Israel’s On-going Apartheid Of Palestinians. Steve Williamson and Karen McClelland welcome Alice Rothchild who just returned from Israel, Gaza, and the West Bank to help us understand the latest developments in the area. Rothchild is a retired OB-GYN turned documentary film director, writer, speaker, and blogger who has focused much of her energy on understanding the Israeli/Palestinian conflict.
Responding to a question about the recent Israeli Parliament decision to change the judicial system, Rothchild says, “The results of those changes are very serious because they are going to strengthen the Israeli right’s hold on the West Bank with more settlements and annexation. They’re going to increase support for the ultra-orthodox who are very anti-LGBTQ and against women’s rights, especially around marriage and divorce. And they want to increase privileging of Jews over Palestinians. And we see these changes happening in the Israeli society. Not only have there been hundreds of thousands of more liberal-minded people protesting, reservists have resigned from the Israeli military, the top civil servants in the Israeli education ministry resigned, business leaders have been discussing whether it’s time to divest from Israel.”
“The interesting thing for me,” she says, “is that people are very concerned about the rights of Israeli Jews…the liberal rights that they feel that they’ve had for decades. They have absolutely no interest in the rights of people living under occupation – the Palestinians. So, for me, when I look at this, it’s a very focused kind of protest…They’re talking about saving Israeli democracy. But from my point of view, Israel is not particularly well described as a democracy because almost half the people that are under Israeli control are under occupation.”
And the future of those people seems bleak. Rothchild says the two-state solution is dead. “What we have is a one-state situation and by many, many definitions it’s apartheid.”