In this episode of “Occupied Thoughts,” FMEP’s Lara Friedman speaks with Budour Hassan (JLAC) and Noura Erekat (Rutgers) about Israel’s policy of holding hostage the bodies of slain Palestinians – an issue that has broken through into the news a bit with the continued holding of the body of Ahmad Erekat, and last week with a US Congresswoman, Rep. Rashida Tlaib, tweeting about another case: “Meet Mai Afana’s mother, Khuloud, who is fighting to be able to bury her daughter & begin her healing. Mai was a mother, loving daughter & successful PhD student. She was killed by the Israeli government last June. Israel won’t release her body to her family.” What is this policy? How does it impact Palestinians? How does Israel justify it? What do Israeli courts and international law say? And what does this policy disclose about the broader dehumanization of Palestinians, both by Israel and by the international community?
Budour Hassan is a Palestinian writer and legal researcher at the Jerusalem Legal Aid and Human Rights center – aka, JLAC. She wrote a research report about the Israeli policy of withholding Palestinian bodies titled, “The Warmth of Our Sons: Necropolitics, Memory, and the Palestinian Right to Mourn”
Noura Erakat is a human rights attorney and an Associate Professor at Rutgers University 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. She is an editorial committee member of the Journal for Palestine Studies and a co-Founding Editor of Jadaliyya, an electronic magazine on the Middle East that combines scholarly expertise and local knowledge. And she is the author of Justice for Some: Law and in the Question of Palestine.
Resources mentioned during the podcast: