Holding Noura, and her family, in our hearts

Honor Ahmed Erekat's life, and that of all Palestinians--under occupation, under apartheid, under siege, and in exile--by not normalizing Israel’s egregious crimes.
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Noura Erakat is our beloved sister, the woman who makes us proud, the eloquent speaker who  speaks truth to power over and over and over again, who always rises to the occasion, redirecting the narrative away from blaming the victim, towards critical analysis.  Yesterday, she had to do it again, and I, for one, wish she didn’t have to.  I wish she didn’t have to publicly grieve, and send her condolences over NPR, on a Democracy Now segment, to her aunt and uncle, whose son, her own cousin, Ahmed Erekat, had been executed in horrific circumstances—one more victim of the Israeli occupation.   As the video of his agony circulated, Palestinians all around the world joined in collective mourning, honoring Ahmed’s life, his family’s grief, and revisiting an all-too-familiar ache:  the loss of Palestinian life to Israel’s ruthlessness, its relentless brutality. 

Ahmed had been on his way to pick up his sister from a hair salon in Bethlehem when he lost control of his car, veering into an Israeli checkpoint. Ahmed’s sister, and mother, were at the salon ahead of the evening wedding ceremony.  The soldiers immediately shot him, and left him to bleed to death for one and a half hour, preventing an ambulance from reaching him. Now Israeli propagandists are turning him into a terrorist, claiming the soldiers averted a suicide attack.   

Why aren’t journalists asking the appropriate questions here, Noura herself asked on Democracy Now?  The conversation should not be about whether or how or if the latest martyr had tried to “ram the checkpoint,” but why there is a checkpoint in the first place.  Not “what was Ahmed doing,” but “why were there Israeli soldiers on the way from Abu Dis to Bethlehem?  What right do they have to be there?”  

And the answer is simple, incontrovertible:  the occupation being illegal under international law, the soldiers have no right to be there.  A simple truth, yet one we constantly need to remind the mainstream about.  One Noura had to explain yet again, as she grieved her cousin’s death, a mere few hours after watching him agonize, lying on asphalt in the sun, with fellow Palestinians barred from rescuing him.  “Israel wants Palestinians to feel helpless,” Noura correctly pointed out.

Ahmed was picking up his sister from the hair salon , ahead of her wedding ceremony.

The truth will set us free, but first, it will provoke yet more vile hatred from the Israel apologists. Noura’s Twitter feed has posts that claim Ahmed committed “suicide by soldiers.”  Someone posted a video, in Arabic, mostly unintelligible, and claimed this is his “suicide attack” message.  I doubt whoever posted that video speaks Arabic, I do, and I listened to it a couple of times, and could only make out one word:  “corona.” It is not a suicide message, but rather Ahmed’s commentary on the virus, which did not kill him.  Instead, Israeli soldiers murdered him in cold blood, watching as he writhed, bled to death, took his last quiet breath, while Palestinian onlookers, prevented from reaching him, prayed over his slowly departing soul.

Ahmed Erekat.  Twenty-seven years old, executed on the eve of his sister’s planned wedding, two weeks before his own.  He was born, lived, and died, under a brutal, merciless occupation.  Honor his life, and that of all Palestinians–under occupation, under apartheid, under siege, and in exile–by not normalizing Israel’s egregious crimes.  

The Erekat extended family should have been celebrating, instead, it is mourning.  And Palestinians everywhere are mourning with Ahmed’s family, with our beloved Noura, and asking our allies to keep pushing, so we never again have to mourn those killed unjustly, by a deeply racist settler-colonial power that views every young man, every Palestinian, as a threat.  

As indeed we are, because our mere existence is resistance.

But our existence is a right, that no occupier can deny us.  

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There goes the armed killers from the “only” democracy in the Middle East again, showing just how vicious they are, knowing fully well they will get away with murder.

Would they have shot one of their own like this, under these circumstances, or would they have simply arrested him?

Ahmad Erekat was murdered by mad dog Zionist soldiers.

The Washington Post has an article headlined, not very objectively, ‘A new kind of terrorism in Israel. It does tell the long, miserable story of clashes and deaths since last October.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=12&v=r9JSxM9EuYc&feature=emb_logo Or: http://normanfinkelstein.com/2020/06/25/when-george-floyds-are-murdered-and-no-one-cares/ Must watch!! – short Video, released June 25/20  “When Israeli Border Police killed Palestinian Iyad al-Halaq in East Jerusalem on 30 May 2020, the incident quickly garnered unusual attention – by Israeli standards – since there can simply be no justification for lethally shooting a disabled person just walking down the street. Israel knows it is supposed to open investigations into such killings, and the authorities swiftly promised one. Yet experience shows this… Read more »

Must watch!! Video interview with renowned Palestinian scholar, Noura Erakat regarding Israeli soldiers killing her cousin, Ahmed Erekat. https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=6&v=NjFRFfSjj2Q&feature=emb_logo Democracy Now, June 24/20, Palestinian Scholar Noura Erakat: “‘Israeli Forces Killed My Cousin on His Sister’s Wedding Day.'”  “Israeli soldiers on Tuesday killed 27-year-old Ahmed Erekat at a checkpoint in the occupied West Bank as he was on his way to pick up his sister, who was set to be married that night. Ahmed Erekat is… Read more »