AMSTERDAM (JTA) — Two organizations in the Netherlands have canceled their speaking invitations to a Palestinian ex-terrorist following protests.
A labor association for Turkish immigrants, HTIB, told De Telegraaf on Tuesday that it is bowing out of hosting Rasmea Odeh this week. The group’s chair, Mustafa Ayranci, cited the publication of a report that called into question the invitation in light of HTIB’s receiving state subsidies.
HTIB had volunteered to host Odeh after Amsterdam’s Nasau Church rescinded its invitation. Odeh is visiting the Netherlands as the guest of two Marxist groups, Anakbayan-Europe and Revolutionary Unity.
In an email inviting listeners to the HTIB headquarters, the organizers wrote: “We ask you DO NOT POST THIS ADDRESS on any online or public platform. This is for Rasmea Odeh’s safety and security.”
Odeh spent 10 years in an Israeli prison for her role in a 1969 bombing attack at a Jerusalem supermarket that killed two Hebrew University students, Leon Kanner and Eddie Joffe. Israel jailed Odeh for life, but she was released in a prisoner exchange with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine in 1980 and immigrated to the United States from Jordan. She has said her confession to the bombing was the result of severe torture by Israeli security forces.
Odeh obtained her U.S. immigrant visa in 1994 and her citizenship in 2004. In both applications, she failed to disclose her arrest and convictions in the bombings. She pleaded guilty to falsifying her immigration applications and was deported to Jordan in September.