Last week we had a brief discussion about Iyman Faris and under what conditions the United States should be able to strip the citizenship of a naturalized citizen. At the time I opined that terrorism was a rather special set of circumstances which might allow for such an action. This week we’ve received news that a similar case has been handled (through a plea bargain agreement) which produced a productive result. It involves a rather high profile “activist” from the ranks of the Palestinians, one Rasmea Odeh. You may recall her as a leading figure in the highly vaunted “women’s march on Washington” shortly after President Trump’s election.
It turns out that Ms. Odeh is a convicted terrorist who had previously been handled by the Israeli courts before coming to the United States. She’s not new on the progressive scene around here and has been lionized by liberal activists in the past. For one example, after she first came under the scrutiny of American law enforcement and faced arrest in 2015, Marc Lamont took to the pages of the Huffington Post to explain why everyone should stand with her during those proceedings.
In Detroit in November 2014, Odeh was convicted and sentenced to 18 months in prison as well as deportation from the U.S. But she was reportedly not allowed to call the conviction by the Israelis in Palestine unlawful, or testify about the torture and rape. It seems she was not allowed a full and fair trial.
This is why Odeh is appealing the conviction, and why I am supporting her. And I am not alone. Her case has become a cause celebre, and a campaign has been established for her defense, building support from over 50 community, faith, labor, anti-war, Palestine support and other organizations across the country.
No matter what happened in Israel, Odeh was already in violation of the law here in the United States when she was originally apprehended.She lied on her application for citizenship about being a previously convicted terrorist. How she wound up taking a prominent place at the women’s march remains a mystery to some of us, but now the case has been settled. She’s not only to be sent packing, but will be stripped of her US citizenship to prevent a repeat of these events. (Heat Street)
A convicted Palestinian terrorist and a key figure of the recent Women’s March will be deported from the United States after accepting a plea bargain that allows her to escape a prison sentence.
Rasmea Odeh will be stripped of her U.S citizenship and forced to leave the country and return to Jordan after failing to disclose to immigration authorities that she had been imprisoned in Israel for committing two terror attacks.
As part of her plea bargain, however, Odeh won’t have to spend time in U.S prison or detention, according to a statement on Thursday by the Rasmea Defense Committee.
There’s two sides to this “controversy” and I can legitimately understand both of them. On the one hand, it sounds as if a plea deal has been struck which allows Odeh to “get off easy.” Having been found guilty of various violations while she was technically a United States citizen, it might grind some folks the wrong way to see her allowed to board a plane and head on out of the country and back to her homeland without doing any time. But by the same token, the fraudulently gained right of US Citizenship (which is arguably worth more than her own weight in gold) is being stripped away and she no longer will be afforded the protections which American citizens enjoy. Nor will she be able to freely come and go as she pleases across our borders. Is that really such a bad deal?
While I can understand the annoyance some may feel at reading of her release, what’s truly the bigger punishment? Being temporarily deprived of your liberty here in the United States only to later be released, or to be forever deprived of the rights and privileges of American citizenship? I’m not discounting the feelings of those who think she’s being let off the hook, but in the long run she is paying a much stiffer price. Or at least that’s how I’m reading the cards here.