Isr/Pal Impasse

This page provides links and resources on a topic that has captured the scholarly interest, and concern of many Institute staff members, namely the impasse and associated conflict between Israel and the Palestinians.

While we are not responsible for any content included here from other authors or external websites, we deliberately include links to sources that rarely appear in mainstream media and academic discourse, in order to stimulate a critical discussion from the perspective of human rights and social justice.

Note: [ISS] Indicates that (for copywright reasons) it can only be viewed from within the ISS building or is available in the ISS library



Legal Developments

Books and Journals

Further News


Public Events


Some Human Rights Defenders


Omer Goldman

She chose to go to prison rather than serve in the Israeli army. Listen to a Radio Netherlands programme, Refusing to Serve: The story of 19-year old ‘refusenik’ Omer Goldman (article by Dheera Sujan, 22 January 2009).

Ameer Makhoul and Omar Said

Both Israeli citizens, are regarded by several human rights organisations, including Amnesty International, as political prisoners. Makhoul, director of Ittijah and chairman of the Popular Committee for the Defense of the Political Freedoms, was arrested by Israeli forces on May 6th 2010 during a raid of his home, two weeks after a travel ban was imposed on him by the Israeli Ministry of the Interior. Police also raided the offices of Ittijah and confiscated equipment and documents. Said, a longtime activist in the Balad political party in Israel, which has members in the Israeli Knesset, was arrested on April 24th 2010 by Israeli forces in his house. Ameer is still (November 2012) being held in Gilboa prison in Israel. You are encouraged to write postcards to him at: Ameer Makhoul, Gilboa Prison, Department 2, 10900 Gilboa, Israel.

See an article about his experiences by Adri Nieuwhof.

Mohammed Omer

Palestinian journalist writing for Inter-Press Service (IPS) and Rafah Today in London. He received the 2008 Martha Gellhorn Prize for Journalism from British journalist John Pilger at the British Academy of Film and Television Arts a few days before he was brutally assaulted and detained on 26 June 2008 by Israeli soldiers and Israeli Shin Bet intelligence officials upon returning to Gaza. Read Omer’s personal account of what happened to him.

Tanya Reinhart

She was an Israeli professor of linguistics at Tel Aviv University, well known political commentator and human rights advocate who was openly villified by many of her Israeli colleagues for her critical stance on many issues, before she passed away due to natural causes on 17 March 2007.

Ahmad Abu Hannya

Hannya worked as the Youth Project Coordinator for the Alternative Information Center, a joint Israeli-Palestinian organization based in Jerusalem, was released on 14 May 2007 after two years in administrative detention.

Some Books and Journals


Selected Books

Link to the Library of Badil Resource Centre on Palestinian Residency and Refugee Rights – Searchable Database.

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Institute of Palestine Studies (2012), Before Their Diaspora, Interactive Version of this classic text by Walid Khalidi.

Rifat Kassis (2011) Kairos for Palestine, Beit Sahour: Badayl/Alternatives, 197 pp, Paperback, ISBN: 9789950346017

Ilan Pappe (2010) Out of the frame: The struggle for academic freedom in Israel, New York: Pluto Press, 246 pp, Paperback, ISBN: 9780745327259

Sascha Polakow-Suransky (2010), The Unspoken Alliance: Israel’s Secret Relationship with Apartheid South Africa, New York: Pantheon, 336 pp. Read a review in the London Review of Books by Bernard Porter and listen to an interview with the author by Amy Goodman (Democracy Now).

John J. Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt (2008) The Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy.

Jimmy Carter (2007) Palestine: Peace, not Apartheid.

Ilan Pappe (2007), The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine, One World: London, 2007, 320 pp

Ghada Karmi (2007), Married to Another Man: Israel’s Dilemma in Palestine, Pluto: London, 320 pp. See her speaking about the book on Democracy Now.

Ali Abunimah (2006), One Country: A Bold Proposal to End the Israeli-Palestinian Impasse – New York: Metropolitan., 227 pp

Dawn Chatty and G. Lewando Hundt (2004), Children of Palestine : experiencing forced migration in the Middle East / ed. by Dawn Chatty and Gillian Lewando Hundt – New York: Berghahn, 2004. – xiii, 274 pp – [in ISS library]

Norman G. Finkelstein (2003) Image and Reality of the Israel-Palestine Conflict.

Noam Chomsky (1999) Fateful triangle: the United States, Israel, and the Palestinians.



