Trending Topics:

Another interview on Israeli TV

on 59 Comments

In February I received an email from an Israeli TV editor and Ethiopian civil rights activist working for Channel 10, a mainstream Israeli TV outlet. He was working on a short documentary series exploring the Palestinian struggle and those who express solidarity with Palestinians. He wanted to interview me particularly around the issue of boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) to challenge “the Israeli media’s coverage of the Palestinian struggle.” He stated that Channel 10 sometimes airs reports that “fall outside of the mainstream consensus.” He was planning to speak with students from J Street and Noam Chomsky (pronounced with a guttural “ch”) as well. I decided to take a chance.

I was intrigued by the opportunity to speak directly to Israelis (despite my attack interview on Channel 2 a few months earlier) and soon found myself sitting in my kitchen, talking with his partner Omri, as the cameraman circled around us. The series aired last week, opening with a blond newscaster talking about American Jewry, the growing BDS movement, and the threat to the relationship between the US and Israel. Standing on a bridge over the Charles River, Omri reflected on those “between the hammer and the anvil,” liberal Jews who support minority rights and demands for equality and freedom, who choke on the Israeli occupation and increasingly turn their backs on the country they once loved. This was followed by a series of thoughtful as well as agonized comments from Chomsky, a UCLA professor, Miko Peled, students from J Street, Jewish Voice for Peace, and Students for Justice in Palestine, highlighting (with a dab of ominous music) the loss of “religious glue” and undying support for Israeli policy in view of the ongoing occupation of Palestinian territories and the varying levels of support and discomfort with BDS. There was one campus event of the Israeli brainwashing/hasbara variety led by a woman who post-IDF enlisted in her most important Zionist mission, connecting the young generation of American Jews to their community and to the State of Israel. The voiceover noted that her efforts were failing to stop support for BDS. Omri expressed concern that the BDS movement was using unwitting Jews to promote anti-Semitism.

Soon the camera panned to my front porch and walked into my kitchen. Refreshingly, Omri let me talk without much interruption and I elaborated on the clash between progressive Jewish values and history in the US and the indefensible occupation and the humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza that I had personally witnessed in 2015 and on annual visits since 2004. I explained that BDS is a response to Israeli policy, growing racism in the society, and the death of a functional peace movement. I explained that the core issue is that Israel is the last colonial project in a post-colonial age, that having a country symbolized by a tank with Star of David is dangerous for Israelis (Jews and Palestinians) as well as our respective Diasporas.

The narrator ended the episode reflecting on the changes between older Zionist families and their children and grandchildren and expressed astonishment that there appeared to be a connection between blacks and minorities in the US and Palestinians. Who would believe this could happen? Perhaps this is the new audacious cool thing to do? As usual, Israelis were described more as passive victims than active participants in whatever was happening. So maybe Omri didn’t really get it, which is of course why I support the strategy of BDS.

As soon as the piece aired, the hate mail from Israeli viewers appeared on my Facebook page.

• There was the, we are always living in the next Holocaust variety: “…you are no more than a Jew living on borrowed time. But remember that All your activities against your own people might, in the best situation, give you a better seat on the train.”
• The complete ignorance of Middle East history, the Nakba, occupation, Muslims: “it is sad to say how misinformed you are. Have you ever asked yourself why there are no Jews living in Muslim countries, or why there are no Jews in the Palestinian government? How about the fact that a Jew can never be treated in a Palestinian hospital, when the reverse isn’t true in Israel? It’d be ironic if an angry Muslim killed you.”
• Taunting: “You are as ugly on the outside as you are on the inside, you are one vile looking creature. Only god knows why you were put on this earth, what purpose might an ugly looking “woman” like yourself be doing on earth.” “I would tell you to get raped by 10000 Arabs, but you would probably enjoy that….guaranteed you are not married, you vile woman.”
• Self-hating Jew: “I was shocked how misinformed you were about the reality of what is happening here in Israel. I haven’t come across such ignorance in a long time and in order that you don’t continue to embarrass yourself, your family and the Jewish community around you, I suggest that you get some serious education about Israel and Israeli history and learn some of the basics regarding the Arab Israeli conflict. If you are not up for doing this then perhaps you should just convert to Islam as you are an embarrassment to the Jewish people with your antisemitic remarks you are obviously a self-hating Jew with a lot of hidden anger.”
• Paranoid rant: “I just watch u on the Israeli news I disgusted by ur work and what u represent. We are in Israel don’t need ur money and ur trees. Shame on u. I lived in the USA for 14 years. As a Jew I couldn’t live safely no where in the world if Israel wasn’t excited. [sic] I’m sure ur family were in the holocaust my too, they died for them been Jewish and they wouldn’t b dead if we had a country like Israel. Shame. On u!!

At least this time there were no death threats.

Two emails from more civilized agonized liberal Israelis wanted to engage in dialogue and discussion of constructive ideas. One wrote of wanting to change the situation like two good neighbors, “but my greatest fear is the definition of Israel as an apartheid state and the consequences that ultimately will come upon us and that will take generations to repair them.” This Israeli wanted to sit down and talk, “Despite all our shortcomings, we are still a democracy and should be the way to change the discourse in society and abroad to promote the solution.” He feared the boycott and the “economic and psychological destruction of citizens.”

