Workers World Party strongly protests that Rasmea Odeh, a Palestinian activist, freedom fighter and former Israeli and U.S. political prisoner, was recently banned from participating in a speaking engagement in Germany and was ordered to leave the country.
Under pressure from Israel, the German government revoked Odeh’s visa after she was scheduled to speak on “Palestinian women in the liberation struggle” at an International Women’s Day event in Berlin.
This action is a violation of her right to speak openly and honestly about the Palestinian people’s struggle for freedom and justice. Germany’s actions also violate the rights of Odeh’s audience to learn from her experiences and those of her compatriots.
Odeh was deported from the U.S. in 2017 after waging a long, arduous legal and political campaign against thoroughly biased charges; she was eventually convicted by equally biased federal courts.
Her treatment reveals the hostility of past and present U.S. administrations, regardless of political party, which deny the Palestinians’ right to fight for self-determination and nationhood against the Israeli settler-colonial regime. This regime has, ever since its founding, been supported, politically and militarily, by U.S. imperialism.
During the many decades Odeh lived in the U.S., with permanent resident status and so-called citizenship, she helped hundreds of Arab women in her Chicago community gain civil, social and human rights in this racist country. So incensed were the Chicago power brokers by her prominence in the Arab community that they opened a campaign to stop her meaningful and heartfelt community work.
After being convicted on fraudulent evidence by a federal court judge in Detroit, Odeh served several months in jail and was eventually released. Rather than retry the original case, the U.S. proceeded to pile new charges onto Odeh.
Not wanting to endure a repeat of this judicial charade, given the biased political position of the current administration against Palestine, Odeh chose to leave the United States voluntarily and return to the Middle East.
Workers World Party stands firmly in solidarity with Odeh and the Palestinian nation, wherever Palestinians live. WWP has always explained and exposed the role of the Israeli state, from its illegal, criminal founding to its position as a junior partner aiding U.S. imperialist hegemony in West Asia.
We unequivocally support the global solidarity movement with Palestine. We encourage all political, social and cultural work, including the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, aligned with the struggle of the Palestinian people for their sovereign ancestral right to the land of their forebears.
Workers World Party stands with Rasmea Odeh and against all who attempt to stop her from telling the truth about Palestine. Rasmea Odeh is dear to all hearts that beat for freedom and justice in the U.S. and around the world.