Drop the Charges against Rasmea Yousef Odeh

 Petition for Rasmea Odeh

Sign the petition here:

http://www.iacenter.org/rasmeaodehpetition/

Signing the petition will generate a direct email to:

  • U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan Barbara McQuade
  • Assistant U.S. Attorney for Northern Illinois Barry Jonas
  • U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder
  • and other public officials

demanding that the charges against Rasmea Odeh be dropped.

 

[title]

Full petition text

We, the undersigned, demand that U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade stop the indictment of Rasmea Yousef Odeh and drop all federal charges. 

Sixty-six year old Rasmea Odeh is a Palestinian-American feminist, activist, educator and community leader. She has served as the associate director of the Arab American Action Network (AAAN) in Chicago since 2004. For the past 10 years, Rasmea has built unprecedented community support for close to 600 Arab immigrant women on issues related to English literacy, gender violence, inter-generational cultural conflicts, racial profiling, immigrant rights, and access to social and economic resources. She has established community-wide education projects related to civil and human rights, social justice, and community economic development and workshops that allow Arab immigrant women to tell, write, and perform their immigration stories while improving their writing skills. In 2013, Rasmea received the «Outstanding Community Leader Award» from the Chicago Cultural Alliance, which described her as a woman who has «dedicated over 40 years of her life to the empowerment of Arab women, first in her homes of Palestine, Jordan, and Lebanon, where she was an activist, and then the past 10 years in Chicago.»

On October 22, the Department of Homeland Security arrested Rasmea in her home for alleged immigration fraud as part of an ongoing witch-hunt that targets Arabs and Muslims who criticize U.S. and Israeli policy and labels them “terrorists.”

Rasmea has been demanding justice for Palestinians for most of her life. Like the experience of approximately 20% of the total Palestinian population of the West Bank and Gaza, she spent time as a political prisoner in Israeli jails in the 1970’s. There, she was violently tortured and humiliated– despite the international legal prohibition on torture and ill-treatment.

Like their Israeli ally, the U.S. federal government has a history of targeting individuals who express public support for Palestine and over and over, Palestinian and Arab American activists are disproportionately targeted in such cases. According to the Palestine Solidarity Legal Support, their organization, in partnership with the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), Palestine Solidarity Legal Support (PSLC) in collaboration with the National Lawyers Guild and other organizations, “has documented over 75 cases of intimidation and legal bullying in 2013 alone. These include perceived surveillance, FBI contacts, and discriminatory enforcement of laws against advocates for Palestinian rights.” Now decades in the making, this U.S. government strategy targets Palestinian immigrants, Palestinian Americans, and their supporters in order to quell any and all support for Palestinian rights in the U.S. and globally. According to CCR and PSLC, it is no coincidence that federal prosecutors are now targeting Rasmea, who is a pillar in the same community where 23 anti-war and Palestinian rights activists, many who’s homes were raided by the FBI, were subpoenaed to testify before a Grand Jury in 2010. There have been no indictments against the 23 activists subpoenaed presumably because of a lack of evidence.

The U.S. government’s portrayal of Palestinians as violent and inhuman fuels the case against Rasmea and as a result, the U.S. mainstream betrays Palestinians like Rasmea, leaving them with little support. The corporate media makes matters worse. By telling the story of Rasmea’s past as though she was a possible terrorist legitimately and legally arrested by the Israeli government, the media covers up that Israel occupies Palestinian land and arrests and tortures Palestinians systematically and illegally. The sensationalized media portrayal of Rasmea’s “terrorist past” dehumanizes Rasmea and justifies the ongoing state violence committed against her and the larger Arab American and Arab immigrant communities.

We stand in solidarity with Rasmea Yousef Odeh!
We demand the charges placed on Rasmea Yousef Odeh to be dropped immediately!

Reblogged from International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network and Committee to
Stop FBI Repression

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About ivarjordre

painter, aktivist, writer, revolutionary, human
Dette innlegget vart posta under Kvinne- og jentekamp, Our global world, Politic&Society og merkt , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bokmerk permalenkja.

One Response to Drop the Charges against Rasmea Yousef Odeh

  1. ivarjordre seier:

    Reblogged this on Ivar Jørdre and commented:

    Drop the Charges against Rasmea Odeh

    Replace pro-Israeli judge, say Odeh lawyers (published July 16th)

    In a major development, attorneys for Palestinian community leader Rasmea Odeh filed a motion July 14th, calling for Judge Paul D. Borman to step down from the case. The supporting brief argues that Borman, as a life-long and dedicated supporter of Israel, cannot play the “neutral and detached” role that the law requires.

    A spurious report from the Associated Press irresponsibly presumes that the defense is bringing this motion because Judge Borman is an American Jew. Odeh and her attorneys, including Michael Deutsch, who is an American Jew himself, deny this, noting that the motion and supporting brief extensively document Borman’s close ties to the State of Israel, never once mentioning his religion. The AP article has been picked up across the country, and the national Rasmea Defense Committee demands a retraction.

    Odeh has pled not guilty to Unlawful Procurement of Naturalization, a charge alleging that she failed to mention, in her 2004 application for U.S. citizenship, that she was arrested in Palestine 45 years ago, and tried in an Israeli military court that “convicts” 99.74% of Palestinians who come before it. Odeh was physically and sexually tortured into a confession by Israeli prison authorities in 1969.

    The motion describes how this is important to her defense: “The defendant’s case directly raises issues about the legality of the continuing 47 year belligerent occupation of the West Bank by the State of Israel and the State’s policy of sanctioning the systematic torture of Palestinian detainees by the Israeli military and security police.”

    In the papers filed with the court this week, attorneys Deutsch and James Fennerty describe Judge Borman’s long history of support for Israel, including fund raising for, and donating millions of dollars of his own money to the state. They argue: “Clearly, one who has been a life-long supporter and promoter of Israel and has deep ties to the State of Israel spanning over 50 years, who no doubts believes that Israel is a great democracy and protector of human rights, cannot be ‘reasonably’ said to be impartial when these claims of torture and illegality are raised by a Palestinian defendant.

    “Further, it is reasonable to conclude that as a result of this Court’s many trips to Israel, and its active support and substantial efforts in fund raising for the State of Israel, that this Court has ‘personal knowledge of disputed evidentiary facts concerning this case.’”

    According to one of the defense committee’s spokespeople, Hatem Abudayyeh, “This motion is about trying to get Rasmea a fair trial. Borman’s bias is clear.

    “Winning this case is not limited to a legal strategy,” Abudayyeh continued. “Thousands of people from across the country are supporting and fighting for Rasmea Odeh. We are urging the government to drop the charges against her. If they don’t, we are mobilizing to fill the courtroom every day of the trial.”

    The trial is set for September 8 in Detroit.

    Step Down, Judge Borman!

    http://www.uspcn.org

    http://www.stopfbi.net

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