The second emailer identified as a member of “the Israeli Peace Camp” and agreed that the “government’s policy is both morally wrong and suicidal, but supporting the BDS is not the answer. You say there is no Israeli Left, no peace camp. This is not true. as the last election showed. Almost a half – unfortunately not more than that – voted for parties identified with the peace camp. The realities of Israeli coalition politics mean that their influence is not felt sufficiently.” She cited the active groups like Peace Now, Tag Meir, ACRI who “build bridges and promote coexistence…Why not try to support them if you care what happens to those of us in Israel who love our country and understand that the occupation is destroying it, and care deeply about human rights?” She talked about how hard BDS is on the Israeli left and “victims” of the academic and cultural boycott who “are almost always identified with the peace camp. Arguing against the occupation, we are told by the Israeli Right that we are aiding those who deny Israel’s right to exist, which is not our aim.” She also took issue with the symbol of Israel as a tank with the Star of David. “I do not know where you got this idea. It is totally false. The symbol of Israel is a menorah surrounded by olive leaves.”

So, here is my response to my cousins in the Levant. I know that the US and the American Jewish community are utterly complicit in the status quo and we have our Trump, Cruz, (and Hillary) supporters and shock radio spouting all sorts of propaganda, talking points, lies, and vicious trash talk. Enough said.

Now to the serious conversation. The let’s be two good neighbors and just talk about this approach ignores the nearly 50 years of unsuccessful dialoguing, the occupier/occupied, power/control dynamic, and the role of US and global military industrial corporations. Dialogue does not work when one of the parties is a highly militarized world power who will only settle for a surrender agreement, where Israeli policy has enforced an increasingly restrictive occupation with arbitrary detention, well documented torture, theft of land and water, continued massive settlement building, etc, etc. Palestinians, (with all of their aspirations, trauma, mistakes, resilience, poetry) are fighting a liberation struggle for their survival, which is inextricably entwined with yours.

During the endless peace process/dialogue, Jewish settlements in territory that is internationally recognized as occupied grew relentlessly and Palestinians were left with apartheid/bantustans while Israeli society moved increasingly anti-democratic and right wing. A poll in the US in 2015 revealed that 47% of Democrats and 1/3 of US citizens think Israel is a racist state. In 2016 only 31% of Americans thought Israel was a democracy, 38% thought Israel was making a sincere effort for peace, 44% thought settlements hurt Israeli security. This is how you look to us. You should not be afraid that Israel is defined as an apartheid state, you should be afraid that Israel IS an apartheid state and that description is used by diplomats, politicians, mainstream Jewish leaders, writers, as well as political activists.

I also find it painfully delusional for Israelis to believe “We are still a democracy.” By definition a democracy is a state of equal citizens, or more honestly, a state that strives for universal equality of its citizens, as democracy is actually a constant work in progress. But in Israel, Jewish privilege is institutionalized in the legal system, housing, opportunity, universities, hospitals. How do you think it feels to sing Hatikvah when your family was expelled from Jaffa and your history, grief, and yearning is invisible in the educational system and cultural mythos? A democracy maybe for white Ashkenazi Jews and maybe some Jews of color. Maybe.

This is the first I have heard of a living breathing peace camp in a while. Certainly there are excellent humanitarian/civil rights/antimilitary organizations in Israel, under severe attack from the right, and these groups are to be celebrated and supported. That is different from an organized political effort that is struggling with the consequences of Zionism which are the core issues that date back to pre-1948. Until Israelis are willing to confront Jewish exceptionalism, then Jim Crow in Israel, (segregated towns and cities and schools and opportunity), and apartheid everywhere else, will continue. And I missed the blossoming of peace, love and understanding in the last election. Yes, Israel has a parliamentary system and yes small right wing parties have a disproportionate amount of power, but every analysis I have read reveals a society moving to the right. Last I checked, a majority of Israeli Jews supported the soldier who executed the wounded Palestinian lying in the street in Hebron. In the last 15 years, Israeli soldiers have killed more than 5,500 Palestinians and ten foreign nationals (excluding war casualties) and no soldier has been charged with homicide. Amnesty International issued a report in 2013 titled: Trigger-happy: Israel’s use of excessive force in the West Bank. There is a growing number of children who are murdered by Israeli soldiers with little to no provocation. Where are the outcries from the peace camp?

With regard to the academic boycott, some leftist academics may be hurt, but this is a larger struggle focused on institutions. Think about the universities built on destroyed Palestinian villages, the campuses located in Jewish settlements, the huge alliances between the military and security industries and academic departments, the special relationships with US institutions that are well funded efforts at Israeli hasbara. Ask yourself how many Jewish academics are seriously questioning the underpinnings of Jewish exceptionalism, promoting Palestinian scholars in their departments, crying out for their academic peers in the occupied territories who cannot get to work, cannot travel abroad to conferences, cannot get funding for their research. How many of these liberal academics condemn the IDF when it invades Al Quds University or Birzeit wreaking buildings and arresting students?

Lastly, some factual information. The BDS movement does not question Israel’s right to exist, it questions Israel’s right to exist as an occupying force that maintains second class citizenship in ’48 Israel and does not recognize the Nakba and its role in the creation of the Palestinian refugee crisis. So yes, we are calling on Israel to change and this call is growing. Bernie Sanders has shown that it is possible to take note of Palestinian suffering and to put some daylight between himself and Netanyahu, and the sky does not fall. 49% of Democrats support imposing economic sanctions or more serious actions against Israel over settlement construction. This is no longer political suicide, pay attention. And as far as the tank with the Star of David, I am sorry. This iconic reference appears in political cartoons, graphic novels, and it is an easily recognized internationally understood symbol of Israel. The symbol of Israel as a menorah surrounded by olive leaves may be the official photo op, but at this point it feels almost laughable if it were not so tragic.

