Nearly 200 people have written for The Link over the past six decades. We have invited them all– those that are still with us– to contribute to this series, in hopes their understanding of this moment may improve our own, and hopefully our readers’ as well. We’ve asked that whatever the offering– a statement, a screed, a poem, an aside, a reflection– be brief and add dimension to the 24/7 coverage bombarding the American airwaves.
The thoughts presented here do not necessarily represent the views of AMEU; our statement on the current crisis in Gaza can be read here. This series will be reposted online and on social media.)
For this second #Link2Gaza, Dr. Alice Rothchild reminds us about the context that is Gaza, beset as it is by challenges from within and without.
This is a time of great peril, tragedy, and instability. It is important to state that the slaughter or capture of civilians and the commitment of atrocities is unconscionable regardless of who does it.
At the same time, the mainstream media and numerous political figures are describing Hamas’ attack on Israel as “unprovoked,” ignoring 75 years of Palestinian dispossession and trauma, 56 years of an increasingly brutal occupation in the occupied territories, and 15 years of crushing siege in Gaza. The current racist, fundamentalist right wing government has promoted the further ethnic cleansing of Palestine and the unleashing of well-armed belligerent Jewish settlers. Al Aqsa Mosque has been repeatedly attacked and desecrated and Israel is now flirting with oppressive Arab regimes who are happy to throw the Palestinians under the bus for the price of military and economic aid.
Oppressed people have an internationally recognized right to resist their oppressors. Bombing Gaza into the dark ages will only produce traumatized, hopeless, angry generations who have nothing left to lose and an Israeli population dehumanized and divided. The only way forward is to address the root causes of this catastrophe: end the occupation and siege and recognize Palestinians as equal human beings with history, aspirations, culture, and the right to self-determination.
— Alice Rothchild/Oct. 11, 2023