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Noura Erakat

Co-Editor

The US on Trial in NY: The Russell Tribunal on Palestine

[President Barack Obama talks with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on the South Lawn of the White House. Image by Peter Souza. From Wikimedia Commons.]

Last week at the UN General Assembly, Barack Obama, President of the world's most powerful country, exalted the United Nations and the ideals upon which it was built. Namely, that  "people can resolve their differences peacefully, that diplomacy can take the place of war; and that in an interdependent world, all of us have a stake in working towards greater opportunity and security for our citizens."  Yet, as global superpower and a veto-holding ...

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Statehood Bid One Year Later: No State, No Bid, No Freedom

[Palestinians wave flags during a rally in support of the Palestinian bid for statehood recognition in the United Nations, in the West Bank city of Nablus, Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2011. Image by AP Photo/Nasser Ishtayeh]

In early August 2012, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas vowed to renew the United Nations statehood bid in September: "Even if this step conflicts with other parties' interests … [W]e will not step back. . . . Israel neither halted settlement activities, nor recognized the Palestinian territory occupied in 1967 as occupied territory. Thus, the only choice we have is to go to the UN equipped with a united Arab mandate."  Yet, only a few ...

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Palestinian Politics: Representation and Accountability (Lecture)

[Image from video below.]

This is a video and transcript from a lecture I delivered on 18 July 2012 at the Palestine Center. It is the third and final installment of the Center's Summer Intern Lecture Series. In this talk, entitled Palestinian Politics: Representation and Accountability, I revisit the the UN Statehood Bid and discuss how the Palestinian leadership has and has not taken necessary steps to lead the Palestinian nation to independence and self-determination. I conclude by ...

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The DC Palestinian Film and Arts Festival: Showcasing Subjectivity

[DC Palestinian Film and Arts Festival Logo.]

In September 2011, a group of young Arab women, myself included, conspired to organize a DC Palestinian Film and Arts Festival (DC-PFAF). Inspired by the gigantic models established in Toronto, Chicago, London, Houston, Ann Arbor, and Boston, we decided to emulate this model in Washington, DC. We believed it would also provide an on-going artistic project for young Palestinian organizers, many of whom are active with the US Palestinian Community Network-DC ...

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Jadaliyya Roundtable on Targeted Killing: Introduction

[Reaper drone screen. Image from unknown archive.]

[This is the first part of a six-part series associated with a Jadaliyya roundtable discussing targeted killings. Participants include Richard Falk, Nathan Freed Wessler, Pardiss Kabriaei, Leonard Small, and Lisa Hajjar.]  On 5 March 2012, Attorney General Eric Holder delivered a speech in which he laid out the US position on law and national security. The second half of his speech was devoted to the targeted killing program, which has escalated ...

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Singular Legal Regime Necessitates One-State Solution

[Skyline of East Jerusalem. Taken from Wikimedia Commons]

This weekend, the Harvard University community will host its conference, "One-State Conference: Israel/Palestine and the One-State Solution". The conference promises to be an invigorating discussion on the likelihood of the two-state solution, the benefits of the one-state solution, and the challenges to achieving either. In light of that discussion, I thought it useful to share the legal dimensions that demonstrate Israel’s discriminatory system both within its ...

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Beyond Sterile Negotiations: Looking for a Leadership with a Strategy

[Mahmoud Abbas and Benyamin Netanyahu. Image from al-shabaka.org]

In Search of a Collapsed Palestinian Leadership Palestinian leadership briefly returned to the weathered tables of diplomatic niceties to negotiate a path to negotiations. The return signaled an alarming regression from the confrontational stance the leadership made in September 2011, when it took its case to the United Nations (UN). Then, notably buoyed by President Mahmoud Abbas’s liberation message to the global community, Palestinians thought it possible that the ...

