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Course Summary

This course will examine a wide variety of legal issues raised in the various stages of conflict in Israel/Palestine. These will include issues arising inside Israel proper and issues arising with respect to the Occupied Territories. For each issue, there will be some background readings and then presentation of opposing legal positions, sometimes with a U.S. case to give a comparative perspective. Issues covered will involve Israeli civil and constitutional law and international and humanitarian law; areas will include local government, land, water, education and taxation, as well as more familiar issues around the treatment of the Arab minority in Israel and legality of the occupation and its administration. Three classes will be devoted to the legal analysis of violent resistance and terrorism.


Part One: Background through 1950

Class 1: Historical background up to 1848

Class 2: The war and the displacement of the Palestinians


Part Two: The legal status of the Arab minority inside Israel

Class 3: The legalities of the appropriation of Palestinian land

Class 4: The public law structure of the Israeli polity

Class 5: The place of the Arab minority in the Israeli polity and economy

Class 6: The restriction of sale of land to Arabs

Class 7: The Arabs in the educational system: districting and funding

Class 8: "Jewish and democratic"


Part Three: Legal issues arising from the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza

Class 9: Background up to Oslo

Class 10: The legality of Israeli settlements in the Occupied Territories

Class 11: The issue of the duties of the occupier with respect to social and economic development: before Oslo

Class 12: Israel and the Palestinian Authority after Oslo: political, economic and legal developments

Class 13: Has Israel de facto annexed the West Bank?

Class 14: The legal status of Gaza after the Israeli withdrawal


Part Four: The legal status of violent resistance and repression in the Occupied Territories

Class 15: The right of resistance in international law

Class 16: Palestinian resistance: the legality or not of violence in response to the occupation

Class 17: The targets and techniques of armed resistance: the issue of Palestinian violations of international humanitarian law

Class 18: The legality or not of Israeli responses to Palestinian resistance: torture and targeted assasination

Class 19: The Wall of Separation


Part Five: Legal dimensions of deal breaking issues

Class 20: The binational state proposal

Class 21: The status of Jerusalem

Class 22: The right of return as a legal issue


Part Six: The role of the U.S. in Israel/Palestine Legal Issues

Class 23: Is there an Israel lobby?

Class 24: Concluding class