These minutes cover a committee meeting held on November 17, 1948 in Philadelphia to address the “Invitation of the United Nations to administer relief to Palestine.” The meeting opened with the reading of a memo by staff member Colin Bell, which laid out the political downsides and the possibility of a public failure, yet still recommends taking the assignment.
Bell’s memo then enumerates 19 points that must be negotiated for AFSC to move forward. These include:
- Aim to have a force of 20 workers in the field by January 1, 1949 who would stay until August , providing “emergency relief without any discrimination except that of human need.”
- The agreement must include reassurance that a solution to vital problem of resettlement is being vigorously pursued.
- Neutrality is assured to all parties and the all-volunteer staff will have Quaker (not U.S.) passports.
- U.N. funds will cover all expenses inside and outside of Palestine.
The adopted Minute states, “We have a deep sense of inadequacy, particularly with respect to providing qualified workers, but after extended discussion we are not able in clear conscience to decline to serve.”