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April 21, 2022 11:27 am
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Noura Erakat Unleashed: ‘Zionism Is a Bedfellow of Nazism’

avatar by Andrew E. Harrod

Opinion

Noura Erakat. Photo: New America / Flickr / CC BY 2.0.

“Palestinians have basically said … that Zionism is a bedfellow of Nazism and antisemitism,” claimed Rutgers University assistant professor Noura Erakat during an April 13 webinar.

Sponsored by the University of Illinois’s Center for South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies (CASMES), her presentation on “Unfinished Business: Zionism as Racism and Racial Discrimination,” further established her reputation as one of academia’s leading bigots.

Moderated by CASMES chair Waïl S Hassan, a professor of comparative literature and a supporter of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel, Erakat’s event sparked controversy even before it started. Although promoted as “Co-sponsored by the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI),” Vice Chancellor for DEI Sean C. Garrick shot back in a mass email that his office was “incorrectly identified” as a co-sponsor.

“As worded, this title does not invite participation and engagement with all members of our community and does not represent the values of our university,” he wrote. “I am sorry for any additional discomfort or distress some may have felt” for thinking the event “was sponsored or endorsed by the office that is charged with helping us turn the aspiration of belonging into a universal practice.”

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Erakat’s reputation as a flamethrower even among antisemites must have scared off the university. And she certainly proved them right.

As is Erakat’s custom, she examined the “uncomfortable and disturbing connection” between Zionism and racist ideologies in the context of paeans to Native Americans. “I recognize myself in North America as a settler,” who is “white adjacent,” yet proud of being “quite brown,” she said eagerly.

The scandalous 1975 United Nations (UN) General Assembly (GA) Resolution 3379 that denounced Zionism as a “form of racism,” rescinded in 1991, provided the focus for Erakat’s lecture. This resolution judged Zionism as an “intellectual and political analogue” and “bedfellow of apartheid,” she boasted. Lying brazenly, she claimed that “Israel defines itself upon the basis of being racially discriminatory, exclusive, segregated.”

Zionist Jews “do not want to assimilate with non-Jewish society,” she claimed, without explaining whether religious preferences or even communal survival for relatively small groups, including Jews, requires limits to assimilation. “Jewish superiority” is “fundamentally rooted in the belief that Jews are God’s chosen people,” she stated, repeating yet again another vile antisemitic canard.

Most disturbingly, Erakat elaborated her warped thesis that Zionist Jewish national liberation parallels genocidal Nazism.

“Whereas Zionism seeks segregation and does not want to assimilate Jews with non-Jews, it’s Nazism that doesn’t want to integrate and assimilate Jews with non-Jews,” she said. “Both antisemites and Zionists believe that Jewish integration is an impossibility, and that Jews must have a state of their own,” she added.

She thereby overlooked that while “Jewish integration” has succeeded in some free societies like the United States, precisely under Nazism in Europe and throughout history, Jews have suffered forced segregation and murderous hatred for lack of refuge in a sovereign Jewish state.

Despite such stark realities, Erakat asserted that “antisemitism, Zionism, and Nazism were varying forms of nationalism and racism nurtured in a similar geography and in the same intellectual climate.”

She also referenced a Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO)-affiliated scholar, who in 1965 said “there is no such thing as a Zionist race; it’s a myth, on par with the mythology of a German race conceived by Nazi ideology.” Her grotesque moral equivalences notwithstanding, modern DNA evidence proves that Jews worldwide have a common Middle Eastern ancestry.

Erakat regurgitated calumnies that Israel is an “European imposition,” and not an example of an indigenous people reasserting self-determination. Israel became, “in the words of Malcolm X, a wedge between the African and Arab continents” and “geographical base for world imperialism,” she stated.

“Zionist colonization is predicated on racial elimination of Palestinians,” she argued. Yet her slander flies in the face of the explosive growth of various Arab populations in the territory of the former Palestine Mandate that preceded Israel’s founding.

Perhaps the only kernel of truth in Erakat’s comments came when she noted that “all peoples are imagined” to some extent when they develop a national consciousness. “Jews have imagined themselves as a nation,” she stated cavalierly, even though nationalism’s elements such as language, historic homeland, and culture are far more developed from antiquity to the present for Jews than many other peoples.

By contrast, she asserted, counter-factually, that during the Zionist settlement in the 1900s, Jews manifested nationalism “on a land where people exist, [and there] is already a nation.” Yet, Arab Palestinian consciousness as a unified “people” did not emerge until much later.

Returning to UNGA Resolution 3379, Erakat lamented that it was not radical enough. It “was at best a strategically haphazard intervention” that “came on the heels of an unsuccessful effort to expel Israel from the UN,” she said. The resolution was therefore a “last minute and suboptimal choice for the liberation movement” of the PLO, a key proponent of the resolution that sought Israel’s destruction.

Responding to a viewer question about Israeli victims of Palestinian terrorism, Erakat proclaimed coldly that she was “really troubled that anybody” would overlook the “root cause of this violence.”

“There is complete silence about the structural violence that subjects Palestinians to the loss of life on a daily basis,” she said.

Erakat’s thesis about Jews as the new Nazis should provoke outrage far beyond the University of Illinois’ DEI bureaucrats. Such antisemitic Holocaust inversion has provoked vicious, violent attacks on Jews both on campus and beyond. Erakat doesn’t just want Israel’s destruction, but she’s proud to be a rabid antisemite also.

Andrew E. Harrod, a Middle East Forum Campus Watch Fellow, freelance researcher, and writer, is a fellow with the Lawfare Project. Follow him on Twitter: @AEHarrod.

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