Do Palestinians Have the Right to Defend Themselves?

Category: Life & Society, Middle East Views: 2726

Palestinian youths confront an Israeli tank with stones near the Balata refugee camp in the West Bank.

True, the Palestinian uprising (Intifada) of 2002 is a continuation of the Palestinian people's decades-long revolt against the Israeli military occupation of their land, which was carried out at several stages, most prominently in 1948 and '67.  But one can hardly ignore that the present Intifada is uniquely different from the largely symbolic protests of the 1987 Intifada, or the armed resistance in Lebanon during the Israeli invasion in 1982. Today's Intifada stands somewhere in between, where the resistance remains largely a popular resistance, yet where the methods used to resist have surpassed the traditional stone throwing, although the latter remains a dominating aspect.

Provoking the issue of armed resistance and a people's right to defend themselves are now more significant than ever. Palestinian factions, on one hand, are more actively deliberating a united strategy in their fight against Israel, amid heated discussions on whether Palestinians should or should not resort to violence in their resistance against the Israeli army, which now has reoccupied, almost completely the areas that fell under Palestinian control following the Oslo Accords and related agreements in 1993 onward. Moreover, leading human rights groups, including Amnesty and Human Rights Watch have recognized suicide bombings as "crimes against humanity", and those who plan or perpetrate them as "war criminals."

Yet, this is not a discussion into the particularities of these claims or any others, but an attempt to clear some of the confusion created by the uniqueness of the current Intifada and the claims and counterclaims made by parties involved regarding the legitimacy of the Palestinian resistance, its legality in accordance with international law.

For long, international law remained unclear on the issue of "people's right to defend themselves", while it granted that right to sovereign states. The use of force is only legitimate in two scenarios, according to the Charter of the United Nations. As specified in Article 51 of the Charter, the use of force is limited to self-defense, or, according to Chapter VII, when the United Nations itself embarks on an enforcement action where it decides that there is a threat to peace.

There were always indications within international law that grant an individual or a group the right to self-defense. For example, the Universal Declaration of Human Right's preamble (adopted and proclaimed by General Assembly Resolution 217 A (III) of December 10, 1948), reads: "Whereas it is essential if man is not compelled as a last resort to rebellion against tyranny and oppression, that human rights should be protected by the rule of law."

However, not until the General Assembly 20th session in 1965 where it was recognized, for the first time, "the legitimacy of struggle by the people under colonial rules to exercise their rights to self-determination and independent." More, the assembly invited "all States to provide material and moral assistance to the national liberation movements in colonial territories."

The specified decision has always applied to the Palestinian people and their struggle for freedom. But again, intentional misinterpretation of that law compelled the passing of Resolution 3236, passed by the General Assembly in its 29th session in 1974. The resolution recognized that the collective rights of the Palestinian people were fully and properly recognized. The resolution recognized the Palestinian people's right for self-determination in accordance with the United Nations Charter (which, in retrospect gives them the same right of self-defense granted to sovereign states). In addition, it granted them the right of national independence, sovereignty and right of return to their homes. The resolution had further replaced the mere reference to Palestinians as "refugees" or "the refugee problem", and made them a "principal party in the establishment of a just and durable peace in the Middle East."

In 1975, General Assembly Resolution 3375 recognized the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO's), a liberation movement, right to represent the Palestinian people in their aspiration for self-determination, in accordance to Resolution 3236.

Those who still found loopholes in international law to deny the Palestinian people the right to defend themselves had to deal with yet another resolution. Additional Protocol I to the Geneva Convention of 1949, (Act 1 C4), passed in 1977, declared that armed struggle can be used, as a last resort, as a method of exercising the right of self-determination. One can hardly argue that Israel's decades long occupation of Palestinian land, the full-fledged apartheid regime it instituted in the Occupied Territories, the loud violations of the Fourth Geneva Convention, the seizer of the land, the destruction of property, and most importantly, the refusal to honor nearly 70 United Nations Resolutions amid daily killings and assassinations of Palestinians, acts recognized by the Convention and by leading human rights groups as war crimes, qualify Palestinians, as it always did to fight back using armed struggle.

This is not an attempt to propagate the idea of violent resistance, but an attempt to reconstruct, even briefly, the argument that the Palestinian people's struggle, including armed struggle, in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip are defended and protected under international law. In fact, "all states (are encouraged) to provide material and moral assistance to the national liberation movements in colonial territories."