So brothers and sisters, I am begging you to awaken from your stupor and to see what is happening. You are not passive victims but active participants, as am I. That is why I am part of an international actively anti-occupation, pro-democracy BDS movement. We are doing this because our Palestinian brothers and sisters are asking this of the international community and because we honor the idea of equal rights and justice which are ironically beautifully described in your Declaration of Independence. Check it out, you might learn something.

“The State of Israel will be open for Jewish immigration and for the Ingathering of the Exiles; it will foster the development of the country for the benefit of all its inhabitants; it will be based on freedom, justice and peace as envisaged by the prophets of Israel; it will ensure complete equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants irrespective of religion, race or sex; it will guarantee freedom of religion, conscience, language, education and culture; it will safeguard the Holy Places of all religions; and it will be faithful to the principles of the Charter of the United Nations.”

This post first appeared at Alice Rothchild’s site.

Alice Rothchild

Alice Rothchild is a physician, author, and filmmaker who has focused her interest in human rights and social justice on the Israel/Palestine conflict since 1997. She practiced ob-gyn for almost 40 years. Until her retirement she served as Assistant Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Harvard Medical School. She writes and lectures widely, is the author of Broken Promises, Broken Dreams: Stories of Jewish and Palestinian Trauma and Resilience, On the Brink: Israel and Palestine on the Eve of the 2014 Gaza Invasion, and Condition Critical: Life and Death in Israel/Palestine. She directed a documentary film, Voices Across the Divide and is active in Jewish Voice for Peace. Follow her at @alicerothchild

Other posts by .

Posted In:

59 Responses

  1. Citizen on April 23, 2016, 1:23 pm

    So how’s Campaign Hillary’s Jewish Outreach appointee being heralded in Tel Aviv?

  2. Ossinev on April 23, 2016, 2:08 pm

    Alice is indeed a bright light in a sea of darkness and it is sad to sense her despair in the face of what has happened to the country which she obviously once believed would be a “Light unto the Nations” but instead has become an ugly stain on humanity. This despair is also in evidence in the linked article on her website relating to the execution of the defenceless Palestinian whose killer has become a national hero in JSIL.

    Unfortunately Alice your pleas for your co – religionists in JSIL to step back from the brink will be in vain. JSIL has in recent years stormed down the single apartheid state cul de sac and the return exit is irreversibly closed. The nascent BDS movement at this moment in time will be seen with hindsight to be little more than a minor irritation compared with the South African level BDS scenario to come.


  3. annie on April 23, 2016, 2:53 pm

    thank you so much Alice Rothchild for this brilliant article. i strongly urge everyone to open the link to the link to the current channel 10 interview

    rothchild comes on at 7 minutes, but the others interviews of american jews are really good too.

    • Rooster on April 23, 2016, 3:56 pm

      Agreed, Annie, re: whole interview is a worthwhile watch.

      Alice, I am in awe of your bravery. Clarity of moral vision enables a wonderful eloquence, and the truth in your message resonates.

      I actually found the most interesting moment in the entire segment was when the interviewer questioned Alice’s observation that “boycott” is non-violent.

      “Boycott is nonviolent?” he questioned. And I was amazed at the disconnect I had just heard.


      I found the direction curious as well, focusing on Alice’s hands frequently. Was it to create the false impression of a fidgety lack of assuredness? More likely, that directorial decision was due to a subconscious sense of the inability to look a righteous accuser in the eye for a prolonged period of time.

      During the initial portion of the segment, I found the young male student’s response when asked about Hamas also remarkable, frank, and brave in its forthrightness.

      Thanks for the article.

      • MHughes976 on April 23, 2016, 4:16 pm

        It’s indeed courageous to expose oneself to a vicious hate campaign. I think we’ve encountered the argument here that boycotts are violent because they are an aspect of the Palestinian campaign, which is in part violent. Even though the truth is that there is a campaign afoot in which both sides use violence,,one overwhelmingly more than the other, and boycotts involve no physical force in themselves and are in part a protest against the massive and disproportionate violence we see.

      • annie on April 23, 2016, 4:45 pm

        I actually found the most interesting moment in the entire segment was when the interviewer questioned Alice’s observation that “boycott” is non-violent. – See more at:

        i know rooster, amazing! and the young students response too, fantastic and totally logical.

      • annie on April 24, 2016, 1:14 pm

        rooster, about the students reference to hamas, in an earlier article (titled “let liberal jews weep for their dream of israel, and move on” ) a student ask rothchild why she didn’t condemn hamas, i thought her response was equally forthright:

      • Lillian Rosengarten on April 25, 2016, 8:04 pm

        Dear M Hughes976, You are mistaken . There is only one side, that is Israel, the occupier , the check points, lack of water, infestation of sewage, demolition of houses, cruel army that kills and imprisons without charge. There is no other side for Palestinians who have had their rights taken away as well as their land. Do not forget the missiles in Gaza that drop white phosphorus and other deadly chemicals. Do not forget the cruel army that has learned Palestinians are sub human and should all die. To say there are 2 sides is completely erroneous and that is why I speak out. BDS is a non violent form of resistance. The occupation must end.

