Is It Time to Reform International Aid to Palestine?
Recorded Tuesday, October 6th
Inès Abdel Razek (Palestine Institute for Public Diplomacy)
Zayne Abudaka (Economist and Private-Sector Development Specialist)
Dr. Alaa Tartir (Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva)
Lara Friedman (FMEP)
Since the outset of the Oslo peace process, the Palestinian Authority and Palestinians living under Israeli occupation have relied on significant financial and humanitarian support from the international community. In parallel, that same international community has continually promised but consistently failed to produce the kind of political support required for the development of an independent Palestinian economy without which the Palestinians will be forced to be forever reliant on international charity.
With the Oslo process dead and the political horizon for a negotiated solution that ends the occupation a distant memory, has the time come to reform international aid? And if this is the case, how can it be reformed to reflect the urgency of building a sustainable Palestinian economy that is not controlled by or dependent on Israel? And given the asymmetry of power on the ground — with Palestinians deprived of control over land, natural resources, planning, or borders, and facing ongoing violations of their human rights — what must change to ensure that international aid no longer functions as a de facto mechanism facilitating the continuation and entrenchment of a status quo defined by Israel and its occupation policies?
To discuss these questions and broader dynamics related to international aid and possibilities for reform, join Lara Friedman, president of FMEP, in conversation with Inès Abdel Razek, the Advocacy Director of the Palestine Institute for Public Diplomacy, Zayne Abudaka, an economist and private sector development specialist, and Dr. Alaa Tartir, Researcher and Academic Coordinator at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva.
Inès Abdel Razek is the Advocacy Director of the Palestine Institute for Public Diplomacy, a Palestinian non-governmental organization based in Ramallah. Prior to joining the PIPD in 2019, Inès has held advisory positions in the Union for the Mediterranean in Barcelona and the UN Environment Programme in Nairobi, developing multilateral programmes and partnerships for sustainable development both at the global level and in the mediterranean region. Inès then worked for a year at the Palestinian Prime Minister’s Office in Ramallah, advising on the planning and coordination of international aid to Palestine. Inès is also an Advisory board member of the social enterprise BuildPalestine. Inès holds a Master’s degree in Public Affairs from Sciences-Po, Paris. Twitter: @InesAbdelrazek
Zayne Abudaka is an economist and private-sector development specialist. He provides strategic support to several projects in Palestine, with a focus on agriculture, technology and social impact investment. Zayne regularly contributes to publications on the Palestinian economy and the role of technology in Palestinian economic development. He is also a Trustee of the Palestine Institute for Public Diplomacy. Zayne holds an MA in Economics from the University of Edinburgh. Twitter: @z_dgga
Dr. Alaa Tartir is a Researcher and Academic Coordinator at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva, a Global Fellow at The Peace Research Institute Oslo, and Program and Policy Advisor to Al-Shabaka, the Palestinian Policy Network. Alaa’s publications can be accessed at www.alaatartir.com. Twitter: @alaatartir
Lara Friedman is the president of FMEP and a former U.S. Foreign Service Officer. With more than 25 years working in the Middle East foreign policy arena, Friedman is a leading authority on U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East, with particular expertise on the Israeli-Arab conflict, Israeli settlements, Jerusalem, and the role of the U.S. Congress. She is published widely in the U.S. and international press and is regularly consulted by members of Congress and their staffs, by Washington-based diplomats, by policy-makers in capitals around the world, and by journalists in the U.S. and abroad.
Additional resources panelists discussed in the webinar include:
“International Aid to Palestine: Time to Change Course” by Dr. Alaa Tartir
“Aid has been used as a tool to cripple the Palestinians – it’s time we took back control” by Dr. Alaa Tartir
A collection of Dr. Alaa Tartir’s work on aid
Focus on: International Aid to Palestine, Al Shabaka
International Assistance to the Palestinians after Oslo: Political Guilt, Wasted Money, by Anne Le More