After a strongly worded statement from United States Ambassador to Germany, Richard Grenell, the German government has disallowed a planned anti-Semitic “Boycott, Divestment, Sanction” event in Berlin, and expelled its headline speaker, convicted Palestinian terrorist Rasmea Odeh.
The Jerusalem Post reports that the German government and the Berlin Department for the Interior responded quickly to international outcy following the announcement that Odeh was set to speak at a “Palestinian Women in the Liberation Struggle” in the country’s capital city, even after initially pledging to allow the event to go forward.
Odeh, a member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), was the mastermind and lead bomber in an attack on a Jewish grocery store in Israel in 1969 which left two Hebrew University students dead and scores injured. She was convicted and jailed for a decade before being released in a prisoner exchange. Eventually, she ended up in the United States. She was finally deported back to her home country of Jordan in 2017, after U.S. authorities discovered she had lied about her terrorism convictions on her immigration application.
The elderly Odeh remains a hero to anti-Israel activists across the globe, and has fans in both Congresswoman Rashida Tliab (D-MI) and Women’s March leader Linda Sarsour, according to William Jacobson at Legal Insurrection. No surprise, both women have been known to express anti-Semitic views.
Grenell petitioned the German government on behalf of the Trump administration to boot Odeh when the administration discovered Germany’s interior minister planned to allow Odeh to speak at the BDS event because Germany does not explicitly prohibit the PFLP, even though both Germany and the European Union consider the group a terrorist organization.
“The rise of anti-Semitism around the world is very troubling,” Grenell told Fox News in an interview late last week, according to The Washington Free Beacon. “Some people plant the seeds of anti-Semitism while others water it and help it grow. Offering a public speaking role to a Palestinian terrorist convicted of murder, terrorism and immigration fraud legitimizes anti-Semitism at a time when we should be condemning it. I join the chorus of others who have raised their voices in Berlin standing against anti-Semitism no matter where it’s found.”
He wasn’t alone. As soon as Germans found out about Odeh’s scheduled appearance, they protested. They were still present when Berlin police approached Odeh and told her she was being sent back to Jordan, according to the Berlin Spectator.
“Before 6:00 p.m., police officers approached Rasmea Odeh, confiscated her passport and instructed her to come to the foreigners’ registration office on Monday. She might be deported to Jordan on the same day. The terrorist was also told not to participate in any events of the kind she was going to attend,” the Spectator reported.
Berlin’s mayor seemed happy about the development. Berlin, he told media, is a “cosmopolitan and tolerant city that does not give room to extremist propaganda. Anti-Israeli and anti-Semitic arguments wrapped in liberation rhetoric have no place here. I’m glad we found a way to stop this incitement.”