A Day without a Woman Named Odeh

Sometimes things are so absurd they seem impossible to explain. One would expect movements based on taking the moral high road to subscribe to the most basic moral principles.  We live in divisive political times but can’t we all agree that cold blooded killers should NOT be given the opportunity to lead national “rights” based movements?

Let me make it very clear that I am very supportive of the continued goals and the mission of the “Women’s March” and the “Day Without A Woman” strike.  I believe in full equality and advocate for the rights of women everywhere, but you cannot separate a movement from its organizers. How ironic is it that the primary problem with the movement is that it should be held without the participation of one particular woman?

It may seem hard to believe that a national movement focused on demanding equal rights for women can fail the most basic standards of decency, if not humanity, but that is sadly the case.  One would normally assume that a convicted and unrepentant murderer would never be taken seriously as a civil rights leader but it seems any sense of “normalcy” is long gone from our civil discourse.

Sadly, one of the primary organizers of Women’s March and the “Day Without A Woman” Strike is the convicted terrorist murderer, Rasmeah Odeh.  In a cowardly and premediated attack in 1969, Odeh planted bombs in coffee cans in a grocery store in Israel, murdering 21 year old Leon Kanner and 22 year old Edward Jaffe in cold blood as they went grocery shopping, and injuring 9 others.

Fortunately, her 2nd bomb was defused, but Odeh was not satisfied with her killing spree.  She also planted bombs that exploded and damaged the British Consulate just four days later.

Think about that.  Grocery shopping is one of the most mundane and ordinary part of our lives.  Think about how often we all go shopping and then think about how Odeh turned that most basic task into an opportunity to kill and maim innocent people.

How can a person who perpetrated such evil ever be given the opportunity to lead a movement that claims to support equal rights?  Even more unbelievable is that a cowardly murderer like Odeh could be praised for her courage and heroism in organizing protest in a free country that guarantees her rights (especially because she knows that she would pay with her life if she tried a similar protest in Palestinian Territory).

A person like Odeh should have been relegated to the dustbin of history, not the prominence of a national movement on the national stage, but Odeh’s perfidy didn’t end there.  She lied on her citizenship application to the United States, which never would have accepted her in the first place with her conviction for murder!

Misguided people have tried to argue that Odeh is innocent and that her confession was forced by weeks of torture, but this libel flies in the face of reality.

She was an active and proud member of “Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), an illegal terror organization which proudly took credit for these attacks. Odeh gave a detailed confession just one day after her imprisonment, making the claims of a forced confession after weeks of torture impossible.  Bomb making materials were found in her home and her bedroom.  One of her collaborators clearly implicated her in a video interview.

To this day, Odeh has never offered any proof of her innocence, either.  In fact, she admitted her involvement in the bombing of the British Consulate years after her release from Israeli prison!  If she had an alibi, why wouldn’t she offer it as her citizenship case currently works its way through the US Justice System?

The point of a public protest like the Women’s Strike is to call attention to your cause and win the hearts and minds of the larger population, but first I’d like to call everyone’s attention to Leon Kanner and Edward Jaffe and the thousands of Jewish victims of terror. Do not appeal to our collective humanity while you support the worst of inhumanity. By all means, please keep having events like the “Day Without A Woman” but the woman you MUST start with is none other than one of your organizers, Rasmeah Odeh.

About the Author
Sarri Singer, born in Lakewood, New Jersey, is the daughter of New Jersey State Senator, Robert Singer. Until 9/11, Sarri worked two blocks away from the World Trade Center. Deeply moved by the tragedy of 9/11, Sarri decided to resign from her position in December 2001 and move to Israel to help victims of terrorism. While there, Sarri volunteered with various organizations working with victims of terror and their families. On June 11, 2003, Sarri was on Bus 14 in Jerusalem when an 18 year old Palestinian terrorist dressed as a religious Jew boarded and blew himself up. 16 people were killed, including all those seated and standing around her, and over 100 people were injured. Sarri was hospitalized for two weeks and then returned to New Jersey to be with family. Her story became high profile. She appeared on television stations such as CBS, FoxNews, CNN and radio interviews. She spoke before Congressmen and Senators in Washington, D.C. and politicians in New York and New Jersey. In September 2003 she returned to work and volunteering in Israel. In June 2004, she returned to the United States to take care of some ongoing medical issues. Sarri is the Founder and Director of Strength to Strength (www.stosglobal.org), a non profit organization which focuses on bringing together victims of terrorism from around the world and assisting with long term psychological care. Sarri has addressed audiences throughout the United States, Canada, Europe and Israel and continues to share her unique insight into the ongoing struggle for victims of terrorism in Israel and around the world.
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