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Roundtable on Occupation Law: Part of the Conflict or the Solution? (Part I: Noura Erakat)

[Israeli settlements in the West Bank. Image from unknown archive]

[This is the first part of a six-part series associated with a Jadaliyya roundtable discussing the relevance of occupation law to the Palestinian-Israel conflict at this historical juncture. Participants include Darryl Li, Lisa Hajjar, Nimer Sultany, Asli Bali, Ahmed Barclay, and Dena Qaddumi.]  September 2011 marks a historic juncture in the struggle for Palestinian self-determination as the Palestinian leadership approaches the United ...

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Palestinian Statehood Blocked: Equality Struggle Ahead

[Image from Tadamon.ca.com]

As the start of the UN General Assembly's 66th Session quickly approaches, it seems that "statehood" has sucked the air out of every room where Palestine is discussed. Worse, in Washington, where the Obama Administration has taken a firm stance against the UN approach, the statehood bid is seen as a radical move. President Obama's planned veto of Palestinian statehood in the UN Security Council will affirm what Palestinians and their Israeli counterparts already ...

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Can the Palestinian Leadership Pave the Way from Statehood to Independence?

[Image from the BBC.com]

Middle Eastern analysts concerned with the Palestinian statehood bid have rightly highlighted the benefits conferred by such status. They assume, however, that the current Palestinian leadership is willing to take the necessary steps in order to lead Palestinians from statehood on paper to independence in practice. In the early 1990s, the Palestinian leadership supplanted its struggle for self-determination with a state-building project. In its narrow pursuit of a mandate to ...

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Breaking the Siege and the Diplomatic Impasse: An Interview with Huwaida Arraf

[Huwaida Arraf. Image captured in Khan Younis]

[This interview was conducted by Jadaliyya co-editor Noura Erakat. Huwaida Arraf is Chairperson of the Gaza Freedom Movement Coalition and Co-founder of the International Solidarity Movement.]  NE: Let's get some of the basics first—how many passengers were a part of the Freedom Flotilla II? How many ships and how many nations did they represent? HA: Twenty-two initiatives or national campaigns participated in organizing Freedom Flotilla II – Stay Human. Each of ...

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Jadaliyya Launches Section on Occupation, Intervention, and Law (O.I.L.)

[Image from www.brussellstribunal.org]

Jadaliyya is delighted to announce the launching of its newest page: Occupation, Intervention, Law or O.I.L. (click here to access the page directly). This page is co-edited by Lisa Hajjar, Sherene Seikaly, Mouin Rabbani, and myself. The purpose of O.I.L. is to explore the relationship between, and the debates within, the fields of armed conflict, politics, and international law. These debates include developments in international law, the implications of intervention, the ...

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Emergency Laws, the Arab Spring, and the Struggle Against “Human Rights”

[Image from UN Multimedia Gallery]

The Arab Spring could not be more textured as different governments, political interests, and international relations have uniquely shaped each nation’s uprising. Still, certain patterns have been common to this turning point in the Arab world. These have included burgeoning protests, state-sponsored violence against civilians, and the disconnected speeches of Arab heads of state to their empowered and teeming Arab streets. Emergency laws, or the codification of a ...

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Roundtable on Palestinian Diaspora and Representation (INTRO)

[Image from video4security.com]

 “[T]he formation of a diaspora could be articulated as the quintessential journey into becoming; a process marked by incessant regroupings, recreations, and reiteration. Together these stressed actions strive to open up new spaces of discursive and performative postcolonial consciousness.” -Okwui Enwezor In the wake of Arab revolutions across North Africa and the Gulf, a new discussion on Palestinian self-determination has emerged. While all such discussions ...

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Review Roundtable Part II: Goldstone and Accountability

On December 27, 2008, Israel began aerial strikes on the Gaza Strip, home to 1.5 million Palestinians, three-quarters of whom are refugees, who could not, because of Gaza’s sealed borders, become refugees of war. Within a week, amidst the rubble of hospitals, mosques, government ministries, factories, and schools, Israel initiated a ground offensive that no more distinguished between civilians and combatants than did its “smart” bombs. On the fourteenth day of the offensive, ...