Holy Land Studies, Edinburgh University Press – [in ISS library]

Journal of Palestine Studies: A quarterly on Palestinian affairs and the Arab-Israeli conflict, Institute for Palestine Studies – [in ISS library]

Al-Majdal Magazine, Badil Resource Centre, Bethlehem (English – Original Site)

Mirror of Al-Majdal (under construction)

DevISSues: Bi-Annual Publication of the International Institute of Social Studies (ISS) — Relevant past issues to this topic include Volume 8, No.2, December 2006: Politics and Conflict in the Middle East; Volume 10, No. 1, May 2008: Academia and Engagement and Volume 13, No. 1: Mobilising Social Justice: A Narrow, but Significant Space.


Further News and Information Sources

The Electronic Intifada, which also incorporates Electronic Lebanon and Electronic Iraq is a not-for-profit, independent publication committed to comprehensive public education on the question of Palestine, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and the economic, political, legal, and human dimensions of Israel’s 40-year occupation of Palestinian territories. EI provides a needed supplement to mainstream commercial media representations of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Alternative Information Center (AIC), an Israeli-Palestinian organisation, producing numerous written pulbications as well as video and audio podcasts, including News From Within.

Badil Resource Centre on Palestinian Residency and Refugee Rights: Palestinian human rights organisation based in Bethlehem, West Bank

Breaking the Silence: [Hebrew = “Shov Rim Shtika”] is an organization of veteran Israeli soldiers that collects testimonies of soldiers who served in the Occupied Territories during the Second Intifadah.

Defence for Children International (Palestine Section)

Diakonia programme on Israel-Palestine.

  • See the guide to international humanitarian law in the occupied territories.

Fact Sheet on Political Prisoners: Produced by the PLO Negotiation Affairs Department

The Foreign Policy Journal lists Israel’s violations of United Nations Security Council Resolutions, from 18 September 1948 (Res. 57), until 18 January 2009 (Res: 1860).

IRIN-News: United Nations Information Service (Israel and the OPT)

The Nakba Archive documents oral history from Palestinians who resided in the territory in 1948, including (english subtitled) videos, which formed the basis of an exhibition at the Royal Tropical Institute in Amsterdam. A much more extensive archive of oral testimony (in Arabic) is available here on the website of Palestine Remembered.

Palestine Calling, a database of resources, including short films and photographs



Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR), Palestinian human rights organisation based in Gaza

Who Profits? A project of the Israeli organisation “Coalition of Women for Peace”. Along with various political, religious and national interests, the Israeli Occupation of the West Bank, Gaza and the Golan Heights is fueled more and more by corporate interests.

York University Conference on Israel-Palestine: Mapping Models of Statehood and Paths to Peace, including absracts of numerous papers grappling with legal, social and political parameters of one-state and two-state models.

Zochrot:  [Hebrew = “Remembering”] is a group of Israeli citizens working to raise awareness of the Nakba, the Palestinian catastrophe of 1948.


Films and Videos on the Isr-Pal Impasse

Concert at the United Nations (2013), music starts at 11.00, featuring Palestinian singers Nai Barghouti and Mohammed Assaf on the occasion of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, Special Event co-organized by the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, the Permanent Observer Mission of the State of Palestine to the United Nations and the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East).

The Law in These Parts (2011), on the law makers and enforcers of the occupied Palestinian territory, directed by Ra’anan Alexandrowicz. Watch the trailer or visit the film’s website.

Five Broken Cameras (2011), an award-winning documentary film, nominated for an Oscar, by Emad Burant and Guy Davidi. See interview and extracts on Democracy Now; review by Peter Bradshaw in the Guardian newspaper; review by Philip French in the Observer newspaper. 5 Broken Cameras is a first-hand account of protests in Bil’in, a West Bank village affected by the Israeli Wall referred to as the the wall in this documentary. The documentary was shot almost entirely by Palestinian farmer Emad Burnat, who bought his first camera in 2005 to record the birth of his youngest son. In 2009 Israeli co-director Guy Davidi joined on to create the film. Structured around the destruction of Burnat’s cameras, the filmmakers’ collaboration follows one family’s evolution over five years of turmoil.[

Palestine Under Zionism, 1946-1968, Part 1 of a series , Produced by the outspoken Israeli human rights advocate Miko Peled

Road Map to Apartheid (2011). View extended trailer.

Sumoud (2011): The Struggle for al-Araqib. View trailer.

Safe Passage (2010), An animated multi-media project explaining the difficulties/impossibilities of travel from the West Bank for medical, study or other reasons. This film can be viewed on-line as an interactive programme or on Youtube as a trailer. The project was produced by the Gisha Legal Centre for Freedom of Movement and partly sponsored by the European Union.