      • MHughes976 on April 26, 2016, 4:24 am

        I don’t think that Palestinian use of violence has been or now is nil, though it’s also true that they have shown great restraint. I was saying that to call boycotts violent because they favour the Palestinian cause when they are clearly a protest against the overwhelmingly greater violence – and daily cruelty, as you say – on the Israeli side is misleading and absurd, to put things mildly. I don’t think that we have much disagreement about that.

    • Kathleen on April 24, 2016, 11:46 am

      I was taken by what the young man said about a 3 year old Palestinian child throwing rocks at an Israeli tank coming to destroy the child’s family home. Powerful…

      Would like to ask Alice what kept her from speaking out earlier than 2004? She is clearly a bright woman and had access to writings by Edward Said, Barghouti etc about the horrific conditions Palestinians were dealt by the apartheid government of Israel. We know that complicity by Jews and others protected Israel from facing themselves and the human rights abuses that have been taking place for decades. What was it that made her choose to help keep the lid on this disastrous and criminal situation? Chosen ignorance, fear, denial…what?

      Clearly what Alice is doing to educate people about the facts on the ground is honorable. Although the need to claim that Jews are heading many of the boycott movements is odd. Better to acknowledge that many Palestinians have been working hard for decades to educate the world about that crisis. Now more than ever before Jews are joining those righteous efforts.

    • Lillian Rosengarten on April 25, 2016, 1:30 pm

      Alice, you are engaging in truth to power. We must continue to resist and your interview is a testament to your courage and strength. When I was vilified in Germany during my speaking tour “A Jew Against Zionism” a scathing piece was written about me in the J Post.(9/6/15) leaked by Zionist German Jews. The comments also were filled with hate i.e.” you should have died in the gas chambers” and worse. With the help of my friends who resist, I drew courage to push on beyond the taunts and lies. Clearly your courage and dedication has tremendous significance in helping to bring an end to the brutal occupation. You are an inspiration!

  4. MHughes976 on April 23, 2016, 3:48 pm

    I agree that people who claim to be part of a living and breathing movement for peace and justice but who say that peace and justice need certainly not come at the expense of their brilliant academic or other careers need to ask themselves some further questions. I’m sure it’s true that Israeli academia is far from ‘questioning the underpinnings’ but is rather shoring them up. However, the article seems to say that acknowledgement of the Nakba plus full civil rights for non-Jewish Israelis will be enough without further redress. The approving quotation of that Declaration, a fig leaf over the Nakba, is quite distrurbing.

    • annie on April 23, 2016, 5:28 pm

      the article seems to say that acknowledgement of the Nakba plus full civil rights for non-Jewish Israelis will be enough without further redress.

      could you please cite where it seems to say this? she referenced the occupation 7 times, and anti-occupation once. so it seems the scope of redress goes beyond “acknowledgement of the Nakba plus full civil rights for non-Jewish Israelis” there are a lot of palestinians who are not israeli.

      The approving quotation of that Declaration, a fig leaf over the Nakba, is quite distrurbing

      what i find disturbing is how discordant it is with reality. but i think that was her point. i don’t think things would be as they are today had a policy of “complete equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants irrespective of religion, race or sex; guarantee[ing] freedom of religion, conscience, language, education and culture; safeguard the Holy Places of all religions; and it will be faithful to the principles of the Charter of the United Nations” been in place since ’47-’48.

      • MHughes976 on April 23, 2016, 6:14 pm

        I took the call for an and to the Jim Crow-like situation as a call for civil rights for non-Jewish Israelis, apply the analogy of the American civil rights movement, and ‘occupation’ to mean what it normally does, ie what goes on in WB/Gaza. I noted the reference to second class citizenship but there wasn’t much emphasis on extension of citizenship to non-citizen residents, though that is implied (still not emphasised) by ‘all inhabitants’ in the Declaration. Recognition of the Nakba and the refugee crisis are not the same as even partial recognition of a right of return. To end the occupation is not in itself to end a screamingly unfair division of territory.
        The Declaration may contain some beautiful, though not very original, phrases. The aura of prophetic sanctity is not genuine. Overall it is not beautiful at all,,but paradoxical even to the point of ugliness,, encompassing unshared immigration rights for some and the violent exclusion of others, presumably because they had fled a war zone and were thus not inhabitants. I accept that the article makes many highly valid points but it isn’t to my sense a beautiful statement. Mind you, when have I ever said anything beautifully?

      • MHughes976 on April 23, 2016, 6:37 pm

        I’m sorry I didn’t apologise appropriately for the obvious inadequacy of my first comment which did not acknowledge Alice’s many references to the occupation. Health problems at home!

      • Mooser on April 23, 2016, 10:50 pm

        …at home!”

        Best wishes, and hopes for regained wellness to you and yours, “MHughes976”.

  5. ritzl on April 23, 2016, 4:28 pm

    Great article. Comprehensive.

    PS. Nobody knows what territories you’re talking about nor do they know who is occupying them. Occupied Palestine solves that problem and educates readers in two words.

    Much Israel-induced ignorance on this matter:

    • annie on April 23, 2016, 4:50 pm

      Nobody knows what territories you’re talking about

      hm, i think “the ongoing occupation of Palestinian territories” is fairly clear.

      nor do they know who is occupying them

      she used the term “Israeli occupation”. i like and use the term occupied palestine, but i’m not sure the best way to promote the use of it is to imply others are necessarily unclear if they don’t use it. plus, the term “Occupied Palestine” does not explain who occupies palestine either.

      • echinococcus on April 23, 2016, 4:58 pm

        The ongoing occupation of which territories, since when? 11/47, 48, 67?

