Azmi Bishara, the Right of Resistance, and the Palestinian Ordeal
The indictment of Knesset member Azmi Bishara for statements supporting Palestinian resistance activities directly raises the issue of whether the Palestinians enjoy a right of resistance under international law, given the character of Israeli occupation policies. The existence of such a right of resistance has not received much attention, especially the issue of whether the right extends to force and, if so, to what extent. This article affirms a limited such right and argues that its relevance to the Bishara case should lead to the dismissal of criminal charges.
Richard Falk is Albert G. Milbank Professor of International Law and Practice Emeritus at Princeton University and author, most recently, of Human Rights Horizons (2001) and Religion and Human Global Governance (2001). He would like to thank Asli Bali for her valuable research assistance in preparing at his request the study entitled "Legal Memorandum: The Legal/Political Context of the Second Intifada and the Question of a Palestinian Right of Resistance" (January-February 2001 ).