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Israel's Blockade of Gaza is Cracking

[Image from travelpod.com]

Egypt has announced that it will open its border crossing with Gaza on a permanent basis thereby reversing Egypt’s collusion with Israel’s blockade regime.  The interim Foreign Minister, Nabil al-Arabi, has described support for the blockade by the previous Egyptian regime as "disgraceful." While Israeli officials have responded to this announcement with alarm they have limited capacity to undermine the new Egyptian government’s prerogative. Since the ...

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Palestinian Youth: New Movement, New Borders

[Image from PalestineMonitor.org]

Reconciliation between Hamas and Fatah may present the first victory of a nascent Palestinian youth movement, which earned its moniker, the March 15th movement, from the first day of its mass protests in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT). Only one day after the launch of their movement demanding an end to the four-year internecine conflict that also divided the West Bank and Gaza, Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas announced his willingness to travel to Gaza to ...

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Roundup on the Goldstone Controversy

[Justice Richard Goldstone. Image from Getty Images.]

While the impact of Justice Goldstone’s op-ed on accountability and justice remains to be seen, one thing has already been made clear: his contentious and vague editorial has worked to place Israel’s Winter 2008/09 offensive back on center stage. Like Israel’s fatal attack on the Mavi Marmara in May 2010 that inspired heated debate on the legality of Israel’s Gaza blockade, Goldstone’s editorial has produced a watershed of commentary on Gaza’s ongoing submission to a ...

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Video Interview (#2) with Ali Ahmida on Libya and Intervention

[Image from Interview]

[This interview was conducted by Jadaliyya Co-Editor, Noura Erakat, on March 24, 2011] In this second interview, Ali Ahmida (bio here) discusses the balance of power on the ground in Libya. On March 18th, the UN Security Council passed Resolution 1973 and effectively imposed a no-fly zone over Libya's airspace in response to what many anticipated would be a bloodbath in Benghazi. The next day, French and British air forces began aerial bombardment of Libya with broad ...

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Personal Posts

On Recent Events in Palestine

[Israeli Army and Border Police troops stop Palestinians from entering Al-Shuhada' St. during the demonstration during the 20th anniversary of closing Al-Shuhada (Martyr's) St. in the old city of Hebron. Where it's been closed since 1994 after the Massacre of Hebron where 29 Palestinian where killed by an Israeli man. Photo by Mustafa Bader and uploaded via Wikimedia Commons]

War doesnt necessarily take the shape of missiles and ground troops. The move to cut electricity to the Gaza Strip, directly reducing power to 4 hours/day at most is caused by Fatah dominated PA decision to cease subsidizing electricity. This is an intra Palestinian and Arab issue inflected by regional and global pressures.   http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/06/12/israel-cuts-gaza-electricity-palestinian-president-says-will/ 1) Fateh is openly collaborating with ...

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The Right to Development & The Arab Uprisings

[Cairo, Graffiti, Tahrir Square, November 2011.]

  In mid-December 2010, a young street vendor set himself on fire after his ill-treatment by Tunisian police. Mohamed Bouazizi set himself ablaze in Sidi Bouzid and inspired an entire region to revolt against decades of authoritarianism. Mass protests in Tunisia led to the ouster of its autocratic head of state Zine Abidine Ben Ali. This revolutionary fervor then spread to neighboring Egypt, where eighteen days of protest removed Hosni Mubarak from the helm ...

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US Strike on Syria & the Futility of Military Intervention

[U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry Kerry delivers a joint press statement with Syrian Opposition Council Chairman Mouaz al-Khatib and Italian Foreign Minister Giulio Terzi , not pictured, in Rome, Italy, on February 28, 2013. Image from US Department of State.]