      • annie on April 23, 2016, 5:10 pm

        echin, i think it’s fair to conclude rothchild’s reference to “complete ignorance of Middle East history, the Nakba, occupation, Muslims” was not, in fact, a complete history of the Middle East, the Nakba, the occupation, or Muslims. but for a fuller understanding of her meaning why not just ask her? you can contact her on twitter @AliceRothchild or perhaps read one of her books which may address issues not included in this short article.

      • echinococcus on April 24, 2016, 3:01 am


        I did read her and listen to her, I have an educated guess as to what she means, but a more public discussion is needed and that’s why the question was asked.

      • annie on April 24, 2016, 6:40 am

        regardless of your “educated guess” as to rothchild’s meanings (and/or motives) , if you think “a more public discussion is needed” why not just spill your beans?

      • echinococcus on April 24, 2016, 1:37 pm

        I did, and keep doing it. Anyone talking about “occupation” has to make clear if they consider any part of Palestine NOT to be illegitimately occupied. In this particular case, I expect that the territories identified as occupied are limited to the post-1967 grab, i.e. the Official Israeli Version.

      • Sibiriak on April 24, 2016, 10:21 pm

        echinococcus: The ongoing occupation of which territories, since when? 11/47, 48, 67?

        In the glossary to her book “Broken Promises, Broken Dreams”, Alice Rothchild adopts the established legal definition of Occupied Palestinian Territory:

        “Occupied Territories: Gaza Strip, West Bank and East Jerusalem, Israel took control of these territories in the 1967 War

        That position, of course, would be consistent with her strong support for the BDS movement which calls for Israel to withdraw from Palestinian territory occupied in 1967 .

        I think you can reasonably assume that she’s not on board with your predicted “Algerian-type solution” brought about by “general war” and “regional conflagration”, nor with the de facto ethnic cleansing of Jewish Zionist invaders after the Zionist entity has been (it is dreamed) militarily defeated and destroyed.

        As a BDS movement supporter, she clearly belongs in your “gross defeatist” category (or she is in fact just another Liberal Zionist whose program, rhetoric aside, is no different “from that of the Kahanes and Goldmans”)

        Surely, this brave, brilliant, fiercely-committed fighter for humanist values needs to be, as you say, “booed out” — loudly and furiously by every self-respecting moral purist on the planet ( who will be assisted, no doubt, by more than a few Zionists and crypto-Zionists.)

        Correct me if I am wrong.

      • annie on April 25, 2016, 12:27 am

        I did, and keep doing it.

        oh, i get it. you want to have that same argument again in this thread even tho it wasn’t addressed in the article.

        Anyone talking about “occupation” has to make clear if they consider any part of Palestine NOT to be illegitimately occupied.

        actually that’s not really true. there are lots of people who can and do talk about “occupation” sans any reference at all how they consider every part of palestine. however, if you’d like to make some rule about what anyone talking about “occupation” has to do, you could start your own blog where you demand compliance. but obviously there are lots discussions and conversations to have sans this reference — life such as it is.

        I expect that the territories identified as occupied are limited to the post-1967 grab, i.e. the Official Israeli Version.

        hmm, i thought ” the Official Israeli Version” denied the occupied palestinian territory as recognized as occupied under international law — was even occupied land. i think they call it ‘disputed’ land — last i heard anyway. and in legal jargon they (‘occupied/disputed) have 2 separate and differing definitions.

        whereas, the legal definition of occupied, under international law, pertains only to what’s legally recognized as occupied, a more common use definition (contrasting with the legal definition) — like when the zionists originally ethnically cleansed 750,000 palestinians from their homes and occupied the land, the nakba (initial phase, it’s ongoing) — one assumes rothchild recognizes that happened. but that doesn’t address your legitimately/ illegitimately concern.

        but she’s likely not going to be commenting in the comment section echin, so if you were serious about her opinion why not just ask her as i suggested before, instead of holding court again in the comment section with your sledge hammer.

      • echinococcus on April 25, 2016, 4:12 am

        That position, of course, would be consistent with her strong support for the BDS movement which calls for Israel to withdraw from Palestinian territory occupied in 1967

        That was a relatively recent change of bylaws (the addition of “in 1967”) operated in silence and without any wide consultation.

        Of course you are wrong, as we are not discussing your theories of peace and general sweetness, but the gross illegality, as per the UN Charter itself and the customary practice of self-determination, of an abusive partition by colonial powers, assigning territory (that was not theirs to give away) to hostile invaders, and the total illegality of conquest.

      • Sibiriak on April 25, 2016, 6:32 am

        echinococcus: That was a relatively recent change of bylaws (the addition of “in 1967”)

        No. The change was made around 2010, some six years ago.

        operated in silence

        No. Everything done openly and published in full view.

        and without any wide consultation

        No. The issue of the meaning of “occupied lands” was openly discussed at the time and the consensus within the BDS movement was that a clarification was needed.

        You’ve been trying to spin this as a Zionist conspiracy, but the simple reality is: BDS does not take a position on whether there should be one or two states in the I/P territory.

        The demand that Israel end its “occupation and colonization of all Arab lands ” (the original wording) could easily be interpreted as call for the end of Israel and the creation of a single Arab Palestinian state. So that wording was changed to reflect BDS’ principled avoidance of the one vs. two state issue. Ending the occupation of “Arab lands occupied in June 1967” does not rule out the subsequent creation of a single state–but it doesn’t demand it.

