Jan 31 2024
What Does the Recent ICJ Finding with Regard to Israel's War in Gaza Mean? A Discussion with Noura Erakat, Michael Lynk, and Maung Zarni
Today, on Speaking Out of Place, we discuss the recent International Court of Justice ruling on the Gaza genocide case, which found that Israel is plausibly engaging in genocide in Gaza.We discuss the case and its implications, as well as the colonial backdrop of the international law behind it, with former UN Special Rapporteur on Palestine Michael Link, Palestinian human rights attorney, scholar, activist, and teacher Noura Erakat, and Burmese scholar and dissident in exile, Maung Zarni. We also address the recent decision of a number of countries to defund the UN Relief Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees, which was established by the United Nations in 1949. Finally, we talk about what global civil society can and must do to effect change where international law cannot.Noura Erakat is a human rights attorney and an Associate Professor at Rutgers University, New Brunswick. She is a Co-Editor of Jadaliyya. Her book, Justice for Some: Law and the Question of Palestine (Stanford University Press, 2019) narrates the Palestinian struggle for freedom as told through the relationship between international law and politics during five critical junctures between 1917-2017 to better understand the emancipatory potential of law and to consider possible horizons for the future. Erakat’s research interests include human rights law, humanitarian law, refugee law, national security law, social justice, critical race theory, and the Palestinian-Israel conflict. Until his retirement in December 2022, Michael Lynk taught labor law, constitutional law and international and Canadian human rights law at the Faculty of Law, Western University in London, Ontario for more than 20 years.From 2016 to 2022, he served as the United Nations Special Rapporteur for the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967. He has authored and edited several books, including most recently Protecting Human Rights in Occupied Palestine: Working Through the United Nations (Clarity Press, 2022), co-authored with Richard Falk and John Dugard, and International Law and the Middle East Conflict (Routledge, 2011), co-edited with Susan Akram, Michael Dumper and Iain Scobbie.Maung Zarni is a research fellow at the (Genocide) Documentation Center - Cambodia, co-founder of FORSEA.com, a progressive activist and intellectual platform for Southeast Asian activists, and Burmese coordinator of the Free Rohingya Coalition. He has 30-years of engagement in activism, scholarship, politics, and media. An adviser to the Genocide Watch, Zarni served as a member of the Panel of Judges in the Permanent Peoples Tribunal on Sri Lanka ('s) genocidal crimes against Eelam Tamil (2013) and was the initiator of the Permanent Peoples Tribunal on Myanmar (2017).His most recent monographs are “The Enemy of the State” speaks: Irreverent Essays and Interviews” (2019) and “Essays on Myanmar's Genocide of Rohingyas” (2018). With Uzbek-British filmmaker and war-correspondent Shahida Tulaganov, Zarni co-produced the 50-minutes educational film "Auschwitz: Lessons Never Learned" (2020) ( https://vimeo.com/469954700 ) and served as a leading expert in "EXILED: A film by Shahida Tulaganov (2017)", a historical documentary about the Rohingya genocide (https://exiledthefilm.com/) For his scholarship and activism, Zarni was recognized with the Cultivation of Harmony Award by the Parliament of the World’s Religions in 2015 and shortlisted for Sweden’s Right Livelihood Award in 2018.