Saturday, February 11, 2017

Question. Are Jews Indigenous to the Land of Israel? Answer? Yes. - by Ryan Bellerose

...Building a monument over our sacred places does not make them yours (Mount Rushmore, anyone?) Not any more than UNESCO declaring the Temple Mount to be a Muslim sacred site because they built a mosque over the church that was built over the ruins of the Jewish Temple. It’s a basic tradition in the Western ethos to respect those who came before you; it’s even built into most of our laws to respect prior claim, and that’s what indigenous rights are really all about. Respecting the rights of those who came before you.

Ryan Bellerose..
08 February '17..

As an indigenous activist—I am a M├ętis from the Paddle Prairie Metis settlement in Alberta, Canada—there is one question I am most often asked by the public, one that can instantly divide a community due to its intense and arduous subject matter.

Yet, regardless of the scenario, each time I hear the words, “Are Jews the indigenous people of Israel?” I’m inclined to answer not only with my heart but with the brutal, honest truth, backed by indisputable, thousands-year-old historical and archaeological fact: yes.

While evidence in favor of this view is overwhelming, activists who oppose Israel’s right to exist and deny the Jewish people’s connection to the land—perhaps before learning where indigenous status stems from and what it means—still have an issue with this claim, supporting a narrative built on falsehoods that today is basically acknowledged as fact.

It is my belief that strengthening Jewish identity is the optimum way to fight against the perpetuation of false narratives and lies. This can be achieved only through an indigenous decolonization of Jewish identity, which would urge Jews to see themselves through a Jewish lens and manifest the indigenous aspects of Jewish identity in a meaningful way.

(Continue to Full Article)

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