What mostly provoked this subject now is the question of the Jenin refugee camp. During my recent book tour, promoting my book "Searching Jenin: Eyewitness Accounts of the Israeli Invasion 2002" on the East Coast, several Israeli or pro-Israeli students insisted that the Palestinian resistance in the camp was a form of terrorism. During my research, I haven't found one reference in international law that refers to the Jenin fighters who defended the camp until the last man as "terrorists." In fact, I found more than one reference that classifies the Israeli army action as "state sponsored terrorism." This is not a selective reading in international law, but a highlight of relevant resolutions that Israel and its patrons in the United States seem to often disregard.

One might find the title of this article "Do the Palestinians Have the Right to Defend Themselves?" a proactive one, as the answer is self-evident. But considering the process of dehumanization carried out by Israel, using the American media, makes the question less ridiculous than it sounds. Palestinians do indeed have the right to defend themselves against the brutal Israeli occupation, especially when the whole world, including their Arab brethren have failed them. Blaming them for using such a right is inhumane, even ludicrous.  

Baroud is the editor-in-chief of and the editor of the book titled, "Searching Jenin: Eyewitness Accounts of the Israeli Invasion 2002".

  Category: Life & Society, Middle East
Views: 2726
The opinions expressed herein, through this post or comments, contain positions and viewpoints that are not necessarily those of IslamiCity. These are offered as a means for IslamiCity to stimulate dialogue and discussion in our continuing mission of being an educational organization. The IslamiCity site may occasionally contain copyrighted material the use of which may not always have been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. IslamiCity is making such material available in its effort to advance understanding of humanitarian, education, democracy, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law.

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, and such (and all) material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.

Older Comments:
I agree my brother. The so-called jew and the American white people will pay one day!

To Garam: You say "after this review you won't hear from me again", yet here you are returning for more! Please continue enjoying your "good laugh" and "falling off your chair". It appears that, in your mind, that is what passes for reasoned debate. As for others,I invite anyone to reread my posts (and yours) and judge for themselves. More importantly,interested readers should consult various history books of the Middle East, make their own study of the issues, and come to their own conclusions.
Because I choose to respect my own dignity you call my tone "haughty". This coming from someone who has repeatedly resorted to using personal insults to denigrate me: Calling me "narrow-minded" "fanatical" "childish" "upstart" "ignorant Ham", "citing pathetic ignorant Jewish rhetoric" etc. etc. Your tone when referring to the Jewish people in general is even more disturbing ("your own greed mischief and selfishness" etc.etc.). I will leave it to each reader to decide for themselves the implications of such statements.

why not! we have no choice but to help them because sooner or later we have to help them in order to save ourselves. wake up its the time now.

Palestinians have the right to defend themselves just as any people have the right to defend their lives, land, and nation. Are the Palestinians not human beings like the Israelis who do an excellent job of defending themselves at the cost of Palestinian lives. They have waged war and Peace is not to be discussed with people who know no limit to military action and terroristic methods of warfare.WE THE PALESTINIAN PEOPLE HAVE EVERY GOD GIVEN RIGHT TO DEFEND OUR RIGHT TO LIVE IN PEACE ON OUR OWN LAND, that is just a small part of this conflict.

Do the Palestinians have the right to defend themselves? What a silly question. How can anyone suggest that they do not? No human being should be a second or third class citizen in their own country-is that not obvious to all? Having stated that axiom it is time to move to the reality of tactics and the responsibility of leadership to lead. I believe this is the problem today among the Palestinians-a greater challange than Israeli tanks and generally repressive and murderous occupation. For example, by walking out of the Camp David talks in 2000 and making the decision to go to war, the Palestian authority blundered in the worst possible way. Was the "final" deal offered by a liberal democratic American President and a left-leaning Israeli Prime Minister a good deal for the Palestian people? No serious person can suggest that it was. However, look at what has happened. In 2000, much of the West Bank was free of Israeli troops-now none of it is. In 2000, progress had been made torwards the development of Palestinian governmental organizations-now they are gone. In 2000, there was a powerful Israeli "left" willing and able to make political choices that might have resulted in some type of solution evolving land for peace over time-now that is gone, replaced with a consensus of the right wing. The question is not to ask if the Palestinains have the right to defend themselves-the question is how to best accomplish that defense. I feel that to try to engage the Israeli military directly was a huge error. While it may feel good to take on a repressive and hated enemy directly, trading shot for shot, death for death, look at the results from these tactics. I say that the post 2000 war has been a disaster for the Palestinian people, now further from the establishment of a free state than ever. If the Palestinians had adopted tactics from Gandhi and King-playing to their strenght, not their weakness-results might have been different. Is it too late? I hope not.

