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Victory as Rasmea Odeh goes home after sentencing

By Tom Burke |
March 12, 2015
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Rasmea Odeh's sentencing hearing March 12 in Detroit
Rasmea Odeh's sentencing hearing March 12 in Detroit (Court drawing by Deb Van Poolen)

Detroit, MI — Palestinian American women’s leader Rasmea Odeh was welcomed with cheers as she walked out of court on March 12 into the arms of 200 supporters. The crowd chanted “Rasmea! Rasmea! Rasmea!”

Just an hour earlier, U.S. Prosecutor Tukel asked for five to seven years in prison for Rasmea Odeh. Tukel said, “I will talk about her terrorist background. Every single day in the U.S. was illegal, was based on fraud.” Tukel claimed, “She is an icon in the terrorist world!”

Before sentencing, Odeh spoke eloquently explaining the cycle of her life, “Every time I try to do something good in my life, then something from outside destroys what we have and I am left with nothing.”

She explained, “In 1967 Israel destroys everything, the worst part of my life, because it is war. I was young and had confidence in myself. I rebuilt my life, but Israel said I could not return to Lebanon to college. There were bodies in the street, houses destroyed, and one part of our house destroyed. It was war.”

Odeh explained her part in the Palestinian struggle, “Yes I, as a woman in occupied territory--all the people struggled against the occupation.”

Finishing her statement, Odeh said, “I will find justice. I hope to find justice with you!”

Before announcing the sentence of Odeh to 18 months in prison, Judge Drain emphasized over and over that this was not a political case.

Odeh will remain at liberty pending an appeal. Before driving home to Chicago, Rasmea Odeh shouted to her supporters outside, “I’m positive we will win the appeal. With you it will be easy, and we will win!”

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