Targeted Citizen (2010), also available in Hebrew and Arabic. The short film (15 minutes), produced by filmmaker Rachel Leah Jones for the organisation Adalah, surveys discrimination against the Palestinian citizens of Israel. With the participation of experts Dr. Yousef Jabareen of the Technion and Dr. Khaled Abu Asbeh of the Van Leer Institute, as well as Adalah attorneys Sawsan Zaher, Abeer Baker and Hassan Jabareen, inequality in land and housing, employment, education and civil and political rights are eloquently addressed. These interviews are reinforced by the contrasting informality of on-the-street conversations conducted by Palestinian comic duo Shammas-Nahas and punctuated by the hard-hitting rhymes of Palestinian rap trio DAM. The film’s theme song “Targeted Citizen,” written and recorded by DAM especially for Adalah, tells it like it is without missing a beat.

AISHEEN (2009), “Still alive in Gaza” is a feature documentary, 84′ Minutes, by Nicolas Wadimoff, in collaboration with Béatrice Guelpa. Produced by: Al Jazeera Children’s Channel and Akka Films. Film music by DARG TEAM™.

To shoot an elephant (2009), an award-winning  documentary film about Israel’s military assault in Gaza, winner of the Best Director prize at the Dei Popoli Film Festival in Florence on 7 November 2009, filmed on location by eyewitnesses and co-directed by Alberto Arce (recipient of the Anna Lindh Journalist Award for conflict reporting for his articles on Gaza published by the Spanish daily newspaper El Mundo) and Mohammed Rjuailah. For more information, visit the film’s website and read an interview with the film-makers.

A Palestinian water crisis (2009), episode of Inside Story, news programme on Al-Jazeera, including Gerald Steinberg, the president of NGO Monitor and director of the conflict resolution programme at Bar Ilan University, Donatella Rovera, the chief researcher for Amnesty International’s Middle East section, and Shaddad Attili, the head of the Palestinian Water Authority (PWA).

Holocaust Survivor Speaks Out (2008), Hajo Meyer, one of the founders of the Amsterdam-based group Een Ander Joods Geluid (“A Different Jewish Voice”) speaks about the world’s silence against Israel’s brutal treatment of Palestinians and how Israel is destroying the Jewish heritage.

West Bank Stories (2007), a series of short films , narrated by Ala Hilu, Shadow Al-Assi and Heijar Elzgari, narrated by Simon James.

Chronicles of a Refugee (2009), in 6 parts by Adam Shapiro, Perla Issa, Aseel Mansour. See a preview here and the film site here.

Hanna Musleh (director), 2008 Memory of the Cactus: A Story of Three Palestinian Villages, produced by Al-Haq, 42 min documentary.

Hanna Musleh (director), In the Spider’s Web: two women, many stories, everyday sufferings of a nation under military occupation, produced by Al-Haq, 2004, 47 min documentary.

Israel’s Assault on Gaza (2009) – Various interviews and footage from Democracy Now.

cowsWanted 18 (2011) extended trailer for a Palestinian Animated Documentary film by Amer Shomali (still in production, in January 2014). The most powerful army in the middle east in pursuit of 18 cows.

Al-Jazeera Reportage, Focus on Gaza: A crime of war? (2009) – 23 min.

The Zionist Story, an independent film by Ronen Berelovich a student of the Camera Obscura film school in Tel Aviv, is a story of ethnic cleansing, colonialism and apartheid to produce a demographically Jewish State. (2009) – 72 min (in 8 parts).

Defence for Children International – Palestine Section, Stolen Youth: The Politics of Israel’s Detention of Palestinian Children (2004), Arabic and English spoken, English subtitles – 18 min.

Michel Khleifi and Eyal Sivan (directors), Route 181: Fragments of a Journey in Palestine-Israel (2004), English, Arabic and Hebrew spoken – in 3 parts, 270 minutes in total – [in ISS library]

Badil Resource Centre: Bethlehem, Jerusalem 1948 / Palestinian refugee residency rights (english subtitles) – 50 min – [in ISS library]

Hany Abu-Assad (director), Paradise now (french subtitles) – 1 hr, 27 min – [in ISS library]

Netwerk (Dutch news programme): Hebron Spookstad (“Hebron Ghost Town” in English, Arabic and Hebrew with Dutch subtitles) – 1 hr, 5 min.

Guardian Films: Shooting Back: Israeli occupation filmed by 100 Palestinian cameras (part of a project sponsored by Israeli human rights organisation B’tselem) – 5 min 45 sec


Public Events at ISS

N.B. We are trying to repair links — some may be permanently inoperable.

