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Bearing witness: a review of Alice Rothchild’s book ‘Condition Critical’

Hatim Kanaaneh on

In her book, “Condition Critical: Life and Death in Israel/Palestine” Dr. Alice Rothchild emotes courage and sincerity to a degree that begs analysis: Who is she addressing and to what end? The book’s title answers the latter of the two interrelated questions: All those who are genuinely concerned with Israel/Palestine should better rush to resuscitate their critically ill charge before it is too late because “the Israeli government is on a suicide mission.” All through her book Dr. Rothchild bears witness to how critical and unjust the condition is.


Alice Rothchild on
"So please tell Dr. Rothchild and her friends not to come to our synagogue."

Alice Rothchild is told never to travel to Vienna, for she will not be welcomed by the Jewish community there. Why? Because she supports the BDS movement, and “Boycott is a form of violence.”

Suicides in Gaza are on the rise

Jewish Voice for Peace Health Advisory Council on

Since 2016, suicide rates in Gaza have been rising, reflecting rising levels of despair and hopelessness in the population, the Guardian reports. Until recently suicide in Gaza had been rare, partly due to strong clan networks, but mostly because killing oneself is forbidden in traditional Muslim societies.

Why medicine is a political act

Jewish Voice for Peace Health Advisory Council on

The JVP Health Advisory Council’s round up of health reports and advisories impacting the lives of Palestinians living under military occupation.

Israel advances death penalty legislation for those carrying out ‘terrorist operations’

Alice Rothchild on

The Israeli Knesset voted earlier this month to amend the penal code in order to remove restriction on judges issuing the death penalty for those involved in murders while carrying out “terrorist operations.” The bill has not been adopted yet. From the monthly report on Palestinian health and human rights from Jewish Voice for Peace.

Israel passes ‘anti-infiltration law’ to speed up the deportation of African refugees

Jonathan Ofir on

On Monday, the Israeli parliament passed an amendment to the ‘Prevention of Infiltration Act’ so that it could continue to coerce African refugees to be deported. In 2011, former Interior Minister Eli Yishai said that the mere presence of the refugees is an “existential threat”, and vowed to defend the “Jewish majority”. This law shows that in the Jewish State Zionism informs each and every detail of Israel’s policy.

Top Israeli official admits that boycotting just the settlements is meaningless

Jonathan Ofir on

Ron Brummer from Israel’s Ministry of Strategic Affairs and Hasbara, recently confirmed that there is no separate economic system for Israel inside the occupation and outside it. “If you want to divest from the West Bank… you have to divest from Israel.” This is clarifying. Liberal Zionists who have supported settlement boycotts only need to choose sides. Are they for freedom or apartheid?

On empathy, Yom Kippur, and the NFL

Alice Rothchild on

Alice Rothchild attended a benefit dinner for the Institute for Middle East Understanding and found it to be a fundraiser, a celebration, a showcase of the active, committed Palestinian community, and also a uniquely Yom Kippur moment. She writes it was an opportunity “to join the celebration of a movement of creative, thoughtful, very visible Palestinians who are building their own powerful voice in U.S. society, linking arms with others in the struggle for justice.”

Ten days of awe: standing with whom?

Alice Rothchild on

During the high holidays, Jews must consider the nature of the state that claims to speak in their name: Political Zionism in practice in Israel has produced a settler colonial state founded on the basis of establishing an Arab free state, where Jewish trauma, aspirations, and history are privileged at the expense of everyone else and this continues to this moment.

Anti-Islamist chic

Philip Weiss on

As Terry Gross’s interview with Muslim reformer Haroon Moghul on Fresh Air yesterday demonstrates, the mainstream media loves anti-Islamists and the war for the soul of Islam. But it maintains a blacklist of anti-Zionists and ignores the war for the soul of Judaism.