Mr. Weiskop: the only one who belittled anyones middle eastern history knowledge was you in your original post..pls re read it...
by giving me the replies you did you belittled yourself....everyone else,probably just had a good laugh....I would love to hear WHICH text on the middle east supports your rendition of its history!I would love to see ANY serious arabic scholar agree with your rendition of what happened in Yathrib ( I must admit, I nearly fell off my chair in incredulity concerning this version of events!)..even a SERIOUS non arab one...pls dont cite me jewish rhetoric..its pathetic! (the UN doesnt have a record of what happenend at Yathrib! so impartiality is dificult here i understand)
as for my rude tone...pls do re read your posts..your tone is outrageously condascending, imperious and haughty..its amazing how self rightoeus ppl of your nature are!!
as for your account of the refugee groups... replies comprised of Jewish/ Zionistic/ Israeli rhetoric which is easily countered by UN data...I am citing my sources to support my claims...I am a scientist by nature..any theroy i produce must be backed up by data...not subjective data..objective! Hence my reference to the UN as a source of the current conflict between the two parties and not the propagandist sources of muslims! I believe the UN and several reputable organisations (Amnesty INtl) also have records to outline the foolishness of both camps!
If the palestinians leave their homeland to settle in another one..any muslim country for that matter....they will lose their home forever! That is why they stay there..not that they are not welcome anywhere else....forget compensation Mr. Weiskop, your ppl didnt even ask nicely... so much for manners!
I must admit your technique for discrediting my arguments is a little bit obvously were the 'smart' one in your batch!
The only thing i am tired of Mr.Weiskop is trying to find any kind of impartiality in you!


I'll tell you what young man.You are the real TERRORIST .no one needs to be an expert in the history of middle east to realize that.THE ONLY DIFFERNCE BETWWEN YOU AND PALESTINIANS IS THAT YOU HAVE A LICENCE TO PRACTICE YOUR TERRO.PERIOD.GOT THAT!!!!

To Garam: The only one engaging in mudslinging here is you (and you have done so repeatedly). You are growing tired of it, presumably because the mud you sling keeps landing on yourself.
You attempt to belittle my knowledge of Middle Eastern history, but end up proving yourself as the one lacking in knowledge (not to mention, manners). Now, you challenge me to produce my sources. In this you further embarass yourself since everything I've mentioned are not at all obscure, but rather well-known well-documented commonly known historical facts available in any serious history of the Middle East. Even serious Arabic scholars would not dispute them.

Garam: truly pathetic!

yes, palestanians should have the right too protect themselves, and i think that israiel means off fighting this war is rubbish and how can a soldier fight iff his arms and ammunations are taking away from him..

Solomon: you remind me of the narrow minded, evangelincal, fanatical and fundamental element of muslims we are so familiar with on TV these know the ones that deny that the holocaust ever happened??!! only are a jew. I would at this junsture love to hear from you the references you have for the rebuttles you have given me...i would love to investigate the veracity of your 'facts'! I only say this because like a thousand other ppl who read this review (& who are clever enough not to get involved in this mud slinging) have probably read your knowledge of history and found in it material to amuse them for atleast a few secs...
ON second thoughts, dont bother..after this review you wont hear from me again..i am bored and believe i am wasting my time... all of your retorts the only ones who have ever done anything right have been the Jewish nation, funny...simple logic and social probability would tell you the impossibility of THAT happening! (leaving aside the tonnes of collected evidence against the Israeli nation in the UN) I just wish I had the time to actually collect those references for your inspection. But then like I have said before, ppl believe what they want to...not what it is the truth, even if they saw it with their own eyes! I am not here to convince you, only Allah can do that...

atleast you admit no one wanted to house the jewish nation....I wonder why???? Amazing that! For even after all the horror experienced by your people, not a single nation in the WORLD was sympathetic enough to open their doors to you..WHY NOT? the favoured nation of God? the race of prophets? you WERE, your own greed, mischief and selfishness have reduced you from that exalted station!

