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
1201 Eleanor White Madsion WI
1202 Mona White Willsboro NY
1203 Sarah Whitman Impruneta (FI) Italy
1204 Leslie Wilson Oakland CA
1205 William Wilson fuquay varina nc
1206 Andreas Wittenstein Woodacre CA
1207 Judith Wittner Evanston IL
1208 Guy Zahller Aptos CA
1209 Martine Zundmanis Silver Spring MD
1210 Chris Abbey Medford OR
1211 Martha Armas Elmhurst NY
1212 beril arsan istanbul Turkey
1213 Deni Asnis Pacifica CA QUIT/Queers Undermining Israeli Terrorism
1214 Michelle Brown Parkville MD
1215 Emily Burtch san francisco CA
1216 Michael Carney Runnemede NJ
1217 wendy dannett new york NY
1218 Elizabeth Davies Panacea FL
1219 Karen deslierres ann arbor MI
1220 Arden Dockter Berne NY
1221 james dorski oak harbor OH
1222 Hannah DuBose Allston MA
1223 Joan Dunn Pittsboro NC WILPF
1224 Peter Eglin Kitchener ON
1225 Robert Elder Valdosta GA
1226 Abid El-miaari Foster city CA
1227 Jeanne Engelkemeir Vernon Hills IL
1228 Julia Estes Birmingham AL
1229 Lija Gese Olympia WA
1230 Brian Grieves Honolulu HI
1231 Margaret Guttshall Detroit MI
1232 John Haag Florence MA
1233 John Hancock Concord NH
1234 Art Hanson Lansing MI
1235 Natalie Hanson Lansing MI
1236 William Hawley New York NY
1237 Alice Diane Kisch Emeryville CA
1238 Christie Krueger-Locy Berkley Michigan
1239 Mark Kuehner Blue Island IL
1240 Nancy Kurshan Chicago IL
1241 Sandra Kurtz Chattanooga TN
1242 Peter Kuttner Oak Park IL
1243 Julian Lagos San Francisco CA Coalition to Save Parkmerced
1244 Louise Legun Blandon PA Veterans For Peace
1245 peter ulrich lehner wien (vienna) Austria
1246 Cadelba Lomeli-Loibl Oakland CA
1247 Marcelo Lopez Fitchurg MA
1248 Kathleen Magill Oakland CA
1249 Arabelle Malinis Berkeley CA
1250 Kevin Mcafee Austin TX