LSE speaker likens Zionists to US white supremacist

Rutgers Associate Professor Noura Erakat also described Israel as 'a regime of Jewish supremacy'


A Palestinian-American academic speaking at the London School of Economics compared Zionists to the white supremacist Richard Spencer.

Speaking at an online lecture held on Monday to discuss “the apartheid of our time”, Noura Erakat, associate law professor at Rutgers University, New Brunswick, said that while “all states” practise racism, “Israel was among a minority that defined itself upon that basis”.

The academic added: “Richard Spencer says that he wants to follow the model of Israel in order, you know, for the future of European sovereignty so that you know the US can be declared a white state.”

Mr Spencer, whom the Southern Poverty Law Centre describes as “a radical white separatist”, referred to himself as a “white Zionist” in 2017 and said Jews and Israelis should “respect someone like me”.

During her talk, Ms Erakat also described the Israeli state as “a regime of Jewish supremacy” from the Jordan river to the Mediterranean Sea.

The legal scholar was invited to discuss “the Palestinian Liberation Movement as an anti-racist struggle” for the university’s Human Rights Day lecture.

Ms Erakat discussed the highly controversial 1975 United Nations General Assembly resolution, that declared Zionism to be a form of racism.

At the time, then-Israeli UN ambassador Chaim Herzog said: “For us, the Jewish people, this resolution based on hatred, falsehood and arrogance, is devoid of any moral or legal value.

“For us, the Jewish people, this is no more than a piece of paper and we shall treat it as such.”

The resolution was revoked in 1991, but, Ms Erakat argued, it created an intellectual legacy that Palestinian activists can draw upon today.

Ms Erakat also compared the founding of Israel to settler-colonialism in South Africa.

“Its proponents also understood it as a movement for Afrikaner self-determination against British oppression, on a land without a people,” she said.

“The connection between Zionism [and South Africa] reflects in part their common origins within the crucible of British Empire.”

Ms Erakat also claimed that, “Israel did not become a discriminatory regime.”

She said: “It is defined by that discrimination, this is not the unintended outcome, but it’s precisely the outcome we should have expected and Palestinians have been showing us will become the outcome.”

In reference to this year’s Human Rights Watch (HRW) report that Israel was practising apartheid, Ms Erakat said that if HRW did not state it opposed Israeli apartheid now, “they will be remembered in history as apartheid regime apologists”.

She added: “I don’t think the controversy is whether or not there’s apartheid. There is apartheid.”

Ms Erakat previously told a lecture at SOAS university the Israeli government’s treatment of Palestinians followed a theory set out by Nazi jurist Carl Schmitt.

Discussing an incident in which a Palestinian driver was shot dead by Israeli police after his car rammed into a checkpoint, Ms Erakat claimed the police response was “based on the same Schmittian logic of a priori culpability”.

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