1) Opening remarks by Handmaker;

2) Opening remarks by Barghouti;

3) Opening remarks by de Beer;

4) Debate/Discussion, Part 1;

5) Debate/Discussion, Part 2.

See also a report of the event (in Dutch) as well as an interview with Barghouti about the BDS movement. Videos that were screened at the seminar were: Fair Play (1min 50sec) and Say No! Morgan and Jian (2min 34sec).

  • 8 June 2011 – Pivotal to Peace in the Planet: The Political Economy of the Palestinian Question, Keynote Lecture by Professor Mansoob Murshed. Organised as part of the Student Forum for Peace on Challenges and Future Perspectives of the Peace Talks between Palestinians and Israelis, held at Utrecht University on 8 June 2011, 16.30h-18.30h, in the Bootzaal of Universiteit Bibiliotheek Uithof, Utrecht University. The lecture was part of the Palestinian Awareness Week at Utrecht University.
  • 11 Apr 2011 – Palestinian refugees of 1948. Organised by the Institute for Historical Justice and Reconciliation (IHJR). Speakers: Dr. Ihab Saloul, one of the co-authors of the publication ‘Zoom In: Palestinian Refugees of 1948, Remembrances’ and Lecturer in Comparative Literature and Media Studies at Maastricht University and Catherine Cissé-van den Muijsenbergh, Executive Director of the IHJR.
  • 7-14 March 2011: Public lectures and debates on the economic aspects and on the role of International Law in the Israel-Palestine Conflict, organised by ISS students as part of Israeli Apartheid Week at the ISS.
  • 17 Jun 2010 – Looking Critically at the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions Movement for Palestine, Organised by the ISS SCHOLAS International Relations Committee.
  • 2 December 2010 – Mahmoud S. Rabbani Lecture Series – Afif Safieh on “The Peace Process: From Breakthrough to Breakdown – a Palestinian Perspective”. Full lecture available on video.
  • 4 December 2009 – Public Debate – “Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions to end the Israeli Occupation? A Critical Debate and Discussion

A public debate*** between intellectuals and practitioners, organised by students from the international relations committee of SCHOLAS at the Institute for Social Studies.


Chair, Meghan Cooper, MA candidate (graduated in December 2009), Institute of Social Studies

** Note from the organisers: This was a public event, organised by students of the ISS, and although members of pro-Israel organisations were invited to participate, and in fact had registered, they did not attend.


More information about BDS available here. See also a publication by the joint Israeli-Palestinian NGO Alternative Information Centre as well as material produced by students of Carleton University in Canada: Video 1 and Video 2, a critical review of various civic events in an episode on 3 March 2010 of the global news programme Inside Story and a debate between Omar Barghouti and Rabbi Arthur Waskow, which was broadcast live by the New York-based station Democracy Now on 4 March 2010.

  • 18 September 2008 – Public Lecture – “Torture, The Ticking Bomb and Impunity: Contradictions and Gaps” **

Sponsored by Amnesty International (Netherlands Section)

Ishai Menuchin, Ph.D., Executive Director of the Public Committee Against Torture in Israel (PCATI)

** Note: There was nothing said at this seminar that was not already a matter of public record. See, for example, briefing by Amnesty International on Torture in Israel and the OPT for the United Nations Committee on Torture.

  • 9 June 2009 – Public Debate – “Is Israel a Multicultural Society? A Critical Debate

A public debate with Oz Almog, Land of Israel Studies, Haifa University, hosted by the Dutch Centre for Information and Documentation on Israel (CIDI) and Mansoob Murshed, Professor of the Economics of Conflict and Peace, Institute of Social Studies.

Moderator, Jeff Handmaker, Institute of Social Studies

  • 19 May 2008 – Public Debate – “Acknowledging the past, Imagining the future: Confronting the impasse between Israel and the Palestinians” *

A public debate with Omar Barghouti, Independent Palestinian Analyst and Commentator and Salomon Bouman, former correspondent for NRC Handelsblad in Israel.

Moderator, Professor Louk de la Rive Box, Institute of Social Studies

* With special thanks to Badil and Zochrot who inspired the title.


Omar Barghouti has also debated Rabbi Arthur Waskow, which was broadcast live by the New York-based station Democracy Now on 4 March 2010.

justitiaLegal Developments

Go to Cases >>


Working Papers on Forced Population Transfer (WP Numbers 15 and 16), Badil Resource Centre on Palestinian Residency and Refugee Rights.

Report by Francois Dubuisson, with forward by John Dugard. See also the Made in Illegality campaign.

