Alice Rothchild visits a church in Amman that has gained a regional reputation for caring for refugees from Syria and Iraq, many of whom fled ISIS atrocities and are afraid to return. “Forty percent of the women are widows and many refugees have experienced unimaginably severe and chronic trauma from abuse.”
Alice Rothchild travels to Jordan on a trip to report on refugee conditions and is struck by the lack of omnipresent security that she experiences in Israel. She wants to yell out to security, “I’m over here guys, in Jordan. On the east side of the Jordan River!!! It’s me!”
The recent fury and attacks on Ilhan Omar and her forthright statements exposing and criticizing the role of the Israel lobby come at time when issues of political framing are roiling Jewish and progressive communities. Alice Rothchild says the controversy further clarified her understanding that Palestine solidarity work is most effectively accomplished within an anti-racist, anti-white supremacist framework.
Alice Rothchild says it is no longer acceptable for progressives and liberal minded Jews to ignore racist policies and practices in the Land of Israel that are increasingly condemned in the United States.
In the splintering of the movement around the Women’s March, Alice Rothchild writes, “Today, the angry chorus of accusations are coming from white Jews who are accustomed to the privileging of their victimhood and the power of their class. The voices of Jews of color have been largely sidelined from this conversation.”
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.”
When kids are brown does anyone care? The “tender age detention centers” for immigrant children in the U.S. are parallel to detention by Israel of Palestinian children. The arrests are highly dangerous and traumatizing, leading to epidemics of bed wetting, anxiety, depression, PTSD, agitation, and dropping out of school.
The International Association of Relational Psychotherapists and Psychoanalysts has responded with fear and suppression to efforts by advocates for Palestinian mental health to raise awareness of Palestinian conditions at its June conference in New York– even calling for a police presence. The association is promoting Israel and its plan to hold its 2019 conference in Tel Aviv, despite a groundswell of opposition.
The New York Times article, “’Next Year in Jerusalem!’ In Israel, Eurovision Win Is Seen as a Diplomatic Victory, Too,” has enough accuracy to sound credible, but wreaks of the kind of bias and double speak that infects much of the main stream media.
Why hold an international mental health conference which many of the psychoanalysts and psychotherapists will not be able to get into the country? Dr. Samah Jabr, a Palestinian clinician, and Jewish Voice for Peace have created a petition asking the IARPP to change the location of its 2019 conference from Tel Aviv. Maybe Jordan or Cyprus?