Diplomacy

Germany Deports Convicted Terrorist After U.S. Ambassador Condemns Decision to Allow Her In

Germany deported a terrorist who was convicted for killing two students in a 1969 Jerusalem bombing after the United States ambassador to the country objected to its issuing her a visa to speak at an anti-Israel event, Benjamin Weinthal reported Sunday in The Jerusalem Post.

Following protests by U.S. Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell, Israeli Ambassador to Germany Jeremy Issacharoff, and German-Jewish groups, Germany’s interior department revoked the visa it had issued to Rasmeah Odeh, a member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), which is designated by both the U.S. and European Union as a terrorist group, and ordered her to leave the Schengen area, which encompasses 26 European countries.

The interior department would not allow Odeh to speak, citing a rule that “the political activity of a foreigner may be limited or prohibited, as far as it affects the political decision making in the Federal Republic of Germany or the peaceful coexistence of Germans and foreigners or of various groups of foreigners in the federal territory, public safety and order or other significant interests of the Federal Republic of Germany or endangered.”

Odeh had been scheduled to speak Friday in Berlin at a conference called “Palestinian Women Fighting for Liberation,” hosted by an alliance of anti-Semitic Boycott, Sanctions, Divestment (BDS) groups. She was convicted of a supermarket bombing that killed Leon Kanner and Eddie Joffe in 1969. She was sentenced to life in prison but was released in 1979 as part of a prisoner exchange. She eventually settled in the U.S. but was convicted of immigration fraud and deported to Jordan last year.

“The rise of anti-Semitism around the world is very troubling. Some people plant the seeds of anti-Semitism while others water it and help it grow,” Grenell told Fox News on Thursday. “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.”

He added, “I join the chorus of others who have raised their voices in Berlin standing against anti-Semitism no matter where it’s found.”

Grenell’s comments were reported by major German newspapers on Friday, including Bild, the country’s largest circulation paper.

The Washington Free Beacon reported that Grenell had also lobbied German government officials on behalf of the U.S. government, asking them not to allow Odeh to speak.

Issacharoff also criticized the German government’s initial decision to allow Odeh to speak.

“We are shocked that a convicted Palestinian terrorist, who is personally responsible for the murder of two students in a supermarket, was invited to speak in Berlin,” the Israeli ambassador told the B.Z. newspaper, which is based in Berlin. “Ironically [this is happening] in Berlin, a city that stands for tolerance and freedom and has now written the fight against antisemitism on the flags.”

After Odeh was expelled, Grenell told the Post, “It was the right decision. The Germans made the right decision.”

In similar circumtances in 2017, Italy refused entry to Leila Khaled, who was involved in two hijackings and is a member of the PFLP.

[Photo: NBC News / YouTube ]