Secret aid worker: development in Palestine is hostage to politics

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Is development work futile in the West Bank? Should aid workers instead focus entirely on lobbying politicians at home to pressure Israel to end the occupation?

Like many young development fanatics, making a difference on the ground in an exciting foreign country was what drove me into this career, so naturally I couldn’t believe my luck when I landed a job with a big development organisation in Palestine almost straight out of university. It felt like my opportunity to contribute to overcoming one of the world’s most infamous, protracted and long-running conflicts. Yet after a few months on the job I can’t help but feel like I could have made more of a difference if I’d just stayed at home.

Related: USAid in Palestine: ‘It’s not about solving the world’s problems but people’s daily ones’

Related: Palestine field post: ‘I am not your normal human rights campaigner’

Related: Secret aid worker: why I hide my Israeli identity

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