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January 10, 2017 9:45 am

In Wake of Jerusalem Truck-Ramming, US Professor Says Journalists Must Not Call Arab Attacks on Israeli Soldiers ‘Terrorism’

avatar by Rachel Frommer

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Noura Erakat. Photo: Courtesy.

Noura Erakat. Photo: Twitter.

Following Sunday’s truck-ramming attack in Jerusalem, an American academic took to Twitter to admonish journalists for calling “all acts of Arab violence terrorism,” when the target is Israeli soldiers.

Noura Erakat, assistant professor of international studies at George Mason University in Virginia and a Palestinian rights lawyer, wrote: “Journos, pundits show true colors when they [do this]. Don’t get it twisted. #Jerusalem.”

Calling it “irresponsible to elide distinction bw civilians & soldiers,” Erakat — the founder of the online magazine Jadaliyya, which focuses on the Middle East and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict — also criticized a Wall Street Journal headline that read: “Truck plows into pedestrians in Jerusalem, killing four.”

In response, she tweeted:

Eugene Kontorovich, professor of constitutional and international law at Northwestern University, told The Algemeiner that Erakat’s differentiation between the killing of civilians and soldiers is a “valid distinction,” but said it is important to know whether she has condemned the many car-ramming attackers who have killed Israeli civilians.

Erakat did not respond to The Algemeiner’s requests for comment.

As The Algemeiner reported, thousands of Israelis attended the funerals on Monday of each of the four IDF soldiers killed in the truck-ramming attack, which took place at the Haas Promenade in the Armon Hanatziv neighborhood of Jerusalem.

The soldiers, participants in an officers’ course killed during an educational tour in the nation’s capital by 28-year-old east Jerusalem resident Fadi al-Qanbar, who Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced was a supporter of ISIS, were: 20-year-old Lt. Yael Yekutiel of Givatayim; 22-year-old cadet Shir Hajaj of Ma’aleh Adumim; 20-year-old cadet Shira Tzur of Haifa; and 20-year-old cadet Erez Orbach of Alon Shvut.

Update: On Wednesday, Prof Erakat responded to The Algemeiner‘s request for comment.

Asked if she will condemn the perpetrators of car-ramming, stabbing, shooting and bombing attacks that have killed Israeli civilians, Erakat declined to answer yes or no, and said “armed combatants…cannot kill a civilian unless the civilian is a direct participant in hostilities.”

“I don’t think civilians should ever be targeted and sadly the most egregious violators of this principle have been states, including the United States and Israel,” Erakat added.

Asked if those killed on Sunday were legitimate targets of “combatants,” Erakat said that “an active combat soldier, even if not in the field, can be killed.”

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  • mikeh420

    That declaration is plainly written in the Koran.

  • mikeh420

    Nothing happens because the whole world knows Israel is NOT criminal. Just the demented and Muslims think otherwise.

  • mikeh420

    She’s an Arab, and therefore bigoted beyond redemption. She’s expected to say something like that. Brainwashing does that.

    Maybe related to Filthistinian Saeb Erakat? That would explain lots.

  • garybkatz

    Does this mean a state of war exists, which allows Israel to kill any security officers of the Palestinian Authority? By this logic, she would have no valid criticism of Israel, if they assassinate Mahmoud Abbas, since he commands the security forces. Slipper slope, Dumbass!

  • leroy

    How will she behave when her closest family are run down in this murderous manner……….Karma

  • garyfouse

    By her standards, I guess Ft Hood isn’t terrorism. Oh, I forgot. It was workplace violence. More sickening garbage from academia.

  • Stanton L Harris

    Seems to me that Erakat is arguing for the Israelis to go to all out war on the Palestinians!

  • Leroy

    Peter WRig,Es gefällt mir kein Ende zu sehen Deutschland fallen. Mögen deine freien Palästinenser dein ganzes Land unten nehmen.

  • Leroy

    Not one of my usual replies. Professor deserves a tragedy connected to these barbaric cowards. Karma remembers the address.

  • Ken Kelso

    Abba Eban on the U.N.

    If Algeria introduced a resolution declaring that the earth was flat and that Israel had flattened it, it would pass by a vote of 164 to 13 with 26 abstentions.

  • Ken Kelso

    Peter you are a fool to being up the U.N.
    Google this great article to see how the U.N lies about Israel.

    The UN is objective, the Pope is Jewish and pigs can fly
    MARCH 19, 2013

  • RW

    Soldiers were uniforms. They have superiors to whom they are responsible They have authorities who are answerable for their behavior. This killer was not a soldier he was a terrorist.

  • Larry Goldfield

    I don’t get it, if he isn’t a terrorist because his targets are soldiers, and he represents the Arab Palestinian people, then it must be she considers “Palestine” is at war with Israel. If that is the case, would it be appropriate for the IDF to invade Ramallah? On the other hand, if he is a lone operator acting on his own, and doesn’t represent a sovereign state, even a made up one, how is he not a terrorist? Can anybody attack a soldier in uniform and claim a justification based on a grievance with the government, how about killing a cop?

  • dndgaddy

    That so called professor of whatever… has no authority to make any demand of so called journalists! The truck driver did a terroristic act thus a terrorist! Israel should round up all arabs who declare their hatred of the State of Israel and ship them back to the dessert… yesterday… period!

  • Dandu Sharon

    I have no problem w/Erakat’s definitions…PROVIDED she applies them to all sides. If it is “legitimate” in her eyes for any Pali to kill any Israeli soldier regardless of what that soldier is doing or where he/she is… then she must also accept as “legitimate” Israel’s killing ANY Pali terrorist, ANY Pali member of a terrorist group; ANY member of Hamas or Fatah or Islamic Jihad regardless of what that Pali is doing or where that Pali is at the time. But, of course, terrorist apologist scum like Erakat have ONE rule for Arabs and a completely different set of rules for Jews.

  • Professor’s idea is an excellent way for IDF personnel to OPEN FIRE on suspicion, since the attack will be of a military nature, and attackers are not civilian


    PS that being true, the captured attacker is a military prisoner to be returned at the end of hostilities, which at this point appears to be when Jesus reappears and tells everyone we all had it wrong

  • Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz

    I appreciate the article. I am assuming Erekat’s reasoning is that since they are soldiers, then they are combatants and therefore valid targets. If that is so, then the terrorist is also a combatant and the claims of extrajudicial execution are invalid. Also, the bombing of the King David Hotel by the irgun was not a terror attack. Similarly, the shooting of 19 soldiers in Fort Hood in 2009 by Nidal Hassan was not terror. Nor was the slaying of the policewoman in Paris after the Charlie Hebdo attack. Interesting but absurd.

  • David Dancyger

    As a Zionist, and a compassionate human being watching that truck run over those kids screams, ” Monster, Terrorist”, but then I think that perhaps this woman has a point. The attack was on soldiers, and if it isn’t terrorism then it is an act of war. At some point Israel needs to declare a victory and dictate terms. End the nonsense.

    • dndgaddy


    • Leroy

      F—ing cowards, I believe that it is time to attack them (barbarians) in bus queues, in markets, at weddings as they do to our people. They must thank their mangod I am not in charge.


    Thats a terorist attack. Now if he was lets an Iranian soldier dressed in a Iranian soldier’s uniform that would be an act of war but not a tewrrorist attack.