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Noura Erakat

Co-Editor

Palestinian Refugees and the Peace Process: Caught between Israeli Xenophobia and Palestinian Political Expediency

[Image from zajel.org]

2011 will mark the 63rd year of the Palestinian refugee crisis. Driven out of their homes during the course of the 1948 Arab-Israeli war, Palestinian refugees fled to neighboring Arab countries and territories where they expected to remain for only a short period until the end of military conflict and the restoration of calm that would facilitate their collective return. However, that “short period” has become an indefinite timetable as the newly established Israeli state ...

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Review: The Burden of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict 2010 Report, Adva Center

[Image from Adva.org]

The Adva Center, an Israeli think tank dedicated to studying equality and social justice, recently published its second issue of a bi-annual report entitled, The Burden of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict. The report seeks to examine the costs of occupation on Israel in economic, social, military, political, and diplomatic terms and concludes that Israel would be richer socially and economically if it ended the occupation. In its own words,  The prolonged ...

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Israel’s Challenge to the International Legal Order (Gaza Part II)

[Image from nytimes.com]

In Part I of this series, I explored the illegality of the Gaza blockade irrespective of whether or not it amounts to collective punishment. I also posit that Israel’s blatant refutation of the International Court of Justice’s holding on the scope of legal self-defense and its non-applicability to occupied territories amounts to a direct challenge to the international legal order. Namely Israel challenges the scope of permissible use of force during an occupation as well ...

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Israel versus Universal Jurisdiction: A Battle for International Human Rights Law

[Image from Haaretz.com and ynetnews.com]

On October 31, 2010, Spanish Judge Ferdinand Andreu refused to grant former Internal Security Minister Avi Dichter immunity from prosecution during his trip to Spain where he planned to participate in an international peace summit. Dichter faces charges for war crimes and crimes against humanity for his role in the 2002 targeted assassination of Salah Shehade, former senior Hamas member. Under Dichter’s supervision, the Israeli Air Force dropped a one-ton bomb on ...

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Register: Exile + 1

[Image from guardian.co.uk]

The hallway felt increasingly smaller, tighter. Every minute drew in the baby blue trimmed walls closer to one another compressing me and my breath in between their administration. I tried to distract myself in David Harvey’s analysis of neoliberalism—yes uneven geographical development in China, Deng like Reagan like Thatcher...accumulation of wealth or was it capital accumulation or does he mean all out theft? The theories couldn’t embrace my imagination which fought ...

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Collective Punishment or Not, Gaza Blockade Illegal (Part I)

Image of Palestinian boys protesting the blockade of Gaza, BBC

Israel’s blockade of Gaza is illegal irrespective of the manner in which it is imposed because a blockade is an act of war and an occupying power cannot declare war upon the territory it occupies. To do so would conflate the right to initiate war (jus ad bellum) with the laws of occupation (jus in bello) and render useless the distinction of the permissible use of force in each case. This analysis is different in kind from the one that characterizes the blockade as illegal ...

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Committee of Independent Experts: Israel Investigation Bad, But Not Bad Enough

[Richard Goldstone, image from buzzaboutpolitics.com]

On Tuesday September 21st, the Human Rights Council released an advance version of its report on the Independent Expert Commission created to assess the adequacy of Israeli and Palestinian domestic investigations of alleged war crimes committed during Operation Cast Lead pursuant to the UN Fact-Finding Mission recommendations, also known as the Goldstone Report. Oddly, while the 28-paged report finds that the domestic investigations fail to meet international standards ...

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New Methods of Warfare Target Civilians--And it's Legal

[image from empirestrikesblack.com]

The laws of war, or humanitarian law, are dynamic and read like a rich treatise on lessons learned-always commentary on the regulations of war that should have existed in order to avoid grotesque brutality. Consider that the International Committee of the Red Cross is the progeny of Henri Dunant's reflections on the lack of care for combatants in the Battle of Solferino, which he captured in his Souvenir de Solferino. The Hague Conventions of 1906 and 1907 came on the ...

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Neoliberalism's Populist Engine and Race in America

[Image from Manishtama.blogspot.com]

What began as an entertaining spectacle of Americans reenacting the Boston tea party across the country in early 2009 has congealed into a viable and tangible political force. In the recent primaries leading up to the November mid-term elections, Tea Party candidates both challenged long-time Republican incumbents, and dominated the terms of reference thereby forcing Republican nominees to shift to the right. Senator John McCain’s bid for the Republican Senatorial ...

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Endless Negotiations: Palestinian Quicksand

[Image from MSNBC.COM]

News of resumed peace talks have hit the headlines--on September 1st, international leaders will break bread and on September 2nd, ostensibly well-rested and full-bellied, they will resume direct peace negotiations. Sadly, the photo opportunity will provide little more than the occasion for spectators to juxtapose this photo alongside similar ones over a span of nearly two decades. While this may make for a lovely Sunday afternoon activity with our children as we instill in ...

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An Incredible Finding in Israel's Investigation of Itself

 National Lawyers Guild members interview Majdi Abed Rabbo in Jabaliya in February 2009

Israel has just released an update in its ongoing investigation of itself during Operation Cast Lead. This Report Update is the third of its kind, the first two released in July 2009 and January 2010. While one cannot expect much from an investigation that lacks independence, some of the Report's findings are especially alarming.

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Another Credible Israeli Investigation

Image of Israeli commandos aboard the Mari Marmara

A state's investigation of its own armed forces and their conduct is not absurd--or at least it shouldn't be. In fact, the practice is encouraged in international law, which seeks to balance a state's sovereignty with universally applicable laws so to speak.  However, in the case of Israel, which has empowered its military to investigate itself on the one hand and whose recent investigations have done more to justify its foreign policy than it has to uphold principles ...

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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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