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  • Noura Erakat
  • Position: Assistant Professor
  • Department: Department of Africana Studies
  • Areas of Specialization: Human Rights Law, Humanitarian Law, National Security Law, Refugee Law, Social Justice, and Critical Race Theory

Noura Erakat is a human rights attorney and an Associate Professor at Rutgers University, New Brunswick in the Department of Africana Studies and the Program in Criminal Justice. Her research interests include human rights law, humanitarian law, national security law, refugee law, social justice, and critical race theory.  Noura is a Co-Founding Editor of Jadaliyya, an electronic magazine on the Middle East that combines scholarly expertise and local knowledge. She is the author of Justice for Some: Law and in the Question of Palestine (Stanford University Press, 2019),  winner of the 2019 Palestine Book Awards sponsored by the Middle East Monitor and winner of the Independent Publishers Book Award's  Bronze Medial in Current Events/Foreign Affairs. Stanford University Press released Justice for Some in paper in April 2020. She recently completed a Non-Resident Visiting Fellowship in the Religion, Conflict, and Peace Initiative at the Religious Literacy Project at the Harvard Divinity School. 

Noura served as Legal Counsel for the Domestic Policy Subcommittee of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee in the House of Representatives from 2007-2009. Prior to her time on Capitol Hill, Noura received a New Voices Fellowship to work as the national grassroots organizer and legal advocate at the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation where she helped seed BDS campaigns nationally as well as support the cases brought against two former Israeli officials in U.S. federal courts for alleged war crimes.  Noura worked as the Legal Advocacy Coordinator for the Badil Center for Refugee and Residency Rights from 2010-2013. In that capacity, she drafted their submissions to the human rights treaty bodies and lobbied the US Congress as well as diplomatic missions at the United Nations on their behalf. During her undergraduate career, Noura helped launch the divestment campaign along with the Students for Justice in Palestine at UC Berkeley in 2001. 

She currently serves on the board of the Institute for Policy Studies; on the board of the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor; on the board of the Arab Studies Institute; is a Policy Advisor to Al-Shabaka; serves of the Editorial Committee of the Journal for Palestine Studies; is a Co-Founding editor of Jadailyya e-zine;  and is a founding board member of the DC Palestinian Film and Arts Festival. Noura spent the Spring 2010 academic semester in Beirut, Lebanon where she worked with human rights attorney, Nizar Saghieh. Noura helped Saghieh establish the Legal Agenda, a Lebanon-based NGO dedicated to studying law and society and that advocates for legal reform in the Arab world through civic and judicial empowerment.  She has helped to initiate and organize several national formations including AMWAJ-Arab Women Arising for Justice and the U.S. Palestinian Community Network (USPCN).

Noura has appeared on CBS News, CNN International with Becky Anderson, CNN with Don Lemon, MSNBC’s “Up With Chris Hayes,” "All In With Chris Hayes," "Ronan Farrow Daily," Fox’s “The O’ Reilly Factor,” NBC’s “Politically Incorrect,” PBS News Hour, NPR, BBC World Service, Democracy Now, CBC's "The Sunday Edition," and Al-Jazeera America, Arabic, and English. Her publications have appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The LA Review of Books, The LA Times, The Nation, USA Today, The Hill, Foreign Policy, Just Security, Jezebel, Al Ahram English, Al Shabaka, MERIP, Fair Observer, Middle East Eye, The Interdependent, IntLawGrrls, The Huffington Post, Al Jazeera, the European Journal of International Law blog, and Jadaliyya. 

Noura’s scholarly publications include: “Racism, whiteness, and burnout in antiracism movements: How white racial justice activists elevate burnout in racial justice activists of color in the United States" in Ethnicities; "New Imminence in the Time of Obama: The Impact of Targeted Killings on the Law of Self-Defense" in the Arizona Law Review; and "Overlapping Refugee Legal Regimes: Closing the Protection Gap During Secondary Forced Displacement," in the Oxford Journal of International Refugee Law. Her multimedia productions include the Black Palestinian Solidarity video and website as well as the Gaza In Context Pedagogical Project, featuring a  short documentary. 

