it to the US press in 1970, it probably didn't occur to anyone at the State Department to send someone over to the morgue of the NYTimes or the WashPost to find a notice about her. Google didn't exist in 1994.

    1. How soon we all forget that it has not been with us forever (retired medical librarian who used MEDLINE and DOCLINE).