        Furthermore, a central aspect of the BDS strategy is to embrace a “rights-based” approach founded on international law, and international law recognizes only territory captured in June 1967 as “Occupied Palestinian Territory.” Thus, the revision of the first demand was necessary in order to bring it in line with international law and strengthen the credibility of the “rights-based” strategy.

        Crucially, both Omar Barghouti and Ali Abunimah have stated that the overwhelming majority of Palestinian organizations backing BDS support the goal of two states .

        See Abunimah’s article, “Why do Zionists falsely claim BDS movement opposes two-state solution?”

        [February 2013] […] any informed person would know that the vast majority of organizations represented on the Palestinian Boycott National Committee (BNC) – the movement’s steering group and collective leadership – explicitly support a two-state solution. You can see a list of organizations that currently make up the BNC.

        Omar Barghouti makes this point in his book BDS: The Global Struggle for Palestinian Rights:

        While individual BDS activists and advocates may support diverse political solutions, the BDS movement as such does not adopt any specific formula and steers away from the one-state-versus-two-states debate , focusing instead on universal rights and international law, which constitute the solid foundation of the Palestinian consensus around the campaign.

        Incidentally, most networks, unions, and political parties in the BNC still advocate a two-state solution outside the realm of the BDS movement. (pages 51-52) [emphasis added]

        So, the BDS now and always has:

        1) Taken an “agnostic” position on one vs two states.

        2) Adopted a “rights-based” approach based on international law.

        The official BDS platform embodies that strategy. And it’s been a very successful strategy. All changes to the platform wording have come as a result of open discussion within the BDS community.

        Obviously, that approach is not compatible with your moral purism, so you have resorted to propagating false conspiracy theories.

        [echinococcus:] […]the BDS movement is Zionist-infested, partly Zionist-led…


        BDS is being used for the intended purpose of saving the Zionist entity, by the “liberal” Zionists and the tribals of JVP

        Whenever you have been asked to back up those claims and similar ones, you fall silent. Because you have zero evidence.

      • Sibiriak on April 25, 2016, 6:58 am

        echinococcus: we are not discussing your theories of peace and general sweetness


        Yes, because I have no theory of “peace and general sweetness”, your straw man notwithstanding.

        My position has always been that the “peace process” has been a total fraud from beginning to end.

        My position has always been that Israel will never voluntarily seek any kind of compromise or reasonable solution– Israel will have to be forced to comply with international law.

        My archives are open. My record is clear.

      • Mooser on April 25, 2016, 12:24 pm

        “Echin” the pre-67 lines are not Israel’s ‘Briar Patch’. Zionists will not be taunting us with “Ha ha, this is where we really wanted to be all along!” if they are forced back to it.

        Nope, the pre-67 line is Israel’s ‘tar baby’. They don’t want to touch it.

      • echinococcus on April 25, 2016, 8:51 pm


        BDS does not take a position on whether there should be one or two states in the I/P territory.

        That is very good, agreed without discussion. Recognizing rights by brute force conquest, against the UN Charter, though, is not the same thing as deciding among one or two states.

  6. Mooser on April 23, 2016, 4:32 pm

    Those replies to Ms. Rothchild’s Facebook page still have the power to shock and dismay.

    • Keith on April 24, 2016, 12:03 am

      MOOSER- “Those replies to Ms. Rothchild’s Facebook page still have the power to shock and dismay.”

      Indeed they do. However, they also provide a window into the hearts and totalitarian minds of those we are facing. This is the face of Judeo-Zionist fundamentalism on full display. And Alice Rothchild is hardly the first. Both Israel Shahak and Noam Chomsky have faced as bad or worse.

  7. oldgeezer on April 23, 2016, 4:56 pm

    I really enjoy your writing style. Your article, “A Special Kind of Exile”, was riveting and revealing.

    Thanks for your efforts and for sharing your views.

  8. ritzl on April 23, 2016, 4:57 pm

    Brilliant interview, Dr. Rothchild.

  9. samibedouin on April 23, 2016, 6:54 pm

    Nice words …but finally what this Rotchilds wants? She wants a lovely peaceful “israel” where her fellow jews live happily ever and after … the natives dont want to see her “lovely” israel’ nor any jewish or non-jewish occupier in Palestine !

    • echinococcus on April 24, 2016, 2:39 am


      It looks like your first shot was a better hit than thousands of ours. Let’s see how many pay any attention.

    • Sibiriak on April 25, 2016, 1:40 am

      samibedouin: but finally what this Rotchilds wants? She wants a lovely peaceful “israel” where her fellow jews live happily ever and after…


      That attack is baseless and unfair. Whatever you may think of her political ideas, in her writings and in her work, Alice Rothchild demonstrates a deep and sincere concern for the well-being and happiness of all people, not just “fellow Jews”.

      In fact, she condemns the very kind of Jewish tribalism you suggest she embraces:

      Until Israelis are willing to confront Jewish exceptionalism, then Jim Crow in Israel, (segregated towns and cities and schools and opportunity), and apartheid everywhere else, will continue

      What is to be gained from mischaracterizing her views?

    • Lillian Rosengarten on April 25, 2016, 1:39 pm

      Sami, your words are a painful distortion which has no connection to reality. We who speak out so passionately about ending the brutal occupation are not in favor of a Jewish State only. That can never happen as the outcome of subjugation , stolen land, death and humiliation , racism,lies, and a complete loss of humanity. “Lovely Israel?” A racist nationalist society ?