Noura earned her J.D. and undergraduate degrees from the University of California at Berkeley (Phi Beta Kappa) and a LLM in National Security from Georgetown University Law Center (Distinction & Dean’s List). She also earned a LLM in Legal Education upon completing the Abraham  L. Freedman Teaching Fellowship at Temple University, Beasley School of Law. The Washington Peace Center awarded her the 2014 Activist of the Year Award and Harvard Law School International Development Society and Women's Law Association selected her as one of their 2015 honorees of Women Inspiring Change. The Palestinian American Women's Association awarded her the Activist of the Year Award in 2016 and the American Muslims for Palestine awarded her the Al Quds Award for Activism in 2017. In 2018, SUITED Magazine featured her in its issue on Educators and in 2019, the Institute for Middle East Understanding honored Noura alongside Representative Rashida Tlaib for her advocacy. In 2021, the National Lawyers Guild honored Noura as its recipient of the Law for the People Award.

SELECT LIST OF ACADEMIC PUBLICATIONS

Oxford Bibliographies in International Law
 “The 1948 Arab-Israeli Conflict and International Law.” In Oxford Bibliographies in International Law. Ed. Tony Carty. New York: Oxford University Press (2021)


Journal of Palestine Studies
 JPS ‘Hidden Gems’ and ‘Greatest Hits’: The Law and Palestine (2021)

Makerere Institute of Social Research Review
Shielding Violence Through the Structure and Argument of Law (2020)

American Quarterly 
Geographies of Intimacy: Contemporary Renewals of Black Palestinian Solidarity (2020) 

American Quarterly 
Outsiders at Home (2020) 

International Criminal Law Review 
The Sovereign Right to Kill: A Critical Appraisal of Israel's Shoot-To-Kill Policy (2019)

Journal of Palestine Studies 
Black-Palestinian Transnational Solidarity: Renewals, Return, and Practice (Co-Authored Introduction to Special Issue on Black-Palestinian Solidarity with Co-Editor, Marc Lamont Hill) (2019) 

Ethnicities 
Racism, whiteness, and burnout in antiracism movements: How white racial justice activists elevate burnout in racial justice activists of color in the United States (Co-authored with Paul Gorski) (2019)

Journal of Palestine Studies 
Taking the Land Without the People: The 1967 Story As Told by Law, Journal of Palestine Studies (2017) 

Harvard Journal of Ethnic and Racial Justice
Whiteness as Property in Israel: Revival, Rehabilitation, and Removal, Harvard Journal of Ethnic and Racial Justice (2015) 

Oxford International Journal of Refugee Law 
Overlapping Refugee Legal Regimes: Closing the Protection Gap During Secondary Forced Displacement,  Oxford International Journal of Refugee Law (2014)

Arizona Law Review 
New Imminence in the Time of Obama: The Impact of Targeted Killings on the Law of Self-Defense,  56 Ariz. L. Rev. 1 (2014)

Denver Journal of International Law & Policy, 
U.S. v. ICRC: Customary International Humanitarian Law and Universal Jurisdiction 41 Denv. J. Int'l L. & Pol'y 225 (Winter 2013) 

Journal of Near Eastern & Islamic Law, UCLA Law School
It’s not wrong, it’s illegal: Situating the Gaza Blockade between International Law and the UN Response11 UCLA J. Islamic & Near E.L. 37 (2011-2012) 

Rutgers Law Record, Rutgers Law School
Operation Cast Lead: The Elusive Quest for Self-Defense in International Law, 36 Rutgers L. Rec. 164 (2009) 

Journal of Middle East and Islamic Law, Berkeley Law School
Litigating the Arab-Israeli Conflict: The Politicization of U.S. Federal Courtrooms