Humanitarian Danger and Palestinian Life in Gaza
This talk will explore the multiple forms of humanitarian danger that are confronting Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. The massive humanitarian crisis caused by Israeli bombardment and siege of Gaza is a clear danger. The healthcare system has been decimated by attack, starvation is looming as a product of the restriction on entry of food and fuel, the vast majority of the population has been displaced, and a significant portion of its buildings (both public buildings and homes) are destroyed or damaged. It is only possible to understand, and respond to, this overwhelming threat by also understanding how humanitarianization is, and has been, used as a weapon against Palestinians. The talk will situate today’s humanitarian dangers within a longer historical context in which Gazans have repeatedly confronted such dynamics.
Ilana Feldman is Professor of Anthropology, History, and International Affairs at George Washington University. Her research focuses on the Palestinian experience, both inside and outside of historic Palestine, examining practices of government, humanitarianism, policing, displacement, and citizenship. She is the author of Governing Gaza: Bureaucracy, Authority, and the Work of Rule, 1917-67; Police Encounters: Security and Surveillance in Gaza under Egyptian Rule; Life Lived in Relief: Humanitarian Predicaments and Palestinian Refugee Politics; and co-editor (with Miriam Ticktin) of In the Name of Humanity: The Government of Threat and Care.