A tale of two cities

Alice Rothchild on

Alice Rothchild is invited to give a talk about Israel/Palestine to a New England private school, then disinvited after the administrators view her PowerPoint presentation. A dismayed Rothchild writes, “The tragedy for me is that first there is this framing that there are ‘two sides’ when there are actually many sides, this being a complicated historical time, and that anyone who says, let’s step back and look at the forces of colonialism, ethnic cleansing, explore the narrative of Palestinians, question the framing and dominant paradigms of the Israeli government, AIPAC, Christian Zionism, this person (who is often me) is immediately perceived as causing conflict or needing to be balanced by the ‘other side’.”

Carded at Erez crossing

Alice Rothchild on

What the mainstream press leaves out: January 8 killings in Jerusalem were likely result of a young Palestinian man losing all hope as well as the ability to cope in an increasingly oppressive situation.

Yes, this is really apartheid

Alice Rothchild on

The Stop the Wall movement in Palestine began a dozen years ago and has transformed the international struggle: bringing people together based on human rights to end the occupation, end racial discrimination towards Palestinians with Israeli citizenship, and to support the right of return for refugees.

BDS and the shattering of liberal Zionist taboos

Jonathan Ofir on

A call for boycott of the Israeli settlements by liberal Zionists including Michael Walzer, Peter Beinart, and Kai Bird in the New York Review of Books shatters a traditional taboo on such measures; and we should do everything to foster this debate and point out the limitations of actions that don’t target the state that promotes these settlements.

Israeli forces shoot five Palestinians during raid of Sa’ir as siege of southern West Bank continues

Kate on

Ma’an reports: “Israeli forces shot and injured at least five Palestinians and detained three others in the southern occupied West Bank district of Hebron overnight Saturday, as Israeli forces continued to impose a strict siege on the village of Sair after an Israeli man was shot and injured while driving his car around midnight near the nearby illegal Israeli settlement of Teqoa.”

Modern-day lynchings: an international view

Alice Rothchild on

The sickening police killings of young black men in the U.S. reflect American problems, from the school to prison pipeline, our failed educational systems, and lack of opportunity for the have nots. But the Israeli model of lynching desperate young Palestinians under occupation, which has been sold to our police departments, is also part of the problem.

‘We Are Not Numbers’ shares the daily struggles and triumphs of Palestinian life

Annie Robbins on

We can’t say enough great stuff about We Are Not Numbers, a project with more than 75 writers from Gaza that aims to share the daily struggles and triumphs of Palestinian life through personal stories anyone can relate to. Annie Robbins writes about the project’s current fundraiser — give them a boost to carry on their important work.

Keeping hope alive in the Gaza Strip

Nancy Murray on

“Planting hope is our main duty.” So declared Dr. Yasser Abu Jamei, the head of the Gaza Community Mental Health Program (GCMHP), during his April 19th keynote address to the 800 people who attended the organization’s 6th International ‘Mental Health and Human Rights’ Conference in Gaza City. This is a tall order in the Gaza Strip’s crushing conditions. But Dr. Abu Jamei – who lost 28 members of his extended family in a single missile strike during Israel’s 2014 military onslaught – is determined to build on the legacy of the late Dr. Eyad el Sarraj, who founded the GCMHP in 1990 to instill hope and heal the spirit of a people who were exposed to violence and the loss of freedom and human rights on a daily basis.

Another interview on Israeli TV

Alice Rothchild on

Alice Rothchild is portrayed as an extremist for supporting BDS on Israeli television, and her Facebook page lights up with rage. She responds: Israelis, you must wake up from your stupor and see how the world sees you.

Small victories

Alice Rothchild on

Alice Rothchild finds resistance to speaking openly about the Israeli occupation at a retirement community in Seattle.

In memoriam of Hashem al-‘Azza

Alice Rothchild on

When Alice Rothchild met Hashem al-‘Azza five years ago, he was living in hell, holding out in his Hebron home against settler atrocities. Last week he was killed by Israeli tear gas.