Identifying the Humanitarian Trap: The American Friends Service Committee’s Perception of its Work With Palestinian Refugees in Gaza, 1948-51
The American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) engaged in humanitarian work with Palestinians in Gaza as the newly formed United Nations took on a leading role in international humanitarian action. This M.A. thesis suggests that the AFSC’s unique aid relationships with Palestinian refugees in Gaza during the late 1940s was ahead of its time in identifying certain pitfalls at the core of the modern practice of humanitarianism. Rather than continuing to provide relief, the AFSC withdrew from Gaza and recognized that the UN-implemented structure of humanitarian aid in Gaza exacerbated the condition of Palestinian displacement and dispossession. Furthermore, they perceived that an unending cycle of humanitarian action was in formation that prevented the right of return against the overwhelming will of Palestinian refugees themselves.
humanitarian, humanitarianism, Gaza, Gaza Strip, Palestinian, refugee, AFSC, Quaker, UN, United Nations, humanitarian trap, history of humanitarianism, modern humanitarians, Palestinian Refugee, Service Committee, Quakers, Quakerism
Master of Arts (M.A.)