Berlin blocks appearance by convicted Palestinian terrorist

BERLIN (JTA) — Berlin is blocking an appearance by convicted Palestinian terrorist Rasmea Odeh, who had been scheduled to speak at a conference on “Palestinian Women Fighting for Liberation.”
Following protests, the city’s department for interior affairs announced late Friday afternoon that they had barred Odeh from speaking in the city and cancelled her visa, on the grounds that the political activities of a non-citizen can be limited or prohibited if these activities break German law or endanger the peace.
The venue also has cancelled its rental for the event.
Odeh, a member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, was found guilty in 1970 of participating in the 1969 murder of two Jewish students, Leon Kanner and Eddie Joffe in an attack on a Jerusalem supermarket. She was sentenced to life in prison, but was one of 77 Palestinian prisoners released in exchange for an Israeli soldier in 1980.  A resident of Jordan, she is currently in her early 70s.
Odeh was the longtime associate director at the Arab American Action Network in Chicago, but was stripped of her U.S. citizenship and deported to Jordan in 2017 after a court determined she had not been truthful in her immigration application.
A planned protest against her appearance was to be held despite the event’s cancellation, its organizer told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency.

Odeh’s planned appearance had triggered a storm of protest among Jewish and political leaders. The Central Council of Jews in Germany had issued a statement condemning the invitation to Odeh.

Council president Josef Schuster told the Taz newspaper in Berlin that he was “appalled that a convicted Palestinian terrorist who killed and injured Israelis is permitted to appear in Berlin.”The public appearance of someone sentenced for murder, terrorism and immigration fraud “legitimizes anti-Semitism at a time when we should be condemning it,” U.S. Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell said in an interview with Fox News.

Also weighing in against Odeh’s appearance were Berlin’s mayor, Michael Müller, and Hellmut Königshaus, head of the German-Israel Society.

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