Annual Survey of International & Comparative Law


The Israeli-Palestinian conflict has spanned over six decades, resulting in brutal deaths of civilians, assassinations of political figures, and casualties of countless soldiers on both sides. Dominant discourse on the conflict focuses largely on the prevalence of violence and State-figures’ failure to properly address the issue. This paper will take a different approach by exploring the legality under International Law of the continual expansion of Israeli settlements in the West Bank and by illuminating the peacebuilding efforts of grassroots organizations focused on education, uniting communities, and engaging international actors. A discussion of the history is important not only to inform present context, but also to impart wisdom and lessons from our past that may inform our present and future. However, there is only so much criticism a conflict can undergo before it becomes destructive and staggering. While Part One focuses on the settlements, Part Two moves beyond the focus of a critical eye on the conflict toward an emphasis on education and peacebuilding efforts activists have taken to promote a holistic approach to achieving a lasting and just peace.

In light of this paper’s topic on settlements and non-violence, it is important for me to acknowledge and address that I am an Israeli- American living in the United States. I have the privilege of not experiencing the conflict on a daily basis contrary to that of my family living in Israel, the Palestinians living in Palestine, and the Palestinian citizens living within the borders of Israel. Finally, during the most recent peak of violence in Palestine and Israel between Hamas and the Israeli government, it is imperative to recognize the suffering of both Palestinians and Israelis subjected to the violence and demand that it stop. This article is dedicated to them.

Cite as: 19 Annl. Survey Int'l. Comp. L. 105 (2013).