Effectiveness of international activists undertaking nonviolent interventions in Palestine and Israel
This research examines the effectiveness of third-party, or "international" activists who participate in nonviolent interventions in the Palestine/Israel conflict. Third-party activists are those who do not claim a primary stake in the conflict (i.e., are not of Palestinian or Israeli descent) and use nonviolent methods. This study poses two questions: are third-party, nonviolent activists effective in the Palestine/Israel conflict, and how so? It seeks to answer these questions by examining literature related to effectiveness criteria of third-party peace workers, through interviews with international activists in Palestine/Israel as well as the Palestinian and Israeli leaders who work with them, and through my own participation and observation in Palestine/Israel. This research found that internationals were effective when they shared an overarching goal (ending Israel's military Occupation of Palestine) and used nonviolent intervention methods in a proactive and strategic manner. Furthermore, this study found internationals are effective when they are able to provide resources and complement the Palestinian nonviolent resistance to the Occupation in a way that serves to empower Palestinians to lead partnerships and coalitions of grassroots groups dedicated to nonviolent methods. This paper concludes that international nonviolent activists are effectively utilizing several nonviolent intervention methods towards meeting their shared goal of ending the Occupation by helping to increase the demand by locals for nonviolent intervention and other peacemaking activities, by increasing the number of people supporting, valuing or working for peace, by decreasing violence, and by facilitating a change in the way people feel, behave, relate and communicate with each other towards building a nonviolent social movement among Palestinians, Israelis and internationals against the Occupation.