This Tuesday, Feb. 3, Rasmieh Odeh, a convicted killer, will be honored at a fundraiser held at DePaul University organized by Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP). SJP is a national organization which pursues an anti-Israel agenda on college campuses across the country.
Odeh was a member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, designated by the US, Canada, and the EU as a terrorist group. In 1970, Odeh was convicted in Israel for a 1969 bombing at a Jerusalem supermarket that killed two Hebrew University students, Leon Kanner, 21 and Edward Joffe, 22. Odeh’s sentence was life in prison, but she was released in a 1995 prisoner exchange.
Why is a convicted terrorist being honored? SJP is raising funds for Odeh’s legal defense in the US. After being released from Israeli prison, Odeh immigrated to the US. Last November a federal jury in Detroit found her guilty of lying on her naturalization papers by answering “no” when asked if she had “ever” been charged or convicted of a crime.
Odeh, now in her late 60s, is portrayed by anti-Israel activists as a victim of Zionist oppression. This narrative has been ably refuted by Cornell law professor William A. Jacobson, who posted an impressive number of original documents on his website Legal Insurrection. I encourage skeptics to examine the evidence for themselves, including a 2004 documentary in which Odeh’s co-conspirator describes how Odeh masterminded the supermarket bombing.
The organizers of the fundraiser honoring a convicted terrorist, SJP, refuse to talk to other students unless they accept the view that Israel is an apartheid state. My experience as a rabbi at several prominent American universities has been consistent: students affiliated with SJP will not dialog with students who identify as Zionists or pro-Israel (neither Jews nor gentiles), because they say this “normalizes the occupation.” This attitude erodes civil discourse and is at odds with the values of any university, secular or religious.SJP at UC Davis:
UC Davis student government passes divestment
“At tonight’s (Jan. 29) ASUCD senate meeting, Senate Resolution (SR) #9 passed with an 8-2-2 vote. The text of SR #9 calls for the University of California (UC) Board of Regents to divest from “corporations that aid in the Israeli occupation of Palestine and illegal settlements in Palestinian territories, violating both international humanitarian law and international human rights.” ASUCD voted down a similar resolution this past May.
With the passing vote, ASUCD formally recommends the UC Regents to divest from American companies Caterpillar Inc., G4S PLC, Veolia Environment and Raytheon.On the UC Davis vote:
Over 550 UC Davis students, staff and faculty members attended the senate meeting, which was called to order at 8:57 p.m. in the Sciences Lecture Hall 123.”
Anti-Israel activists at the University of California, Davis heckled Jewish students and shouted “Allahhu Akbar” at them during a vote last week on a resolution endorsing a boycott of the Jewish state, according to video of the event obtained by theWashington Free Beacon.
The commotion erupted late Thursday evening as pro-Israel students attempted to counter a student government resolution to divest from Israel as part of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement.
Activists waving Palestinian flags shouted at the Jewish and pro-Israel students as they left the meeting room ahead of an eight to two vote in favor of the divestment resolution, which is part of a larger movement by anti-Israel groups to attack Israel and pro-Israel students on campus.
“Allahhu Akhbar!” a large group of activists shouted in unison as the pro-Israel students filed out of U.C. Davis’ meeting room, according to video provided by a member of Aggies for Israel, a pro-Israel student group at Davis.
Following the vote, which was championed by the pro-Hamas group Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), unknown vandals spray-painted swastikas on a fraternity house belonging to the Jewish AEPi organization. [Note: while I'm no fan of SJP, I think it's wrong to call them "pro-Hamas"].
Additionally, Azka Fayyaz, a member of the U.C. Davis student senate, posted on her Facebook page a triumphant message following the vote: “Hamas & Sharia law have taken over UC Davis.”
Fayyaz followed this with another post stating: “If a movement is not controversial, if no one is mad, its [sic] not strong enough & it’s not worth the fight. Israel will fall insha’Allah.”....
Members of the AEPi fraternity also took note of the proximity between the BDS vote and the defacement of their home.
“Our U.C. Davis AEPi fraternity house was tagged with two swastikas, coming 24 hours after the deeply troubling actions on campus coming from those seeking to delegitimize Israel and her people,” a group of AEPi leaders and alumni members said in a joint statement released after the anti-Semitic attack.See also the report from Stand With Us about the UCSD vote.