Author Archives: G. Daniel Cohen

About G. Daniel Cohen

Associate professor of history at Rice University. His first book, In War's Wake: Europe's Displaced Persons in the Postwar Order (Oxford, 2012), shows how the problem posed by the "last million" of Jewish and non-Jewish refugees from World War II affected the ideology and methods of modern humanitarian interventions, the rise of a human rights system, the organization of international migration, and the advent of Jewish nationhood. He is currently completing a book on philo-Semitism in the West after 1945, as well as a college-level textbook on "histories" of human rights from abolitionism to the present.

Elusive Neutrality: Christian Humanitarianism and the Question of Palestine, 1948–1967

This article examines the history of Protestant humanitarian interventions on behalf of Palestinian refugees between 1948 and 1967. Deeply concerned with Arab suffering, Protestant churches organized under the World Council of Churches were also theologically committed to a new “Christian approach to the Jews” in the aftermath of the Holocaust. Commitment to neutrality, however, could not keep politics at bay. Indeed, the hallmark of Protestant humanitarianism in the Middle East was a permanent struggle between claims of justice and impartial benevolence, universal human rights and Christian Zionism, empathy for Palestinian victimhood and identification with Jews as symbols of historical injustice. Continue reading →