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Life Lived in ReliefHumanitarian Predicaments and Palestinian Refugee Politics$
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Ilana Feldman

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780520299627

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520299627.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 17 September 2021

Conflicted Positions

Conflicted Positions

Compromised Action and Suspicious Relations

Chapter:
(p.96) Four Conflicted Positions
Source:
Life Lived in Relief
Author(s):

Ilana Feldman

Publisher:
University of California Press
DOI:10.1525/california/9780520299627.003.0004

This chapter explores tensions in humanitarian relations. These relations contain both suspicion and compassion. Specifically, it considers the complexities of humanitarian subject positions, conflicts over humanitarian obligations, and dilemmas of humanitarian purpose. Some humanitarian workers are internationals; the majority are themselves refugees. Some refugee are paid for their work; others are volunteers. All of these positions are fraught. Providers and refugees also struggle over the nature and limits of humanitarian obligations. UNRWA’s mandate has expanded to include protection, but refugees also want representation. As threats to life recede, but need continues, the purpose of humanitarian action also becomes murky and contested. Humanitarians suggest that coping skills can be a humanitarian good. Recipients question whether bearing up under bad conditions can ever be enough.

Keywords:   suspicion, provider, volunteer, humanitarian purpose, humanitarian obligation, representation, protection

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