John: you reply only confirms everything that my last post said about havent got the courage to look at the truth and when you realise you have no way of intelligently retorting, you resort to calling individuals names, how kindergardenish! This from a man whose every post has been in retort to another reviewers opinion..I believe in the west you would call such an individual a HYPOCRITE! look at yourself in the mirror..then call someone else names!

if anyone around here in the last few reviews has shown any bigotry its your self righteous hide!

I just read the article on "Do Palestinians have the right to defend themselves?" and find it one of the best presentation of facts in this cause. I applaud Ramzy Baroud for his work here and elsewhere. Thanks keep up the good work.

well..i think falastine has a right to overthrow
the zionist faction nextdoor. and chow to the
israeli agents trying to shut down this and all
islamic websites, along with their crusader
buddies via CNN, i.e. crusader news network.
thanks! fatah-jema-is


Throwing rocks at a an army tank is not defending
oneself. It's stupidity; nothing else.
Well, give them some damn weapons,tanks,m16,f16 etc..and they'll show what stupitidy is really like....


Yes! The Palestinians certainly have a right to defend themselves. The Jews have a right to defend themselves. Mahatma Ghandi defended his nation much more effectively using non violent means than either the Jews or the Palestinians using violence. If Arafat chosen to emulate Ghandi, he would have long been the the president of an idependent Palestine. His chosen method of a violent struggle plays into his enemies strenght without any hope of victory.

I have to go with John on this one...
If someone sees something like that and says nothing they are just as guilty as the person doing it in the first place..
Accomplice they call it.

In regards to the article...
I think both zionists and Arabs need to really look up the definition of defence in the dictionary...
I think about 75% of what either do can not be defined as defense...

I believe any group has a right to DEFEND itself, as long as that defense goes in line with the definition of defense.

Legal arguments mean little to me, philosophical arguments are particularly to my liking...

Garam : you expose yourself to everyone as a patently absurd bigot. I am not in the business of trading insults. Maybe you are but you won't find me as a buyer.

Ali: don't make excuses. Either you or your sister-in-law report it or stand accused of being smear merchants and bigots.

I look forward to hearing from you about the response your sister-in -law gets from her employers.

To Garam. You say to me: "You ignorant Ham! Understanding of Middle East history? You don't even want to go there." Oh, but I do.

You ask:"Have you heard of Yathrib? What did the Jews of that city do? Were they conquered?"
Yathrib was the former name of Medina. It was home to several Jewish tribes. When these Jews refused to accept Islam they were turned on by Muhammad and his followers. They were massacred and their property stolen for Islam.

You ask: "What happened to the original Jews of Israel, pre-Islam or for that matter post-Islam?"
Following the Roman conquest of Israel in 70AD, the Romans destroyed Jerusalem including the Second Temple, building an altar to pagan gods in its place. They killed much of the Jewish population, driving the rest into forced exile. To ensure that Jews would not return, they burned and salted the fields making farming impossible. They also forbade the use of the name Israel, renaming the country "Palestina" (after the ancient Philistines, already extinct by then)in an attempt to disconnect the Jews from their homeland.

You ask: "Did all the Arabs who were forced out of their homes paid?" "Are you familiar with the exodus of the Iraqi Jews?"
The 1948 war caused two groups of refugees: Palestinian Arabs fleeing the war, and Jews who were expelled from Muslim lands,(eg Iraq etc.). The numbers of refugees were about equal. NEITHER refugee group (Jew or Arab)has been compensated. However, whereas Israel quickly absorbed the Jewish refugees, the Arab countries refused to absorb the Arab refugees, they still languish in refugee camps in Syria, Lebanon etc. to this day, unto the third generation. Also, the 1948 war that led to these refugee problems was started by the Arabs who are, thus, ultimately responsible.

You ask: "Name me a single nation who was prepared to house the Jewish people after WWII despite having suffered so badly."
Quite right. Not one. Precisely why a sovereign Jewish state of Israel is ess

Throwing rocks at a an army tank is not defending
oneself. It's stupidity; nothing else.

You can break a window or a head with a rock. You
can't do jack to a tank with one.

It's sad to see kids sent out in harm's way to exhibit
such stupidity. Better they should be in school.

