Degree Name

MA in Intercultural Service, Leadership, and Management

First Advisor

Tatsushi Arai


Palestinians living in the occupied Palestinian territories (oPt) are among the top recipients of Official Development Assistance (ODA) per capita in the world. Since 1993, an exceptional proportion of aid to the Palestinians has come from the United States of America. Despite this flow of aid, the situation in the West Bank and Gaza post-Oslo has become more economically unstable and accompanying indicators in health, employment, and education have stagnated. Given this contradiction, what can we learn about the occupation of Palestine by exploring the contradiction between the stagnation of social indicators, the ‘de-development’ of the economy and the increase in restrictions on freedom of movement in the West Bank and Gaza despite the substantial flow of aid, particularly from USAID?

Using a historical material analysis this paper addresses the above question through relevant literature, on the ground interviews conducted in the West Bank in December of 2009 and a case study of the Jalama Checkpoint. Ultimately, it is the analysis of the author that the United States is intimately involved in shaping a new stage of the occupation of Palestine, one governed by the logic of neoliberal capitalism. Since 2007, United States ODA to the oPt has changed in form and function and the result has been a more elegant realignment of aid with neoliberal ideology. Aid priorities now reflect more clearly the dominant world system of neoliberal capitalism with its focus on private business interests, free markets, export orientated production, and finance capital.


Growth and Development | Infrastructure | International Economics | Organizations Law | Peace and Conflict Studies | Politics and Social Change