Kim Hill offers his reflections on Noura Erakat’s visit to Cleveland and Oberlin, March 3 and 4, 2019. The video of her complete remarks in Cleveland, produced by Jeff Kassouf, can be viewed here.
After speaking at Cleveland Peace Action’s Annual Meeting on Sunday, Noura Erakat made a presentation at Oberlin College as a guest of Students for a Free Palestine and the students in Jewish Voice for Peace. In Cleveland she stressed that we need, and lack, “an analytical framework” with which to understand the complex issues surrounding the roles of the U.S., Israel and Palestinians in the Middle East.
The issues are nothing if not complex. In Oberlin, she provided this framework, drawing from her new book, Justice for Some. The book is organized historically, with five turning points which she ties to potential issues of law. But ultimately, existing law and international politics render both law and politics tragically impotent to address the obvious human rights outrages. These outrages have been normalized. In 1948 Jews conquered and ethnically cleansed Palestine, and in 1967 Israel occupied the remnants left to the survivors, leaving no real avenue for justice or peace.