The death toll in Syria has exceeded 100,000. The refugee population approaches two million, including one million Syrian children and excluding the Palestinian refugee population which is enduring secondary forced displacement as a result of the Syrian conflict. The horrors of the conflict which began two and a half years ago, reached new heights amid reports of a chemical weapons attack that killed 1,000 civilians in Douma on 21 August 2013. The attack ...

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The Battle of Authoritarianisms & Recommended Readings on Egypt

[Egyptian workers march to Shura Council on May Day, 2013. Image by Gigi Ibrahim.]

Since the military removal of Mohammad Morsi from office on July 3, the situation in Egypt has rapidly become intensely polarized. The entrenchment of two broad camps - for the military-led take-over or against the coup - obscures the complexity underlying Egypt's dramatic transformation. Millions of Egyptians converged on Tahrir Square in January 2011 to remove the US-backed authoritarian regime of Hosni Mubarak. They demanded a new relationship to the state including a ...

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For the Revolution or Against the Coup? My Two Cents On Egypt & Recommended Readings

[Women march in Tahrir, January 2013. Image by Gigi Ibrahim.]

As we bear witness to one of the most dramatic junctures in Egypt's history, it is easy to take a stark position, with the revolution or against the coup. As we think about these events, we need to be much more militant (no pun intended) about sparing nuance from our analytical chopping block. Although there is something undeniably troubling about the coup, there seems to a reactionary defense of "electoral democracy" in Egypt that does away with a context ...

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My 2MAS [Two-Minute Audio Sense] on Eltahawy's "Why Do They Hate Us?"

[Image from foreignpolicy.com]

Foreign Policy Magazine's latest edition is a special issue on Sex. Unfortunately, the Magazine considers sex in the Middle East mostly with a single article on China and a mention of it every where else across the Globe. Jadaliyya co-editors Sherene Seikaly and Maya Mikdashi wrote a stellar piece evaluating the issue and Mona Eltahawy's controversial piece, "Why Do They Hate Us?"    Below, I respond to Eltahawy's piece in a two-minute audio ...

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Bio

Noura Erakat

 

Noura Erakat is a human rights attorney and writer. She is currently an Assistant Professor at George Mason University. She has taught International Human Rights Law and the Middle East at Georgetown University since Spring 2009. Prior to joining GMU's faculty, Noura was a Freedman Teaching Fellow at Temple University, Beasley School of Law. She is a member of the Legal Support Network for the Badil Center for Palestinian Refugee and Residency Rights. She served as Legal Counsel for a Congressional Subcommittee in the House of Representatives, chaired by Congressman Dennis J. Kucinich. Noura has helped to initiate and organize several national formations including Arab Women Arising for Justice (AMWAJ) and the U.S. Palestinian Community Network (USPCN). She is a board member of the Institute for Policy Studies, the Arab Studies InstituteTrans-Arab Research Institute (TARI); a Policy Advisor of Al-Shabaka; a founding member of the DC Palestinian Film and Arts Festival; the development consultant for Legal Agenda; and a contributor to IntLawGrrls. Noura has appeared on MSNBC's "Up With Chris Hayes," Fox’s “The O’ Reilly Factor,” NBC’s “Politically Incorrect,” Democracy Now, BBC World Service, PBS News Hour, NPR, and Al-Jazeera Arabic and English and published extensively in mainstream press media. Her scholarly publications include: "Overlapping Refugee Legal Regimes: Closing the Protection Gap During Secondary Forced Displacement," in the Oxford International Journal of Refugee Law; "New Imminence in the Time of Obama: The Impact of Targeted Killing on the Law of Self-Defense," in the Arizona Law Review; and "Whiteness as Property in Israel: Revival, Rehabilitation, and Removal," forthcoming in the Harvard Journal of Ethnic and Racial JusticeShe is a Co-Editor of Jadaliyya.com. You can follow her on Twitter at @4noura. 

(Noura's personal Jadaliyya page can be accessed here, and her website here)

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