John Norman: hope you have read the words of your fellow writers in the west from the references provided by myself, csaba and izhar. You should then realise the futility of your words in achieving a 'pro-semitic' opinion! Ignorant? Not the reviewers of this forum, Insha Allah, I assure you!
Debate is always tit for tat...for every stat you or i bring, each will have a counter stat....the truth however doesn't require is self apparent..just like Allah! Whether you believe in Him or not, it is immaterial to His existence!
Furthermore my semitic loving opponent, I would love to see you form two sentences which does not stink of the hatred you feel towards muslims...
In todays day and age, a growing number of modern muslims are thinking and self analysing. Your jibing, insolent and intellectually LACKING comments will and have been ridiculed on this forum. Funny, by muslims and non-muslim alike... are a dinosaur of the 60's, with your self righteous, head in the sand way of thinking..
iviews allows anti muslim comments posted by your prehistoric hind! So why should it not allow ppl of the anti jewish kind...I think you would call this 'Freedom of Speech' but then again i am, as YOU would say, just an ignorant muslim!
iviews (and ALL the ppl(inc John)of this forum) ...keep it up! Salaam to all.

JOHN NORMAN: If you care to examine my post (no. 10867) carefully, you'll note that I was replying to Sam Hill. Thus, your posts(10906 & 10908) should be addressed to to me, and not to Sam Hill.

Anyway, on your post 10906 you accuse my sister-in-law and I as being anti-semitics. I apologize if the tone of my post appeared as an attempt to arouse an anti-semitic sentiment; it wasn't my intention. As the matter-of-fact, my brother and sister-in-law own an apartment (flats) one of which they gladly rented out to an Orthodox Jewish family so that they could live near the Temple and other members of the congregation.

However, I had to to respond to Sam Hill's post because, like some of the many ignorant, Rambo- mentalitied Americans, he posted views that are offensive to Muslims (how could've Iview permitted it? I wonder) saying: "I hope the Jews kick your..."

What came to my mind, at the time, was, "why are Jews always getting away with it???" "It's because they know how to,..." and my sister-in-law's conversation came to mind as a classic example. Did my sister-in-law make this up? I doubt it because she was only mentioning it within the family, and not broadcasting it to the public. Well, I "broadcasted" it here to present to the Sam Hills of this site a more balanced view.

As to why she hasn't reported it to her superiors (post 10908)? I don't know. I do know that most of her superiors are Jews, and she has enough trouble just keeping up with the demands of the job and getting by the office politics. As for me, I don't know details. i.e. the names, loan numbers, etc. to refer to.


Self-determination; Self-Rule! Palestine, East Turkistan, Uzbekistan, Chechnya, Tataristan, Amuria, Iraq, Lebanon, Golan Hights, Afghanistan, Northen Cypress, Novi Sad, Angola, Tibet! Need I say more? Muslims and all faithful to Allah stand united against occupation of your land! Fight justly and fear transgression, for Allah dislikes ones who transgress! Human Pride! Salam Please visit:

Perhaps you don't know that it was Zionist extremists who started blowing up buses full of women and kids in the 30s.

Oh and this is the 'generous offer' Bill Clinton tried to push on the Palestinians:


1948 (May)
With Britain out of Palestine, the Jews proclaim the area as the Jewish state of Israel. Arab armies invade
Zionist colonies and reclaim some Palestinian villages. The Arab state of Palestine is split into
three parts: some is taken and incorporated into Israel; the Gaza Strip is held and governed by Egypt;
and the West Bank of the Jordan River is held by Jordan. The UN had proposed that Jerusalem and other
holy places become an internationally governed entity. During the fighting, Jerusalem was divided into
Israeli West and Jordanian East.

Members of the Irgun and Haganah Zionist military organizations detonate car bombs, shell and destroy
Palestinian villages and neighborhoods, and build large weapons arsenals. Palestinian irregulars strike
back but cannot match Zionist resources and organization.

Irgun and Stern Gang massacre 245 Palestinian inhabitants of Deir Yassin, a village near Jerusalem.

Over 725,000 Palestinians are driven out of their homeland or flee the fighting that accompanied the
establishment of Israel. By 1950, more than one million Palestinians live in UN-supported refugee
camps in Gaza, West Bank, Lebanon, and Jordan.

To all the Zionists (and who ever else wishes)who are currently trawling this site to attack every anti jewish the article on the below URL and WEEP!!!

John Norman: you make me laugh...

conspiracy theories? you upstart....your ignorance is only matched by your hatred for the muslims, which I might add is what possibly blinds you.

if the muslims find any Jew or non Jew for that matter not believing the funding received by Israel pls do forward this URL. It is not absolute proof but it will sure put the fly in the ointment!

