Should someone start a grassroots campaign for USA to recognise the State of Palestine?

by freedomandutility1 min read11th May 20214 comments

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PolicyArmed conflictGlobal health and development
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Palestine is obviously not a neglected issue, but I'd recommend viewing the cause area here as "getting the USA to officially recognise the State of Palestine", not "ending the Israel-Palestine conflict".

I admittedly am not an aspect on Palestine, but I think starting a grassroots campaign in the USA for the Biden Administration to recognise Palestine could be a good use of an EAs time:

  1. USA recognising Palestine is probably an important tangible step towards reducing the direct and indirect suffering caused by the conflict
  2. There does not seem to be an organised campaign for this in the USA, despite a reasonable number of Americans being 'Palestine supporters'
  3. Because there are enough people who are 'Palestine supporters', an EA would only have to start and initially publicise a campaign like this to organise sentiment into a targeted campaign demanding a tangible policy change, and ongoing involvement would probably not be necessary
  4. Biden has explicitly expressed support for a 2-state solution, so this policy change within the next 4 years seems tractable / viable

I suspect that the scale of the problem is smaller than most other EA cause areas, but when considering the marginal cost of getting such a campaign off the ground compared to spending that additional time and money on some other EA issues, I think it could compare well.

4 comments, sorted by Highlighting new comments since Today at 5:27 PM
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I only saw this post now. We definitely want to look more into the Israel-Palestine conflict in EA Israel. I'm personally a bit skeptical about the potential traceability and neglectedness of this cause in general, and this space is politically hazardous, but I think we may be able to find good opportunities for people in Israel interested in working on this.    

That’s great to hear! I too am quite skeptical about finding many good interventions in this area for the reasons you describe, I think most good interventions here would be along the lines of “improving the efficiency with which resources are being used” rather than “adding more resources”

I don't agree with the current negative score for this post. It might not be particularly tractable, but just on account of its population (circa 13 million), Palestine is both important and has enough scale. Further, thinking about the issue might lead one to come up with tractable ways to influence the Israel-Palestinian conflict, or with high-value actions that a high-ranking US State official might take on other issues.

I'm going to a more detailed post on this when I have time, but I think we should be more stringent in thinking of EA's priority cause areas as problems with cost-effective interventions that are easier to find, and other areas as problems with  cost-effective interventions that are harder to find.

I think some people might have downvoted on the basis of "the Israel-Palestine conflict doesn't seem like it should be a priority EA cause area" (which I'd agree with), rather than "this intervention doesn't seem cost-effective".