Gaza's Humanitarianism Problem

VOL. 38

2009

No. 3
P. 22
Articles
Gaza's Humanitarianism Problem
ABSTRACT






This essay explores the possible negative consequences of identifying the current situation in Gaza primarily as a humanitarian problem. Scholarship on the complicated effects of humanitarian action in general, the early history of humanitarian intervention in the lives of Palestinians, and the current politics of aid in Gaza all underscore these problems. The essay reflects on several aspects of what can be called the “humanitarianism problem” in Gaza by considering both how humanitarianism is sometimes deployed as a strategy for frustrating Palestinian aspirations and the often unintended political effects of the most well-intentioned humanitarian interventions.


 


Ilana Feldman is an assistant professor of anthropology and international affairs at George Washington University and author of Governing Gaza: Bureaucracy, Authority, and the Work of Rule, 1917–1967 (Duke University Press, 2008).