As to Solomon: your grasp of histroy is slight. Have you heard of yathrib? what did the jews of that city do? were they conquered? what happened to the original jews of Israel, pre-Islam or for that matter post Islam? what is the ARAB jewish population of israel? is it their ancestors who owned the land which was 'bought' from the arabs in the late forties to create Israel? did all the arabs who were forced out of their homes paid? are you familiar with the exodus of the Iraqi Jews? name me a single nation who was prepared to house the jewsih ppl after WWII despite having suffered so badly? you ignorant Ham! Understanding of Middle east history? you dont even want to go there...

Mi:, another antisemite. From under what rock did you crawl? Is this the small amount of intelligence your parents left you? A French intellectual once called anitisemitism "the socialism of fools". Any reasonable, rational member of the human race must reject your gibberish. The only people who will applaud you are the usual suspects: tradtional, church-based antisemites, unreconstructed extreme left wingers, communists, trotskyites etc and fascists and nazis who weren't cleaned up after the Second World War. And we shouldn't leave out today's Islamo-fascists. Which group are you proud to belong to? Name your poisonous friends.

Sam Hill: following my last post, would you care to give us the name of the bank that employs your sister-in-law. I'm sure that they would be interested in investigating such financial shennanigans. You might like to take your courage in both hands and inform the bank yourself. It only needs a letter to the CEO. Of course, you won't: rather smear a group of poeple than show that you have anything between your ears and anything in your mind apart from mindless bigotry.

Sam Hill: you and your sister-in-law are rank antisemites. It is shameful that iviews allows you to post such outrageous smears.

Israelis* and American* government; you can kill Palestine children; you can destroy their homes and their livelihood. But you can be certain of one thing; your spirit will be broken before theirs starts shaking. You can call them terrorists or anything you want, in fact you can call anybody anything you want, you can categorize any country in the "axis of evil" America you are the only one that believe that, while 90% of the planet believes with certainty that you are the only one who falls in that category.

Israelis = Zionists
American = Washington clowns (anyone who translates this one as the whole nation is a polished idiot).

Peace to all (even to the idiots)

We could go on debating for centuries whether its the Palestinians who initiate the violence or whether their actions are in response to the Israeli violence. As an American, I know one thing. If someone broke into my house, no matter what their intentions, the law allows me to stop that person even if I have to shoot and kill them. Arguing with the jews is like banging your head against a stone wall. There is a reason these people have been kicked out of every region they have ever inhabited. This is a nation that even revolted against their own prophets. The jews complain that they have been persecuted by the Germans, the Russians, the French, the Spaniards, and the Pharaohs. Maybe, its time they realized that the problem is not the Germans, the Russians, or anybody else. Maybe its their own behavior and mischief that draws the wrath of other nations upon the Jews.

SAM HILL: Re your response (Post 10816): "I hope the Jews kick your butt." The Jews are already kicking your butt without you realizing it!

My sister in law works for a large bank in a department that reviews and tries to recover bad loans. She's always observed first-hand that the Jews in her department handshake with their Jewish clients and come to a quick agreement to recover only pennies on a dollar, while the non-Jewish clients aren't given such benefits.

Where do you think the money goes? You're right if you said Israel. And of the losses that the banks get to write off, who do you think ultimately pays for it? You are right, it's the American taxpayers like you and I. Pain in the butt, isn't it????

I think the picture of the Palestinian boys throwing rocks at an Israeli tank pretty adequately sums up the entire situation.

Poeople who bad mouth this article reflect the attitude portrayed by the ID(destruct)F. Of course the palestinians have the right to protect them selves, alike with the Israelis. the difference is that Israel has made it unlawful for the Palestinians to defend themselves, they have taken away their basic right, where are the Palestinian armed forces who are internationally recognised as a army? there isn't one, thats why we have resistance fighters such as Hamas, who oppose the ILLEGAL occupation of their land, they are self defending because they are being attacked by the IDF who are the intial pertpretators who always seem to get away with the murderous rampage


The Palestinians may have the right to defend themselves, but so, too, do the Israelis. And they do it much, much better than do the Palestinians.

i hope the jews kick your ...

