Following Hamas’s deadly October 7 attack that killed more than 1,300 people, Israel started bombing the Gaza Strip. More than 4,000 people, including hundreds of children, have died. While much of the West has expressed solidarity with Israel, human rights groups have condemned both Hamas’s attack and Israel’s response, raising concerns about potential violations of international law. In an UpFront special, Marc Lamont Hill speaks to the president of the Foundation for Middle East Peace, Lara Friedman; human rights lawyer Noura Erakat; and executive director of +972 Magazine, Haggai Matar, to discuss the implications of the Israel-Gaza war.
Noura Erakat is a human rights attorney and an Assistant Professor at Rutgers University, New Brunswick Department of Africana Studies. Her research interests include humanitarian law, refugee law, national security law, and critical race theory. Noura is the author of Justice for Some: Law As Politics in the Question of Palestine (Stanford University Press, 2019). She is a Co-Founding Editor of Jadaliyya e-zine and an Editorial Committee member of theJournal of Palestine Studies. She has served as Legal Counsel for a Congressional Subcommittee in the House of Representatives, as a Legal Advocate for the Badil Center for Palestinian Refugee and Residency Rights, and as the national grassroots organizer and legal advocate at the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation. Noura is the coeditor of Aborted State? The UN Initiative and New Palestinian Junctures, an anthology related to the 2011 and 2012 Palestine bids for statehood at the UN. More recently, Noura released a pedagogical project on the Gaza Strip and Palestine, which includes a short multimedia documentary, "Gaza In Context," that rehabilitates Israel’s wars on Gaza within a settler-colonial framework. She is also the producer of the short video, "Black Palestinian Solidarity." She is a frequent commentator, with recent appearances on CBS News, CNN, Fox News, and NPR, among others, and her writings have been widely published in the national media and academic journals.
Lara Friedman is the President of the Foundation for Middle East Peace (FMEP). She is a leading authority on the Middle East, with particular expertise on U.S. foreign policy in the region, on Israel/Palestine, and on the way Middle East and Israel/Palestine-related issues play out in Congress and in U.S. domestic politics, policies, and legislation. Lara is a former officer in the U.S. Foreign Service, with diplomatic postings in Jerusalem, Washington, Tunis and Beirut. She also served previously as the Director of Policy and Government Relations at Americans for Peace Now. In addition to her work with FMEP, Lara is a non-resident fellow at the U.S./Middle East Project (USMEP). She holds a B.A. from the University of Arizona and a Master’s degree from Georgetown’s School of Foreign Service; in addition to English, Lara speaks French, Arabic, Spanish, (weak) Italian, and muddles through in Hebrew.
Dr. Marc Lamont Hill (Host) is one of the leading intellectual voices in the country. He is currently the host of BET News, The Grio, Al Jazeera UpFront, and the Coffee & Books podcast. An award-winning journalist, Dr. Hill has received numerous prestigious awards from the National Association of Black Journalists, GLAAD, and the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences. Dr. Hill is a Presidential Professor at the City University of New York Graduate Center, where he teach courses in Anthropology, Urban Education, and Middle Eastern Studies. Prior to that, he held positions at Morehouse College, Temple University, and Columbia University.