Identifying The Root Causes Of The Israeli-Gaza War. Steve Williamson and Karen McClelland welcome Alice Rothchild to discuss Gaza and its war with Israel. Rothchild is a physician, author, activist, and filmmaker who has devoted decades to understanding and writing about the Israeli/Palestinian conflict and its relationship to US foreign policy.
Beginning with Hamas, she says that it’s an organization with a long and complicated history. As for the attacks of October 7th she says, “I think you have to always think of things in context. I mean I’m not a supporter of Hamas and I’m not a supporter of violence. But Hamas – the more militant aspects of Hamas – rose in response to the level of aggression that the Israeli military has put on people in Gaza and the Palestinians in general. So, you know, I think it’s a little dangerous to talk about Hamas as a terrorist organization and not mention the fact that the Israeli policies of the government and of the military have been incredibly aggressive and destructive to Palestinians living in the occupied territories.”
Rothchild continues, “I think it’s important to examine what it’s like to live under a severe occupation and more recently a siege.”
As a result of the attacks, the two sides are now engaged in an asymmetrical war that Rothchild claims has been devastating for Gaza civilians. “We had a population that was already under severe stress and then a massive bombing that has resulted in almost 15,000 people killed, including 6,000 children and 4,000 women and a huge amount of injuries. And half the housing stock has been destroyed. Northern Gaza has been pretty much flattened. I mean the level of destruction of infrastructure of wastewater infrastructure, of water treatment plants, all those things that are necessary for a healthy society have basically been carpet bombed.”
She adds the facts on the ground do not support Israeli rhetoric.
“We have to ask: What is the Israeli government’s end game here?” she says. “Personally, I don’t think they have a well worked out end game. They keep saying they want to destroy Hamas. Hamas is an ideology, it’s a resistance movement with a military wing that did some very, very horrific things. But you’re not going to destroy a resistance movement unless you deal with the root causes.”
She calls for a permanent ceasefire and a reexamination of the U.S. relationship with Israel.