  • French version: Les obligations internationales de l’Union européenne et de ses États membres concernant les relations économiques avec les colonies israéliennes  (PDF – 670.6 kb)
  • English version: The International Obligations of the European Union and its Member States with regard to Economic Relations with Israeli Settlements (PDF – 613.6 ko)

Article by John Dugard and John Reynolds (2013) ‘Apartheid, International Law, and the Occupied Palestinian Territory’, European Journal of International Law – Abstract. See also their rejoinder in EJIL Talk.

Article by Tom Moerenhout (2013) ‘The Obligation to Withhold from Trading in Order Not to Recognize and Assist Settlements and their Economic Activity in Occupied Territories’, Journal of International Humanitarian Legal StudiesAbstract and article.  See also his earlier commentary in Open Democracy.

Book, edited by Susan Akram, Michael Dumper, Michael Lynk and Iain Scobbie (2011) International Law and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict. New York: Routledge 342 pp, Paperback, ISBN: 9780415573238

Book by Omar Barghouti (2011) Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions: The Global Struggle for Palestinian Rights. Chicago: Haymarket, 220 pp, Paperback, ISBN: 9781608461141

Article by Daniel Machover and Kate Maynard (2006) ‘Prosecuting alleged Israeli war criminals in England and Wales, Denning Law Journal’ – abstract (Journal) and full text (Hein Online, with subscription).


Report by the Netherlands Advisory Council on International Affairs (AIV) (2013), a highly-respected body of experts, on the “Between words and deeds: prospects for a sustainable peace in the middle east”. Also available in Dutch and French. See also government responses to the report.

Seminar Report by Zegveld, L. & Handmaker, J.D. (2012). Universal jurisdiction: state of affairs and ways ahead. A policy paper. (ISS working papers series. General series 532 ). The Hague: International Institute of Social Studies.

Report by Defence for Children International, Palestine Section (2012) Bound, Blindfolded and Convicted: Children held in Military detention, on the treatment of Palestinian children – full report

Reports of the Russell Tribunal on Palestine, link to sessions in Barcelona (2010), London (2010), Cape Town (2011) and New York (2012).

Report by Human Sciences Research Council (2009) Occupation, Colonialism, Apartheid?: A re-assessment of Israel’s practices in the occupied Palestinian territories under international law. See press release, which includes a link to the report.

Report of the United Nations Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict (2009), known popularly as the “Goldstone Report”. See UN press release, which also includes a link to the report.



Bil’in vs Green Park (2013), Palestinians seek Justice at the UN against Canada, case brought to the UN Human Rights Committee. Read an overview of the case, including a link to the submitted complaint.

French Court of Appeals in Versailles (2013) in the matter of AFPS and PLO vs. Alstom Transport, Alstom and Veolia Transport, 22 March 2013. Original judgment (in French) and English Translation (unofficial).

  • Adri Nieuwhof, Jeff Handmaker and Daniel Machover (2013) ‘Disappointing French ruling on Veolia still paves way for suing occupation profiteers’, The Electronic Intifada, 7 May 2013 – commentary.

Decision of the Dutch Prosecutor (2013) not to pursue an investigation in Riwal. See press release and Q&A on the decision.

  • Adri Nieuwhof (2013), ‘Dutch settlement profiteers listed in new report’, The Electronic Intifada, submitted on Fri, 31 May 2013 – commentary.
  • Adri Nieuwhof (2010), ‘Dutch company raided over involvement in occupation’, The Electronic Intifada, 20 October 2010 – commentary.
  • Al-Haq press release, including details of the complaint.

International Court of Justice (2004), Advisory Opinion on the Legal Consequences of the Construction of a Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, Full and separate opinions.



Human Rights at ISS

March 12th, 2012 at 2:13 pm

This is an interesting analysis by Zachie Achmat on his comparisons of South Africa and Israel-Palestine:


Human Rights at ISS

March 17th, 2012 at 10:44 am

Al-Haq, the Palestinian section of the International Commission of Jurists, reported on 15 March 2012 that Israeli forces dump child on roadside with hands tied at 4 am. Ref.: 64/2012


Workshop: Palestine, Israel and International Law - Human Rights

December 2nd, 2012 at 9:21 am

[…] Isr/Pal Impasse […]


GGSJ / HR blog Administrator

April 29th, 2013 at 8:42 am

Report (in Dutch) of the seminar on 26 April 2013 at the ISS:

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International Institute of Social Studies

Human Rights is a specialization within the Human Rights, Conflict and Gender Studies MA Major in Development Studies. This blog provides a platform for discussion for researchers, students and others interested in this field of studies. The blog is administered by the Human Rights teaching team.