Palestine (and the Israel Question)
- LAST REVIEWED: 16 November 2016
- LAST MODIFIED: 25 June 2013
- DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780199796953-0086
- LAST REVIEWED: 16 November 2016
- LAST MODIFIED: 25 June 2013
- DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780199796953-0086
The complexity of Palestinian-Israeli conflict has been sufficiently underlined by politicians and scholars. This is a long-standing dispute, to whose resolution the international community has been strongly committed during more than six decades. But there has not been enough progress toward a just and lasting solution ensuring the Palestinian right to self-determination and Israel’s right to live in peace within secure and recognized borders. Peace proposals have followed one another and none of them have achieved their goals. The focus here will be on the international legal aspects of the conflict. The general idea underlying this analysis is that the final settlement between Palestinians and Israel should be reached in full compliance with international obligations imposed to both parties by international law, particularly by international human rights law and international humanitarian law. As repeatedly required by relevant United Nations resolutions, international rules should be applied to solve the core issues that will have to be addressed in a future peace agreement. Among them are the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their home in Israel or the Occupied Palestinian Territories, the legal status of Arab-Israeli citizens, the question of the Israeli settlements in those territories, and the status of Jerusalem. Since this is a multidimensional conflict, contributions that explore nonlegal aspects of the Palestinian-Israeli controversy are also of importance. In this sense, the historical background is considered in this article. Selected references take into account that the facts surrounding the beginning of the conflict are still open to debate. Attention will also be drawn to the international and regional political dynamics behind the Palestinian-Israeli question.
General and Diverse Overviews
The following entries provide a broad introduction to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. An international legal approach was chosen early by the author of Akehurst 1973 for analyzing some basic aspects of the question. In the same sense, Quigley 2005 applies international law reasoning to the historical narrative of the Palestinian-Israeli controversies. From a political point of view, Álvarez-Ossorio and Izquierdo 2007 stresses the obstacles posed by Israel in the framework of the peace process. Lentin 2008 brings together some essays on the idea of Palestine and Oren and Bar-Tal 2007 is a sociological analysis of the dynamics underlying the conflict. The economic implications of the Israeli occupation of Palestinian Territories are examined in the report Khalidi and Taghdisi-Rad 2009. Finally, Pappé 2007 collects diverse essays dealing with different elements of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, as a history of Palestinian women or the question of Arab-Israeli citizens. See also Iglesias Velasco 2000.
Akehurst, Michael. “The Arab-Israeli Conflict and International Law.” New Zealand Universities Law Review 5 (1973): 231–249.
The international law perspective is unavoidable when analyzing the Palestinian-Israeli question. Professor Akehurst highlights in this early article some aspects of the origins of the conflict, taking into account international legal rules applying to it. Valuable conclusions are reached in this regard.
Álvarez-Ossorio, Ignacio, and Ferrán Izquierdo. ¿Por qué ha fracasado la paz? Claves para entender el conflicto palestino-israelí. Madrid: Los Libros de la Catarata, Instituto Universitario de Desarrollo y Cooperación, 2007.
Originally written in Spanish, this book (titled “Why has peace failed? Keys to understanding the Palestinian-Israeli conflict”) analyzes the main elements of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict to conclude that both the conflict and the possibilities of settlement are directly linked to the power and the interests of Israeli actors. The Israelis, in the author’s opinion, have the stronger position in the controversy and so are able to impose their points of view on the “weaker” Palestinians.
Iglesias Velasco, Alfonso J. El proceso de paz en Palestina. Madrid: Ediciones Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, 2000.
This monograph (titled “The peace process in Palestine”) focuses intensively on different aspects of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict: the history of the conflict, the legal status of the Occupied Palestinian Territories, the role played by the United Nations, and the status of Jerusalem. There is also a rigorous and really interesting analysis of the peace initiatives begun in the context of the Arab-Israeli conflict.
Khalidi, Raja, and Sahar Taghdisi-Rad. The Economic Dimensions of Prolonged Occupation: Continuity and Change in Israeli Policy towards the Palestinian Economy. UNCTAD/GDS/2009/2. New York and Geneva, Switzerland: United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, 2009.
In this report, the authors apply economic analysis to the Israeli occupation of Palestinian Territories. After theorizing about the links between occupation and economic development, they present an in-depth examination of Israeli policies toward the Palestinian economy. Among other interesting conclusions, they affirm the existence of an Israeli policy aiming “to maintain occupation and administration of the Palestinian territory by whatever means available, including economic strategies” (p. iii).
Lentin, Ronit, ed. Thinking Palestine. London and New York: Zed Books, 2008.
This book collects the works of a group of American, Irish, Israeli, and Palestinian scholars on the question of Palestine. Divided into three parts, it focuses on several theoretical topics. The first part talks us about the palestination of race. The second one includes different works on so-called biopolitics and the states of exception. In the last part, the authors write about some examples of contested representation of Palestine.
Oren, Neta, and Daniel Bar-Tal. “The Detrimental Dynamics of Delegitimization in Intractable Conflicts: The Israeli-Palestinian Case.” International Journal of Intercultural Relations 31 (2007): 111–126.
The article analyzes a key element of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict: delegitimization. Defined as a process by which members of a delegitimized group are morally derogated and considered of less existential value than members of the delegitimizing group, this phenomenon characterizes the Israeli-Palestinian relationship. The authors deduce some consequences of it, based on factual ground provided by survey data carried out in Israeli and Palestinian contexts. Available online for purchase or by subscription.
Pappé, Ilan. The Israel/Palestine Question: A Reader. 2d ed. London: Routledge, 2007.
