Noura Erakat

Al-Shabaka Policy Advisor Noura Erakat is a Palestinian attorney and human rights advocate.  She is currently an adjunct professor of international human rights law in the Middle East at Georgetown University. Most recently she served as Legal Counsel for a Congressional Subcommittee in the House of Representatives and as an advisor on Middle East affairs for Congressman Dennis Kucinich. Noura comments regularly on US foreign policy and international law matters. She has appeared on Al Jazeera International, NBC's "Politically Incorrect," and Fox's "The O'Reilly Factor." Her writings have appeared in The Huffington Post, Berkeley Law School's Journal for Middle East and Islamic Law, Counterpunch, Al-Majdal, and the Middle East Research and Information Project (MERIP).


Roundtable Politics

Palestine After Abbas: Potential Scenarios and Coping Strategies

With the election of Donald Trump, Israel believes it is free to do what it likes in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, making a difficult Palestinian leadership transition much harder. Al-Shabaka policy analysts examine different scenarios and propose alternatives ranging from consolidating the state to a struggle for the rights of the Palestinian people as a whole.

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Roundtable Civil Society

Threats to Human Rights Defenders: How Far Will Israel Go?

Benjamin Netanyahu just declared that Israel has defeated the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement. Yet the movement continues to chalk up victories while Israel ramps up its attacks against defenders of Palestinian human rights, including BDS activists. Al-Shabaka policy analysts examine these threats against Israel’s previous attacks and explore what activists can do to protect themselves and their work.

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Policy Brief Politics

What Role for Law in the Palestinian Struggle for Liberation?

Photo of Palestinian child detainee

Palestinians are divided over whether law can serve a positive function in their quest for self-determination. Al-Shabaka Policy Advisor Noura Erakat argues that law’s value is wholly contingent on the broader political framework that gives it meaning. She proposes that Palestinians adopt a complementary approach that includes using the law when justice can be served and political avenues when the law itself entrenches unjust outcomes.

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Roundtable Negotiations

Looking for a Leadership with a Strategy

Photo of Nakba commemoration in Bethlehem

In this Roundtable, Al-Shabaka Policy Advisors Haidar Eid and Samah Sabawi as well as guest contributor Loubna Qutami discuss Noura Erakat’s policy brief Beyond Sterile Negotiations: Looking for a Leadership with a Strategy. They critique issues relating to the Boycott National Committee (BNC), the questions of representation and self-determination, the colonial condition, and the future of the struggle. In her response, Erakat expresses her concern over the fragmentation of the Palestinian national body and the failure to articulate a political vision for a solution. She argues that Palestinians should adopt a one-state solution as a political vision that aims for the equality of all persons irrespective of nationality, ethnicity, religion, or race.

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Policy Brief Negotiations

Beyond Sterile Negotiations: Looking for a Leadership with a Strategy

Photo of Mahmoud Abbas with Benjamin Netanyahu

Given the abject failure of the Palestine Liberation Organization to secure Palestinian rights since it was established, and especially since it adopted an exclusive peace process track, Al-Shabaka Policy Advisor Noura Erakat argues that it is past time to explore how a national liberation strategy can be elaborated -- and who can lead it. She discusses the transnational Palestinian networks that are being formed as well as the Boycott National Committee. The former have aspirations to build political programs and authoritative leadership but are still in their early stages, while the latter has become a leading body but has deliberately opted against a political program and leadership. She explores the South Africa model, and argues for a dual approach of working for rights while at the same time actively seeking answers to the pressing need for a unified political program and leadership.

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Policy Brief Politics

Unmet Potential: The UN Committee on Palestine

Photo of UN headquarters

In 1975, the UN General Assembly established the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People. In this policy brief, Al-Shabaka Policy Advisor Noura Erakat examines the role of the Committee and the failure of the Palestine Liberation Organization to effectively utilize it to achieve Palestinian rights. She also discusses how the Committee has shunned the participation of civil society organizations since the Oslo Accords were signed.

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Commentary Civil Society

Integrating Palestine into the Progressive Left

USSF logo

As progressive forces in the United States prepare to convene the second U.S. Social Forum this week in Detroit, Al-Shabaka Policy Advisor Noura Erakat comments on the gap between Palestinian and Arab dreams of an America committed to justice and the reality of the work it would take to achieve this dream

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