      • echinococcus on April 25, 2016, 8:58 pm

        Even though you and Ms Rothschild present and defend very lofty ideals (and do fight for them, even put your bodies on the line), the fact remains that there is no distortion or mischaracterization in Sami’s very to-the-point summary. In all the long discussions, one of the never questioned, basic assumptions is that the invaders within human memory get to remain in Palestine.

      • annie on April 25, 2016, 10:25 pm

        the fact remains that there is no distortion or mischaracterization in Sami’s very to-the-point summary. In all the long discussions, one of the never questioned, basic assumptions is that the invaders within human memory get to remain in Palestine.

        while anyone can distort and mischaracterize, it’s also true people can misinterpret or read others words in a way that suits them. for example when samy wrote nor any jewish or non-jewish occupier in Palestine ! i interpreted that to mean no one should be there as an “occupier”/as an invader.

        and in this regard (misinterpreting) i think he was unfair rothchild to interpret her words as he did. for rothchild never spoke of a “lovely israel” she said “we honor the idea of equal rights and justice” in the declaration. and if you read the words relating to “equal rights and justice” they are not those speaking of jewish immigration — which has nothing to do with “the idea of equal rights and justice”.

        sami himself wrote:

        3. Our fight as Palestinians have never ever been against the jews but against the European colonizers who ethnically cleansed us and massacred us out of our homes, in the name of Talmudic heresies.
        4. Jews have been and will be welcomed in Palestine under the Palestinian rule.

        anyway, it’s likely that once equality eventually emerges in palestine (it will, it’s inevitable) there will be an exodus of zionists who can’t or won’t live without their privilege, their supremacist attitudes and positions. but it’s not for you to decide or pontificate “who get[s] to remain” anyway, you’re not palestinian and you can’t speak for them.

      • echinococcus on April 25, 2016, 11:06 pm

        it’s not for you to decide or pontificate “who get[s] to remain” anyway, you’re not palestinian and you can’t speak for them.

        Absolutely correct, Annie. Thank you. Also, single Palestinians or even large Palestinian organizations can of course recommend but not speak for all, either –that’s the job of a large, long-deferred plebiscite.

  10. gamal on April 23, 2016, 7:05 pm

    “perhaps you should just convert to Islam”

    its a Saudi false flag comment, good but they gave themselves away, on the other hand Saudi Israelia does have a ring to it,

    it has been made plain to me via the London Embassy that i can not ever again set foot in Sisi Egypt, thank god I come from Wandsworth. I dont get the joy of belonging or the pleasure of corporate identities, I have no idea what I am and I know that you dont either, I thought Moosers “I have no ancestors” was profound and presume I embarrass everything that breathes rather that than saluting some fucking flag on a stick.

    • Mooser on April 23, 2016, 10:34 pm

      “Moosers “I have no ancestors” was profound “

      “Gamal” we didn’t have a lot of money. Couldn’t afford luxuries.

  11. ahadhaadam on April 23, 2016, 11:14 pm

    It’s not “Jewish exceptionalism” but “Jewish supremacy”. Israel is indeed a Jewish supremacist state.

    Also, the quote from the Declaration of Independence just shows how entirely bogus and propagandist this declaration is, as there is no way that those who wrote it ever intended or could in any way square the circle and create a democracy and a Jewish supremacist state at the same time, when the entire existence of the state depends on denying non-Jewish refugees the right to return and bestowing privileges on Jews.

  12. yourstruly on April 24, 2016, 2:20 am

    Why is the narrator astonished at the connection made in the U.S. between blacks/other minorities and Palestinians?

    Especially since the victim of racist prejudice almost reflexively tends to identify/connect with other victims of racism

    Has he personally never felt the sting of racist insults?

    Yet many people who have never been on the receiving end of racism are able to connect with victims of racism by saying to themselves, “there but for go I.”

    Could it be that he has experienced racism but his capacity to identify/connect with others afflicted by this type of hatred was blunted by life in an apartheid society? After all, even in apartheid South Africa, there were a few Africans who sided with their “masters.”

    Then, of course, there’s always the possibility that personal gain overwhelms one’s better instincts.

  13. echinococcus on April 24, 2016, 2:41 am

    A lot of nice talk. In conclusion, though, all I can hear is “we are in the wrong place but we are staying”. Correct me if I’m wrong.

  14. hophmi on April 24, 2016, 8:25 am

    It’s a reminder of why Alice Rothschild is a marginal figure outside of the BDS cult. When actual Israelis tell her that she hurts the cause of peace by targeting the Israeli peace camp, she brays on about Palestinian universities. She’s also been known to espouse conspiracy theories. One is this nonsense about the symbol of Israel being a tank. I have no clue what she’s talking about, unless she’s referring to the cartoons of the anti-Semitic cartoonist Latuff.

    • MHughes976 on April 24, 2016, 11:39 am

      ‘Rothchild’, I think. Whether she is a scion of the great Rothschilds or has changed her name to make a point I don’t know.

      • annie on April 24, 2016, 12:12 pm

        mhughes, at the beginning of the second paragraph she links to and references an earlier “attack” interview. in it she writes:

        With further translation, I learned that he referred fondly to the Rothschild family who bought land in Mandate Palestine (with the not-so-subtle implication that I am a traitor to the family name, although I can assure you I am not from that family).

  15. Shmuel on April 24, 2016, 10:20 am

    For Jewish Israelis, BDS crosses a red line. It is not only considered highly offensive (and yes, “violent”); it is beyond comprehension. It separates friend (even highly critical friend) from foe.

