US ambassador condemns convicted Palestinian terrorist's speech in Germany

BERLIN - The U.S. ambassador to Germany has condemned the presence of a convicted Palestinian terrorist who entered Germany in order to deliver a talk on Friday.

Rasmea Odeh is set to speak in Berlin on Friday about “Palestinian women in the liberation struggle.” The event is organized by a reportedly “anti-Semitic alliance of BDS.” BDS is an abbreviation for the Boycott, Sanctions, Divestment campaign targeting the Jewish state.

As a member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), an E.U. and U.S.-classified terrorist organization, Odeh was responsible for a 1969 bombing that killed two students – Leon Kanner and Eddie Joffe – in a Jerusalem supermarket.

Ambassador Richard Grenell told Fox News Thursday: “The rise of anti-Semitism around the world is very troubling. Some people plant the seeds of anti-Semitism while others water it and help it grow. Offering a public speaking role to a Palestinian terrorist convicted of murder, terrorism and immigration fraud legitimizes anti-Semitism at a time when we should be condemning it."

 Odeh was responsible for a 1969 bombing that killed two students – Leon Kanner (left) and Eddie Joffe – in a Jerusalem supermarket.

 Odeh was responsible for a 1969 bombing that killed two students – Leon Kanner (left) and Eddie Joffe – in a Jerusalem supermarket.

He added: “I join the chorus of others who have raised their voices in Berlin standing against anti-Semitism no matter where it’s found.”

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Odeh participated in a second bombing at the British Consulate. She was convicted for her role in the bombings and sentenced to life imprisonment in 1970. As part of a prisoner exchange deal, however, she was released from prison in 1979. She now lives in Jordan after living in the U.S. for more than two decades before being deported by immigration authorities.

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When asked by Fox News if the German government planned to deny Odeh entry into Germany, a Foreign Ministry spokesperson said: “The federal government is not participating in this event. The federal government does not have contact to the E.U.-designated terrorist organization PFLP. The federal government rejects every form of the glorification of terrorism.”

Israel’s ambassador to Germany on Wednesday, Jeremy Issacharoff, expressed dismay that the German government would permit a convicted Palestinian terrorist to spread anti-Semitism in the capital.

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He told the daily Berlin-based B.Z.newspaper: “We are shocked that a convicted Palestinian terrorist, who is personally responsible for the murder of two students in a supermarket, was invited to speak in Berlin.

“Ironically [this is happening] in Berlin, a city that stands for tolerance and freedom and has now written the fight against anti-Semitism on the flags.”

Odeh secured a United States immigrant visa in 1994 and lived in America for 22 years. In 2014, she became a U.S. citizen.

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But she was stripped of her citizenship in 2017 by the U.S Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency for lying when she entered America.

According to ICE, the "former naturalized U.S. citizen, who was convicted in Israel for participating in a terrorist bombing, was ordered deported.”

ICE noted that “Rasmieh Yousef Odeh, 70, lost her United States citizenship…for having obtained her United States citizenship unlawfully.”

Benjamin Weinthal is fellow for the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. He reports on the Middle East. Follow Benjamin on Twitter @BenWeinthal