With the purpose of revisiting some elements of the history of the Palestine-Israeli conflict, the book brings together the works of a group of Israeli and Palestinian scholars on the formation of Palestine and the origins of Zionism. This second edition expands the part on women’s history (adding to Part 4 a new chapter titled “Minor Marriages and Khiyar Al-Bulugh in Ottoman Palestine: A Note on Women’s Strategies in a Patriarchal Society”) and the part focusing on the situation of Palestinians in Israel (adding to Part 5 three new chapters: chapter 11, titled “Crime and Legal Control: The Israeli Arab Population during the Military Government Period [1948–1966]”; chapter 12, titled “Palestinian in Israel under the Israeli ‘Ethnocratic’ Regime”; and chapter 13, titled “Present Absentees and Indigenous Resistance”).
Quigley, John. The Case for Palestine: An International Law Perspective. Durham, NC, and London: Duke University Press, 2005.
Undoubtedly, Professor John Quigley is one of the leading experts on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. He has fully written and lectured on it. This updated and revised version of his first edition, published in 1990, presents an international legal analysis of the conflict. As with Akehurst 1973, the book applies international law categories and reasoning to the historical narrative of the Palestinian-Israeli controversies.
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content on this page. Please subscribe or login.
How to Subscribe
Oxford Bibliographies Online is available by subscription and perpetual access to institutions. For more information or to contact an Oxford Sales Representative click here.
- African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights and the Af...
- Agreements, Bilateral and Regional Trade
- Agreements, Multilateral Environmental
- Arctic Region
- Armed Opposition Groups
- Aut Dedere Aut Judicare
- Bandung Conference, The
- Children's Rights
- Civil Service, International
- Collective Security
- Command Responsibility
- Common Heritage of Mankind
- Complementarity Principle
- Conspiracy/Joint Criminal Enterprise
- Constitutional Law, International
- Consular Relations
- Contemporary Catholic Approaches
- Continental Shelf, Idea and Limits of the
- Cooperation in Criminal Matters, Cross-Border
- Courts, International
- Crimes against Humanity
- Criminal Law, International
- Cultural Rights
- Cyber Warfare
- Debt, Sovereign
- Development Law, International
- Disputes, Peaceful Settlement of
- Drugs, International Regulation, and Criminal Liability
- Early 19th Century, 1789-1870
- Economic Law, International
- Enforcement of Human Rights
- Environmental Compliance Mechanisms
- Environmental Institutions, International
- Environmental Law, International
- European Arrest Warrant
- Extraterritorial Application of Human Rights Treaties
- Feminist Approaches to International Law
- Financial Law, International
- Foreign Investment
- Freedom of Expression
- French Revolution
- General Customary Law
- General Principles of Law
- Grotius, Hugo
- Habeas Corpus
- History of International Law, 1550–1700
- Hostilities, Direct Participation in
- Human Rights
- Human Rights and Regional Protection, Relativism and Unive...
- Human Rights, European Court of
- Human Rights, Foundations of
- Human Trafficking
- Hybrid International Criminal Tribunals
- Immunity, Sovereign
- Indigenous Peoples
- Institutional Law
- International and Non-International Armed Conflict, Detent...
- International Court of Justice
- International Criminal Court, The
- International Criminal Law, Complicity in
- International Humanitarian Law
- International Humanitarian Law, Targeting in
- International Investment Agreements, Fair and Equitable Tr...
- International Investment Arbitration
- International Investment Law, Expropriation in
- International Law, Aggression in
- International Law, Climate Change and
- International Law, Dispute Settlement in
- International Law, Hegemony in
- International Law, Military Intervention in
- International Law, Peacekeeping in
- International Law, Proportionality in
- International Law, Reasonableness in
- International Law, Self-Determination in
- International Law, State Responsibility in
- International Law, State Succession in
- International Law, the State in
- International Law, the Turn to History in
- International Law, Trade and Development in
- International Law, Unequal Treaties in
- International Law, Use of Force in
- International Trade and Human Rights
- Intervention, Humanitarian
- Investment Protection Treaties
- Islamic Law and Human Rights
- Jurisprudence (Judicial Law-Making)
- Jus Cogens
- Law of the Sea
- Law of Treaties, The
- League of Nations, The
- Lebanon, Special Tribunal for
- Liability for International Environmental Harm
- Maritime Delimitation
- Martens Clause
- Medieval International Law
- Mens Rea, International Crimes
- Military Necessity
- Military Occupation
- Modes of Participation
- Most-Favored-Nation Clauses
- Multinational Corporations in International Law
- Nationality and Statelessness
- Natural Law
- New Approaches to International Law
- Non liquet
- Nonstate Actors
- Nuclear Proliferation
- Nuremberg Trials
- Organizations, International
- Palestine (and the Israel Question)
- Peace Treaties
- Political Science, International Law and
- Protection, Diplomatic
- Public Interest, Human Rights, and Foreign Investment
- Rational Choice Theory
- Russian Approaches to International Law
- Sanctions, International
- Soft Law
- Space Law
- Spanish School of International Law (c. 16th and 17th Cent...
- Sports Law, International
- State of Necessity
- Superior Orders
- Territorial Title
- Theory, Critical International Legal
- Transnational Corruption
- Treaty Interpretation
- Ukrainian Approaches
- Underwater Cultural Heritage
- Unilateral Acts
- Universal Jurisdiction
- Uti Possidetis Iuris
- Vatican and the Holy See
- Victims' Rights, International Criminal Law, and Proceedin...
- Watercourses, International
- Western Sahara