    Channel 10 is therefore to be commended for a pretty fair piece that could, at the very least, have been edited or editorialised to twist the words and characters of those interviewed, but it wasn’t.

    • Stephen Shenfield on April 24, 2016, 6:57 pm

      Shmuel: You seem to understand Jewish Israelis, perhaps you are one yourself (I don’t know) or at least have close ties with them. So let me ask you some follor-up questions about them.

      Jewish Israelis are humans. Surely, therefore, they have powers of comprehension like other humans. Many of them are highly educated and/or intelligent. What exactly is it that they cannot comprehend and why? Might it perhaps have something to do with their division of the world into friends and foes?

      Also: what forms of effective action to change the situation for the better, apart from talk, would they not consider to be offensive and “violent”?

      And what do the inverted commas mean? Do they recognize that there is a sense in which a boycott is not violent but still consider it violent in some other sense? Or what?

      • Shmuel on April 25, 2016, 3:38 am

        Hi Stephen,

        Yes, I am a Jewish Israeli, and although I no longer live in Israel, my family is still there, I visit often and follow the country very closely.

        What exactly is it that they cannot comprehend and why? Might it perhaps have something to do with their division of the world into friends and foes?

        I think it is a combination of a “for us or agin’ us” attitude and a deep-seated (inculcated) belief that on the whole, despite our small or big faults, we are right and well-intentioned and they (Palestinians, Arabs, etc.) are simply wrong — wrong in their narrative, wrong in their attitudes toward us, wrong in their suspicions and wrong in their methods. I think this also contributes to the “generous offers” approach to peacemaking (i.e. they don’t really deserve it, but we will give them more than they deserve, for the sake of peace, because that’s just who we are),

        We are eminently good and even lovable, and it pisses us off no end when we are painted in any way that conflicts too strongly with our own self-perception (speaking of being human). Hence the necessary preambles to any “acceptable” criticism of Israel: “I love Israel, but …”; “I say this as a friend of Israel …”; or the red line of “denying Israel’s right to exist” (which may be rather pathos-laden, but boils down to accepting our narrative over theirs — because it is the right thing to do). Anything else means that you do not recognise “the justness of our cause” and you are ill-intentioned. I won’t go into the Holocaust or anti-Semitism (in classical Zionist thought or in the later doctrine of “the new anti-Semitism” ), but these are, of course, part and parcel of the above arguments.

        Also: what forms of effective action to change the situation for the better, apart from talk, would they not consider to be offensive and “violent”?

        BDS is hostile, both in deed (seeking to inflict economic and other damage) and in intent (seeking to “wipe Israel off the map”, as it were), and is therefore perceived as violent. I don’t believe there are any forms of effective action that would not be perceived as offensive and violent (including talk), because any opposition to the Israeli narrative is seen as posing an “existential threat”. To quote a relative who once asked me to tone down my public opposition to Israeli policies, “for us, it is a matter of life and death”; and another relative (about BDS): “These people hate us and want to destroy us.”

        And what do the inverted commas mean?

        Perhaps misused. I just find it hard to characterise BDS as violent.

      • Mooser on April 25, 2016, 11:30 am

        “Shmuel” the knowledge that you are always in there, always bargaining, and holding out for the best deal is a comfort to me.

  16. Ossinev on April 24, 2016, 1:56 pm

    Meanwhile the “why do they hate us when we are really the good guys look at what we are doing throughout the world” Israid Hasbara show has grasped the latest disaster opportunity and sprung into action.

    In the midst of all this wonderful worldwide heartfelt charity Palestinian men women and children continue to suffer and die under JSIL`s brutal oppression and occasional savage slaughterfests and this so called “independent ” humanitarian agency is nowhere to be seen or heard.

    I wonder why ?

  17. Vera Gottlieb on April 25, 2016, 10:31 am

    “Self hating Jew”??? And all those Germans who fought against Hitler…self-hating Germans???

    • Stephen Shenfield on April 25, 2016, 5:13 pm

      Vera: Here’s what I found on Metapedia (a German-language internet encyclopedia):

      Kategorie: Selbsthassender Deutscher
      Deutsche, die wissentlich und willentlich Verrat am deutschen Volk und/oder am Deutschen Reich begingen oder begehen.

      Volk und Reich! Am Yisrael chai!

      • Antidote on April 25, 2016, 6:13 pm

        @ Stepehn Shenfield:

        Here is what I found on Wikipedia:

        “Metapedia is an electronic encyclopedia which states that it focuses on European culture, art, science, philosophy and politics. It contains far-right, white nationalist, white supremacist, white separatist, antisemitic, and neo-Nazi[2] points of view.[3][4][5] It was officially launched on 26 October 2006 with the Swedish-language edition.[6][7] The English section was launched on 28 April 2007.[6][8] The Hungarian version has the most articles: 144,189 as of 27 September 2013.”

        That the Hungarians are particularly prolific on this site can hardly surprise anyone familiar with the European right-wing, xenophobic scene. And yes, anti-EU, anti-immigration, “Poland for the Poles”, Ukip, FN and the German AfD are definitely on the rise since the financial crisis brought down Greece, and the recent wave of refugees from the ME, Syria, and Africa followed in its wake.

        It’s not the whole story , though. Certainly not in Germany.

  18. Blake on May 1, 2016, 12:51 pm

    Very mentally disturbed psyche.

Leave a Reply