This article has no substance,there is a virtual mountain of historical material ignored...You foget the masses have in their homes the internet where they can source facts from propaganda.
Today we have the most powerful nations in history, but the weakest men in charge of them---men who are either stuck in a veritable bog of ignorance or who flounder in a sea of naivete.Your unprincipled coverage of the issue has no doubt convinced those that have no perpective on history in the middle east.Its sad you cannot put your talents to more useful pursuits like reading the holy scripture,may I suggest you commence your study straight away.
Remember "the Holy One of Israel"is in complete control of events. It is He who "deprives the intelligence the chief of the earth's people,and makes them wander in a pathless waste"(Job 12:24 ).And it is He who" brings the counsel of the nations to nothing; He makes the plan of the peoples of no effect" (Psalms 33:10 ) If your not inpressed with those truths...look at the united nations or the powerful nations in the west...have they the answers your looking for ?

To "American": The land you speak of is called Judea ("the land of the Jews"). That has been its name for millennia. It was called Judea for many centuries before the Islamic/Arabic conquests of the 7th century, and it is called Judea even today. So, you tell me, who is in someone else's land?

I agree with the document, the Palestinians do have the right to defend themselves from the Murderous Israeli army. The Israeli goes around and kills innocent people for no reason, and when the Palestinians try to defend themselves, they are labled as "terrorists." So what should the Palestinians do? Just sit around while their brothers and sisters are being murdered left and right, with no exceptable reason? I think that what the Palestinians are doing is justified, and May Allah the all-mighty help them in their fight against the disbeleivers, Ameen!! Asalamu Alaikum WrWb!!

I think the Palestinians have the right to defend themselves. You see the Israeli soldiers all dressed up like they are in the battlefield against kids with rocks. That is all they have. We need to speak up for Palestine... If no one else will. InshaAllah, Palestine will be free again.

To Solomon.
Why are your people in other people land, they wouldn't need to do this. Don't think Israelies are superior people. They just show pretty picture to hide their evil.

While the author makes some insightful points and situates his argument within a useful context, this analysis suffers from failing to address ther Israeli right to self-defense. Without undertaking a comparative study, one is unable to address some of the more problematic and necessary questions surrounding the divisiveness and despairity of Palestinian-Israeli relations.
While I agree that there must be a place for Palestinian self-defence in the face of harsh military aggression, I believe the limits of such action can only be deciphered by taking into account the vulnerabilities of all peoples involved in this conflict. Social dynamics on the ground and in the psychological realm are far too interwined to not focus upon their mutually influential relationship.

The Palentians, old or young, have the right to defend their self against anyone who tries to destroy their homes and lives. Who doesn't? Just as Israel has the right to defend herself, Palistine does too. It is high time that Israel let go. Just like other Arab states had violated the UN resolutions, Israel too is violating UN resulutions. I dont't hear many people talk about that. Just as those terrorist groups, so called freedom fighters kill innocent Israels, the IDF(Israeli Defence forces) has killed innocent Palentinians. So, the IDF can be compared to those terrorist groups, and those terrorist groups can be compared to the IDF. The only difference is the type of weapons used. But I must say, suicide is the most horrific of all. Just as shooting state of the art weapons on innocent, unarmed people is.
Well this is all I have to say.

The Palestinians initiated the violence of the current Intifada a few months after Arafat walked away from Barak's offer at Camp David(without providing a counter-offer). Thus the Palestinians are not engaged in self-defense but rather in the opposite, aggression. They made the conscious decision to abandon peaceful negotiations and return to armed conflict. Israel, in responding to this agression, is engaged in self-defense. The Palestinians may not like the fact that Israel defends itself against Palestinian terror (of course, they would prefer Israel to roll over and die) but then they should not have launched the Intifada in the first place.
What sort of warped logic allows the author to deny Israel the legitimate right to defend itself from the scourge of suicide bombings? The IDF entered Jenin to attack the terror groups operating from there, after a particularly deadly serious of suicide bombings. Whether the terrorists in Jenin shoot back or not doesn't determine their status as terrorists. That status was determined by their involvement in the planning and execution of suicide bombings.
When will the Palestinians learn that if they don't like the consequences of wars, they shouldn't initiate them?

I thank Ramzy Baroud for pointing out that Article 51 of the UN Charter allows sovereign States, including Israel, the right to defend themselves. This would, of course, justify Israel's right to defend itself against Arab wars of aggression in 1948, 1956, 1967, 1973 and 1982, whether these wars were carried out by Arab States or Arab terrorist organisations, aided and abetted by Arab States, or encouraged and subsidised by Arab States.

When the Arab States and the Palestinians finally recognise that they have flouted the will of the international community since 1947 by attempting to destroy a member of the UN, they will ghave taken a large step towards restoring peace in the area,