(October 28, 2021 / JNS) “This is not a story about conflict and about two peoples breaking bread and getting along. This is a struggle against settler-colonialism” in Israel, stated Rutgers University assistant professor of Africana Studies Noura Erakat. Her recent University of Toledo College of Law presentation, “We Broke a Dam: The Palestinian Intifada of Unity,” exhibited yet again her bloodlust for the Palestinian destruction of Israel.
Erakat introduced her lecture by reiterating bogus claims about her Palestinian cousin “Ahmed’s [Erekat’s] murder” on June 23, 2020, at an Israeli checkpoint near Jerusalem, where “he lost control of his car.” In fact, security cameras clearly recorded a vehicular assault on Israeli police that wounded one woman officer. Yet Israeli authorities “conducted no investigation of car malfunction,” she contrived. They “immediately declared the accident an attempted terrorist attack, insinuating that Ahmed hates Israel more than he loves his sister who is getting married, more than he loves his mother, whose heart was broken.” Her emotional pleadings on the verge of tears ignored that Palestinian society lionizes such jihadists.
Ahmed now “is one of 81 Palestinians held hostage after death in an Israeli freezer at Tel Aviv University,” noted Erakat. Israel holds such corpses in order to bargain for the release of Israeli remains and hostages held captive by Palestinian terrorist organizations like Hamas. An Israeli Supreme Court three-judge panel rejected an appeal to release his body, she stated, while manifesting “racializing tropes” in discussions over his not being a Hamas member. Whitewashing Hamas’s murderous ways, she claimed, “Hamas as a word becomes an entire discourse to collapse who is human, what we want, how we fight, what we live for.”
Ahmed formed for Erakat an “allegory of our Palestinian national condition,” namely the “denial of the Palestinian state” (numerous opportunities for such a state go back to 1937), and the “alluring fiction of the Palestinian state project.” The 1993 “Oslo Agreement is better understood as a sovereignty trap,” a “model for ghettoized autonomy akin to North American reservations and South African Bantustans,” she railed. She even considered the former Palestine Liberation Organization terrorist leader Yasser Arafat too moderate: “I am not valorizing Yasser Arafat in any shape, way, or form. I hold him responsible” to “have put us into this trap.”
An inveterate rejector of Israel, Erakat reiterated the “dominant Palestinian political and intellectual thinking between 1968 and 1988 that understood Zionist settler colonialism as an eliminatory project that could not be stemmed by partition.”
“Coexistence necessitates decolonization and the dismantlement of Zionist governance in the same way that South Africa and Namibia had successfully dismantled apartheid,” she added. A map of Israel and its neighborhood in her presentation appeared to her as a “map of Palestine,” and she fumed that Israel was “forced upon” Arabs, “in the words of Malcolm X, to create a wedge between the African and the Asian continents.”
The revised 1968 PLO National Charter formed the basis for Erakat’s destructive vision of a “single democratic state” of “all people, irrespective of religion and nationality,” replacing Israel. The Palestine Authority’s deeply Islamist, jihadist character demonstrates that any such Palestinian state would expel its Jewish population. This new “Palestine” would fulfill her call for a “right of return” for millions of descendants of Arab refugees from Israel’s 1948 independence war, upon whom she retroactively projected Palestinian “national aspirations of their own for self-determination.”
Erakat’s agenda entailed unyielding Palestinian resistance to Israel’s existence, as indicated by her reading of a manifesto that emerged during Arab riots in Israeli towns and cities in May as Hamas and Islamic Palestinian Jihad launched rocket barrages from the Gaza Strip. This “intifada continues over 100 years of Palestinian resistance,” she said, rejoicing that a “new generation of organic leaders” during this unrest “has displaced the Palestinian official leadership as well as the leaders of the Oslo generation.”
Yet Palestinians are always victims for Erakat, never perpetrators, as her discussion of May’s violence demonstrated. She denounced Israeli “attacks on Palestinian worshippers at the Al-Aqsa mosque in the middle of Ramadan” on Jerusalem’s Temple Mount, ignoring the Arab riots to which Israeli police reacted. She imagined subsequent indiscriminate Hamas rocket attacks on Israel as a “responding” to Temple Mount violence, while Israel has made Hamas’s Gaza base into a “colonial laboratory for asymmetric warfare.”
Erakat also disregarded other Arab riots in Israel, like the “Kristallnacht in Lod,” and blamed only Israeli Jews for sectarian conflict. “Zionist mobs in Lydda and Jaffa within Israel, these supposedly mixed cities, hunted down Palestinians even in their own home, shattering the fiction of coexistence, illuminating the commitment to supremacy,” she said.
Erakat sought to create an intersectional nexus between Palestinians and the American Black Lives Matter movement, juxtaposing the Aug. 9, 2014 police shooting of Michael Brown Ferguson, Missouri, with the then-ongoing Israeli “Operation Protective Edge” air campaign against Hamas in Gaza. She promoted the myth of Brown’s innocence by distorting his death as the “latest in the vigilante and police killings of black boys, men, girls, trans folks.” In the resulting “convergence in Ferguson,” therefore, “black and Palestinian organizers worked together against the United States and Israeli state violence.” This “catalyzed renewals of black-Palestinian solidarity, which experienced its first apex during the Third World revolt,” she claimed, without explaining when this “revolt” occurred.
Erakat’s pop Marxist dreams of a revolution overthrowing Israel’s “settler-colony” might thrill her woke academic audiences. Yet her indulgence of radical chic in America can only incite more anarchy by Palestinians like her deceased terrorist cousin. The cost of such perverted Middle East studies is measurable not only in wasted tuition dollars domestically but also in lives lost abroad.
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