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2021-October-24  09:09

Dr. Alice Rothchild: Israel Committing "Slow Genocide" in Gaza

TEHRAN (FNA)- Dr. Alice Rothchild, American activist, says Israeli Gaza “massacre”, including the killing of children, fits into professor Ilan Pappe’s discussion of Israel’s "slow genocide" in the besieged strip.

Speaking in an interview with FNA, Dr. Rothchild said, “[(Israelis)] they have talked about killing pregnant women to destroy future terrorist snakes, and other horrific verbiage. They repeatedly claim Hamas uses Gazans (children and adults) as human shields (for which there is no reliable evidence and there is evidence of Israeli soldiers using Palestinians as human shields), that Hamas rockets are hidden amongst the populace (again controversial since Gaza is one of the most crowded strips of land in the world and there is a major military installation in Tel Aviv).”

“While even sophisticated weaponry cannot hit every target 100%, that Israel has a vast surveillance system and knows an enormous amount about the lives and locations of every person in Gaza, drones are constantly buzzing overhead, there is a network of collaborators. So I have to conclude that there is a deliberate targeting of civilians, this has been called "the right to maim", she added.

Alice Rothchild is a retired obstetrician, filmmaker, and social-justice activist. Rothchild is the co-founder and co-chair of American Jews for a Just Peace, the co-organizer for the AJJP Health and Human Rights Project, and a coordinating committee member of Jewish Voice for Peace. Since 1997, she has focused much of her energy on understanding the Israeli/Palestinian conflict.

Below is the full text of the interview:

Q: Israeli air assaults hit refugee camps, media buildings, and residential areas and several other civilian targets in Gaza Strip. Why is that?

A: Despite Israel's claim to be "the most moral army in the world" the Israeli military has a long history of attacking civilians and civilian infrastructure going back to the Arab/Israel War in 1948. This is the fourth massive assault on Gaza since 2008. In each attack there was a massively disproportionate assault on civilians as well as schools, hospitals, governmental buildings, electrical, sewer, and water infrastructure. The Israeli government refers to this as "mowing the lawn," i.e., crippling the society and economy of Gaza in an attempt to destroy Hamas and other militant groups. This seems to be their basic foreign policy; they are not interested in a peace agreement, in exploring wrongs from the past, apology, reparations, etc. (a la South Africa). This policy comes not only from the traumas of the Nazi Holocaust and the feeling amongst Israelis that they are always the "righteous victims" but also because this sense of victimhood gives them the right to do whatever they perceive they must do to survive. As a spokesman said yesterday, he was sorry children were killed but he valued Israeli children more than Arab children. In this attitude, every civilian is an enemy combatant and Palestinians are less than human. Israel has been able to behave this way with impunity because there is no significant international cost to the country; business is flourishing, the US pours $3.8 billion in aid every year plus political cover, blocks every UN resolution, Arab regimes are lining up to have some kind of agreement with Israel in exchange for weaponry, tourism is thriving. There is no motivation to change. Hitting media buildings also limits the amount of on the ground reporting that is possible, but does not stop citizen journalism.

Q: Netanyahu said Israel has hit Hamas the hardest; but of the Palestinians who have been killed in the recent war, many of them were women and children. Were children also “Hamas fighters”?

A: Israeli leaders are intensely racist and Islamophobic towards Palestinians and for years have used derogatory terms (like cockroaches) to refer to Palestinians. They have talked about killing pregnant women to destroy future terrorist snakes, and other horrific verbiage. They repeatedly claim Hamas uses Gazans (children and adults) as human shields (for which there is no reliable evidence and there is evidence of Israeli soldiers using Palestinians as human shields), that Hamas rockets are hidden amongst the populace (again controversial since Gaza is one of the most crowded strips of land in the world and there is a major military installation in Tel Aviv). From Netanyahu's viewpoint, everyone is guilty and he does not care for the international rules of war, the Geneva conventions, etc. He also claims that since Hamas is launching (fairly primitive) rockets at cities, that gives him the right to do whatever he wants, even if Israel instigated the fighting in Sheikh Jarrah and al-Aqsa Mosque, which triggered a response from Hamas and then the Israeli massacre in Gaza. Ilan Pappe talks of a "slow genocide" in Gaza, certainly wantonly killing children fits into that pattern.

Q: 65% of casualties in the 2014 Israeli war on Palestine were civilians and some 1000 children were left permanently disabled. Every war on Gaza is the same. Does not Israel know how to use all its “advanced” military equipment?

A: Having poured over years of reports and data, my understanding is that while even sophisticated weaponry cannot hit every target 100%, that Israel has a vast surveillance system and knows an enormous amount about the lives and locations of every person in Gaza, drones are constantly buzzing overhead, there is a network of collaborators. So I have to conclude that there is a deliberate targeting of civilians, this has been called "the right to maim." Looking at the injuries during the Great March of Return, the sharpshooters aimed at the legs of the protesters and bystanders and medical personnel. Looking at the most recent injuries in East Jerusalem, preliminary reports suggest that soldiers were aiming to kill or wound the upper body. So it seems that Israel has the most lethal weaponry in the world and they know exactly how to use it for maximum lethality.