Odeh attempted to turn her hearing in Detroit into an anti-Israel tirade while denying she was a terrorist, but the judge did not allow it.
“This is not a political forum for you to fan the flames of Israeli-Palestinian disputes. … It’s about the application you filled out,” said US District Judge Gershwin Drain, who threatened to find her in contempt and send her to jail.
“Hopefully, this will be the final chapter in the tragic story of this still-dangerous and unrepentant PFLP terrorist who tried to fraud the US immigration services,” Shurat Hadin director Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, who represented Edward Jaffe’s brother Harold and assisted the US Department of Justice with compiling evidence, said on Thursday in advance of the hearing.
“We applaud the work of the American Department of Justice and in particular Assistant US Attorney Jonathan Tukel, who really pursued Odeh with vigilance, exposed her lies and assured that her Jewish victims received a measure of justice and closure,” she said.
It is now up to the Immigration Department to decide when Odeh must leave the US.
Odeh and Sarsour, who came to prominence as an outspoken advocate for Bernie Sanders presidential campaign, was a leader in the anti-Trump action thinly disguised as a day-long strike called a Day Without Women by organizers of a movement they call “militant feminism”.
Odeh was arrested in Israel in 1970 for her participation in two terrorist bombings and for membership in the illegal organization, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP). Two Israelis were killed in one of the bombings. Her conviction was based on testimony by her co-conspirators, who implicated Odeh, claiming she had instigated and organized the bombing. In addition to the testimony, bomb-making materials identical to those used in the attacks were found in her bedroom.
One day after her arrest, Odeh confessed to the bombings. At the same time, she was also convicted of an attempted bombing of the British Consulate. Odeh was sentenced to life imprisonment but was released as part of a prisoner exchange with the PFLP in 1980.
In 1995, Odeh entered the US. In 2004 she applied for citizenship, which was granted. In 2013, Odeh was arrested for immigration fraud, since she lied on her application by stating she had no criminal record. She also claimed her only country of residence had been Jordan. In her trial, Odeh claimed she suffered from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder as a result of weeks of sexual torture by Israeli security forces, despite having confessed the day after her arrest.
In March 2015, Odeh was sentenced to 18 months in a federal prison and ordered deported to Jordan after completing her sentence. She has been out on bail since her conviction. Odeh works in Chicago as associate director of the Arab American Action Network, which provides social services and education.