Thursday, January 31, 2013

Jews Are the Indigenous People of Israel. Where's the Coverage?

CAMERA Snapshots..
31 January '13

There is a growing protest movement among the indigenous peoples in Canada, including the so-called First Nations, the Arctic-dwelling Inuit, and a group called the Métis. They are demanding a greater share of natural-resource royalties and more input on environmental issues. The story has made it into the U.S. press with stories on NPR’s “All Things Considered” and in The Wall Street Journal, which wrote:

On a recent day, several members of the tribe gathered around a fire in a teepee to mark a hunger strike by the chief of another indigenous group. They pointed at the smoking chimneys of local refineries as a symbol of the land they believe Canada has taken from them and the economic benefits they say it has promised but not delivered.

Of course, the usual suspects have been quick to link the Canadian protests, known as Idle No More, to the Palestinian cause, Ha’aretz running an article under the headline “Lessons of a 'Canadian intifada'”. The Electronic Intifada reported on a statement of solidarity signed by Palestinian activists:

As Palestinians, who struggle against settler colonialism, occupation and apartheid in our homeland and for the right of Palestinian refugees – the majority of our people – to return to our homeland, we stand in solidarity with the Idle No More movement of Indigenous peoples and its call for justice, dignity, decolonization and protection of the land, waters and resources.

We recognize the deep connections and similarities between the experiences of our peoples – settler colonialism, destruction and exploitation of our land and resources, denial of our identity and rights, genocide and attempted genocide.

The truth is quite different, naturally. Last week, Ryan Bellerose, the son of a Métis leader wrote an article in The Metropolitain:

My people, the Métis, came to Alberta after the American Revolution, at the government’s request, to prevent the settling of the Americans in western Canada. We settled the land and followed the white man’s rules. But we were eventually evicted, our homes given to white pioneers. No one wanted us. We were forced to live in hiding, on road allowances, in the bush. We had no rights, and we were killed out of hand, as "nuisances". Exile fractured our nation. Our people wandered with no hope and no home. Then, in the mid 1900's, our leaders managed to secure land for us, not the land we had wanted but land that would nonetheless allow us to build a better future. We took it, built our settlements and formed a government to improve the lives of our people. We still have many problems to solve, of course, but we also have more educated people than ever and are slowly becoming self-sufficient, as our leaders envisioned. In this, the Jewish people and the Métis have walked the same road.

The Jews also suffered genocide and were expelled from their homeland. They were also rejected by everyone and forced to wander. Like us, they rebelled against imperial injustice when necessary and, despite their grievances, strived for peace whenever possible. Like us they were given a tiny sliver of their land back after centuries of suffering and persecution, land that nobody else had wanted to call home until then. Like us, they took that land despite their misgivings and forged a nation from a fractured and wounded people. And like us, they consistently show a willingness to compromise for the good of their people.
Many claim that we Natives have more in common with the Palestinians, that their struggle is our struggle. Beyond superficial similarities, nothing could be farther from the truth. Beyond the facile co-opting of our cause, the comparison with the Palestinians is absolutely untenable. It trivializes our suffering.
The Palestinians are not like us. Their fight is not our fight. We natives believe in bringing about change peacefully, and we refuse to be affiliated with anyone who engages in violence targeting civilians. I cannot remain silent and allow the Palestinians to gain credibility at our expense by claiming commonality with us. I cannot stand by while they trivialize our plight by tying it to theirs, which is largely self-inflicted. Our population of over 65 million was violently reduced to a mere 10 million, a slaughter unprecedented in human history. To compare that in whatever way to the Palestinians’ story is deeply offensive to me. The Palestinians did lose the land they claim is theirs, but they were repeatedly given the opportunity to build their state on it and to partner with the Jews -- and they persistently refused peace overtures and chose war. We were never given that chance. We never made that choice.
The entire article is worth reading. Please click here to see it.

Archeology, genetics... all scientific and historical evidence proves that the Jews are the indigenous people of Israel. And yet… Where’s the coverage?

(h/t Elder of Ziyon blog)


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