Sign the petition for Rasmea Odeh

Drop the Charges against Rasmea Yousef Odeh

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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.



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!

Petition signers

Last updated October 23, 2014.

# Name City State Organization
451 Preston Gilmore Clarksville TN Students for a Democratic Society
452 Terri Ginsberg New York NY
453 Warren Gold Mill Valley CA
454 Jean Goldman Miami Beach FL
455 Michael Gomel San Diego CA
456 Mark Gray Gilford ON
457 Brian Gregor Daphne AL
458 Catharine Gunderson Santa Cruz CA
459 Beverly Guy-Sheftall Atlanta GA
460 Elaine Hagopian Arlington MA
461 Kelin Hall Chicago IL
462 Marcia Halligan Viroqua WI Kickapoo Peace Circle
463 Richard Halpern New York NY
464 Bashar Hamad Los Angeles CA
465 Joseph Harris Lincoln NE
466 Leora Harris Brooklyn NY
467 Richard Hayes Oxford United Kingdom
468 A. M. Helfgott Portland ME
469 Allen Hengst Washington DC
470 robin hensel little falls MN
471 Peter Hindrup Canoelands Australia
472 Mares Hirchert Hartland MI
473 Harry Hochheiser Pittsburgh PA
474 Marsha Holmquist SAN ANSELMO CA
475 Rebecca Hom Fremont CA
476 Don Hon Minneapolis MN
477 Caroline Hope Bristol United Kingdom
478 Cherrene Horazuk MINNEAPOLIS MN
479 Gary Hundertmark Studio City CA
480 Jacqueline Husary Daly City CA
481 William Iannaccone Buffalo NY
482 Huda Jadallah Oakland CA
483 Dianne Judd Bayfield WI
484 nazma kalam Plano TX
485 Paul Karlson Minneapolis MN
486 O. Kazimi Boston MA
487 John Kegler San Pedro CA
488 Lori Kegler San Pedro CA
489 Robin kegler san pedro CA
490 Tyler Kegler San Pedro CA
491 Beshara Kehdi San Francisco CA
492 John Kemp Duluth MN
493 Diala Khalife Canton MI
494 Jodi Kim Riverside CA
496 C E Krause La Quinta CA
497 Steve Krauss Malm├╢ Sweden
498 Janice Kubiac West Barnstable MA
499 Ramah Kudaimi Arlington VA
500 Joan Landes State College PA