(October 10, 2019 / JNS) Let me tell you how my guilt was decided before my case was ever presented.
I went with my colleagues to hear Noura Erakat speak at Harvard Law School. Noura is a Palestinian-American lawyer and “human-rights” activist who vehemently opposes Zionism and any form of Jewish self-determination.
I sat quietly through the entire discussion and decided to challenge her long record of support for prosecuting former Israel Defense Forces’ soldiers.
I asked: “Noura, I served in the IDF. Should I be prosecuted?”
Noura responded: “Well, that depends. What did you do in the army?”
I responded: “I was a combat soldier with the paratroopers.”
Noura responded: “Maybe … there might even be people in this room who will prosecute you. Some will defend you. But hopefully, we will prevail.”
Eighty percent of the classroom, filled with nearly 120 students, exploded in applause.
For years, activists who seek the destruction of the State of Israel have propagated the false narrative that Zionists are “anti-Palestinian.” While much of the pro-Israel community emphasizes that the two are not mutually exclusive, Israel’s supporters largely fail to construe an obvious truth: anti-Zionists are the true “anti-Palestinian” activists. How is this possible? Because persecuting the State of Israel while refusing to acknowledge the principal role of the Palestinian leadership’s rejections of peace inevitably condemns Palestinians to endure the status quo.
Welcome Noura Erakat, an eloquent, law-practicing anti-Semite who is spearheading efforts to perpetuate the conflict by rewriting history.
Noura considers herself a “human-rights” activist who was blessed with an epiphany: The law is politics. As such, she has taken it upon herself to use her law degree to, in her words, advocate for Palestinian rights.
But how is she going about this?
One would think that she would hold the Palestinian leadership accountable for failing to accept a Jewish state with the Peel Commission’s Partition Plan in 1937, the UN Partition Plan of 1947, the Clinton Parameters in 2000 or Ehud Olmert’s generous peace plan in 2008. If not that, one would think that she would at least condemn the Palestinian Authority’s decision to use 50 percent of its foreign aid in 2017 to fund terrorism against Jewish civilians in Israel, instead of creating social-welfare programs or healthy education initiatives that do not center around, for example, Farfour, the anti-Semitic mouse who blames all his life troubles on the Jews.
But, no. Never mind that Mahmoud Abbas is finishing his 15th year in power after he was elected for a four-year term in 2004, and never mind that the Palestinian Authority failed to comply with the basic parameters of the Oslo Accords from its very signing. On Sept. 24, Noura was received at the Harvard University Law School and Tufts University to discuss her new book Justice for Some: Law and the Question of Palestine.
During the Harvard event, Noura presented the basic parameters of her book: The Israeli-Palestinian conflict can only be understood through a settler-colonial framework; the international community has failed Palestinians by bending the laws in favor of the Jews; and attempts should be made to prosecute Israeli veterans for war crimes.
In order for this claim to be true, she has to rewrite history. During her event at Harvard, she explained:
“Since the sources available to us are those that were produced by the stronger power [Israel], I had to go to the ground and rely on personal narratives to reconstruct the hidden history.”
What are the ramifications of this? Complete omission of who was legally responsible for the displacement of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians: those Arab countries who initiated a war of extermination against the newly created Jewish state in 1948.
After all, I can sympathize with a family losing their home during a war, but this doesn’t mean that I should ignore the responsibility bared by the Al-Husseini documented use of Nazi anti-Semitic propaganda to fuel violence and hate against Jews living in the Mandate of Palestine, or the threats made by the Secretary-General of the Arab league on the establishment of the State of Israel: “a war of extermination and momentous massacre which will be spoken of like the Mongolian massacre and the Crusades.”
What was most disappointing in this episode was not Noura Erakat’s presumption that I may be a war criminal, but rather the thunderous applause of the audience after her forecast of “victory in our struggle.”
How interesting that law students attending one of the most prestigious institutions in the country immediately dispensed with the presumption of innocence to demonize Israel’s military.
Noura is interested in winning. By winning, I mean the demise of the Jewish state. She is not interested in the truth. Or the difficult message that the truth brings—that the Palestinian leadership could have had a state as early as 1937 had it recognized the legitimacy of Jewish self-determination.
As Harvard Law School professor emeritus Alan Dershowitz, perhaps the most prestigious constitutional lawyer of our time and self-proclaimed Zionist and pro-Palestinian, has said: “We cannot build peace on a foundation of lies.”
Replacing objective truths with personal narratives constitutes lying.
Shame on you, Noura! Palestinians deserve a better future than the one you are building for them.
Yoni Michanie, a former paratrooper in the Israel Defense Forces, holds a master’s degree in diplomacy and international security from IDC Herzliya. He is an Israel advocate, public speaker, Middle East analyst, and a campus advisor and strategic planner at CAMERA.
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