ISRAEL, March 13, 2017 | TruthPR.com | -- An Israeli woman whose uncle was killed in a terror attack has criticized the International Women’s Strike, held as part of International Women’s Day observations last week, for appointing as one of its organizers, Rasmea Odeh, a convicted Palestinian terrorist.
“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,” wrote Israeli American Terry Joffe Benaryeh in a Huffington Post Op-Ed. “What justification is there for Rasmea Odeh, a woman who killed two people (with the intention of killing more!) to lead a peaceful fight for human rights?”
The Women’s Strike claims as one of its principles that, “Nonviolence is a way of life for courageous people.”
On March 21, 1969, Odeh, planted a bomb in a biscuit tin in a Shufersal Supermarket in Jerusalem which exploded killing Benaryeh’s uncle, Edward Joffe, and his best friend Leon Kanner, both students. A second bomb, targeting rescue workers, was defused 20 seconds before detonation. Odeh was 21 at the time. The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), an offshoot of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (designated by the U.S. at the time as a terrorist organization), claimed responsibility for the bombing.
After receiving a life sentence in an Israeli military court in 1970, Odeh served 10 years in prison before being released in a prisoner exchange between Israel and the Palestinians.
On moving to the United States in 2004, Odeh failed to disclose her conviction or terrorist group membership in her visa application. She was convicted of immigration fraud in a U.S. court in 2014. In December she won a retrial, claiming to have been suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) during the original immigration process, something which she had not previously claimed.
Odeh is the associate director of the Arab American Action Network and leader of their Arab Women’s Committee, a Chicago grassroots community group which claims to advocate “equity, empowerment and social justice.”
Benaryeh notes the hypocrisy of Odeh’s appointments as an advocate for Muslim and women’s right.
“I support the empowerment of American Muslims and refugees, and especially Muslim women at this time of heightened prejudice. A self-confessed murderer should not be the voice for them. Do these feminists support her despite her past? Or worse, because of it?” asks Benaryeh. “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.”
The Women’s March movement claims to be at the “beginning of a new wave of militant feminist struggle” and appears to be ignoring its core non-violent principles. The appointment of Odeh, whether a result of an incompetence to carry out due diligence or appeasement, raises questions about the movement’s motives.
“What is the difference between the acts of Omar Mateen, Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, Dylan Roof, and Rasmea Odeh?” asks Joffe Benaryeh referring to American murderers and terrorists. “There is no difference. They all carried out acts of terror in the name of their causes, which resulted in the death of innocent civilians. Whether they were targeting the LGBT community, Americans, African Americans, or Jewish Israelis, these were all terrorist acts.”
In addition to Odeh’s rise to prominence, one of four co-organizers of the Women’s March on Washington in February was Linda Sarsour, a staunch anti-Israel activist and supporter of the BDS movement.
Advocates of emerging social justice movements should do their homework when researching the movements’ leaders.
“The violence of the wicked will drag them away,
for they refuse to do what is right.
The way of the guilty is devious,
but the conduct of the innocent is upright.”