Palestine Without Smears: Why Israel and Natives Aren’t Natural Allies

Palestine Native comparisonRobert Warrior, Indian Country Today, Jan 29, 2014

Ryan Bellerose’s unfortunate recent op-ed essay in Indian Country Today Media Network, “Don’t Mix Indigenous Fight with Palestinian Rights,” would be laughable and easy to dismiss given how heavy on bluster and light on accuracy it is. The essay, however, employs ugly characterizations and simplistic historical analysis in discussing deadly important and serious issues regarding American Indians, Israel and Palestine. Seeing what connects the Native world to the Middle East is challenging to many ICTMN readers, but a clear dividing line is emerging between American Indian defenders of Israel and the growing number of us who support the Palestinian boycott divestment, and sanctions movement.

The Native American and Indigenous Studies Association, for instance, made news in December for being one of three academic groups based in North America to endorse the Palestinian campaign for an academic and cultural boycott of Israel. In his essay, Bellerose derisively attacks some of the incredibly fine people who have been involved in the boycott campaign. They deserve better, especially in this forum.

Bellerose uses his unfair attacks and a flawed version of Middle East history as a smokescreen behind which he focuses on personalities and red herrings in defending Israel and scratching his head over how any right-thinking Native person could stand up for Palestinians, all the while ignoring the indisputable facts at hand. Among those are the ongoing brutality and death that Israel’s occupation has brought to Palestine. Israel not only regularly and illegally confiscates Palestinian lands, it literally blows up Palestinian homes, house by house.

Israeli bombing of Gaza City, November 2012.

Israeli bombing of Gaza City, November 2012.

While this brutality goes on unabated, Israel continues to build settlements on Palestinian lands, and those lands are typically the most resource-rich in Palestine. Those settlements are opposed by nearly every country in the United Nations. What makes all this possible is the protection of the United States, with its veto power in the UN Security Council. What pays for the occupation and the settlements is the more than three billion taxpayer dollars the US sends to the state of Israel every year. That’s more money than the US sends to any other foreign country (not to mention more than it spends on the BIA). The issues of illegal land confiscation and violence-driven occupation resonate with me as an Osage, but I am also concerned as a taxpayer about what the US is doing with my taxes and in my name.

In his essay, Bellerose takes issue with a panel earlier this month at an academic conference in Beirut, Lebanon reported beforehand by ICTMN in late December. The panel was critical of the increasing number of elected tribal leaders like Navajo President Ben Shelly who have made publicly prominent visits to Israel, meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other Israeli officials. Bellerose complains that the panel and conference didn’t include “actual Indians who have the knowledge and background to discuss these issues.” He also writes, “We wouldn’t be welcome in the conference because we are able to speak for ourselves.” Bellerose premises his essay on the assertion that “Its important for us to examine who these people are who are claiming to speak on behalf of Native Americans, because they hide their bigotry underneath our banner.”

The accusation of bigotry is important, and I’ll discuss it more, but first let me clear up Bellerose’s wrong-headed basic assertions. Several “actual Indians,” in fact, participated in the planning and execution of the conference at the American University in Beirut, including me. As Bellerose admits among his contributions to the comments thread of the online version of his essay, I wrote one of the panel’s papers, and even though I was not able to attend because of weather-related travel issues, the paper was read for me in my absence. My contribution focused on the way both the United States and Israel have used biblical accounts of the conquest of Canaan to justify the military conquest of the lands they occupy.

Ryan Bellerose, claims to be a Zionist and organizer with Idle No More.

Ryan Bellerose, claims to be a Zionist and organizer with Idle No More.

My interest in these complex issues began nearly three decades ago, when I spent two summers as a volunteer archeologist for the Israeli government’s Department of Antiquities and Museums and traveled extensively in Israel and Palestine. Later in the 1980s, I continued to learn about the ancient and modern history of the region as a graduate student at Yale University and Union Theological Seminary in New York City. While in New York, I became a student of Columbia University professor Edward Said, a Palestinian American scholar and one of the most influential thinkers of the past half-century. I have never claimed to be a Middle East specialist as a scholar, but my knowledge has seemed to me sufficient.

I was not the only American Indian scholar who participated in the panel and the conference. Joanne Barker (Delaware), Melanie Yazzie (Navajo), Nick Estes (Lakota), and Kent Lebsock (Lakota) made presentations in other sessions. Jacki Rand (Choctaw) had to cancel in the months leading up to the conference, but participated in formulating our panel. Let me add that the conference was not only about Native issues, but rather focused on a broad range of topics that connect North America to the Middle East. Yazzie, who has recently traveled to Palestine, graciously read my paper. Bellerose may disagree with all of us, but he’s flat out wrong in saying no qualified American Indians took part.

Bellerose is even more wrong in his characterizations of the other panelists, most egregiously J. Kēhaulani Kauanui. He misquotes her as saying she is “part Indigenous Hawaiian,” a phrase she would not use to describe herself. Kauanui, who has written about Native Hawaiian issues and Palestinian issues for ICTMN, describes herself as Kanaka Maoli, which is what Native Hawaiians call themselves, as many ICT readers already know. Bellerose, however, seems to want to nudge us into thinking of Kauanui as less than sufficiently Indigenous.

He’s picked the wrong target. Kauanui can trace with remarkable detail the generations of her Hawaiian and non-Hawaiian lineages, and she speaks with tremendous first-hand experience and knowledge of Hawaiian traditions, protocol, history, and contemporary politics. As a scholar, she has an impeccable record of excellence and leadership. Her political work often intersects with the issues she writes about in her scholarship. She is fierce political partisan, and I’ll add that she is just as fiercely loyal as a friend. Her book Hawaiian Blood: Colonialism and the Politics of Sovereignty and Indigeneity is a great starting point for those (including Bellerose) with limited knowledge of Kanaka issues.

Kauanui also hosts a weekly radio show, Indigenous Politics from Native New England and Beyond. Though currently on hiatus, the hour-long show has been on the air and available as a podcast for over five years. It has featured guests from Indigenous communities around the world, including the US, Canada, Mexico, Australia, Aotearoa/New Zealand, and many others. “I am getting tired of reading this woman’s claims,” Bellerose writes. If he wants to keep up with Kauanui and her razor sharp skills as a thinker, activist, and organizer, he’s going to need to rest up. She’s already running circles around him.

Indeed. In other recent writings, Bellerose has criticized the endorsement by the Native American and Indigenous Studies Association of the Palestinian call to academic and cultural boycott of Israel. As with the Beirut conference, Bellerose claims that NAISA is an organization of non-Native, non-Indigenous people. However, Kauanui and I were among the organizers of the drive to gain NAISA’s boycott endorsement, and the two of us were among the six founders of the association. All six founders and many hundreds of the association’s members are Indigenous, with American Indian, First Nations, and Metis people making up the bulk of that number.

In his rant against the Beirut panel, Bellerose says that he would “also like to know who this ‘Ashtan’ person is and what enables him to speak to this so-called ‘solidarity’ with Idle No More.” Bellerose is referring not to someone named Ashtan, but to Sa’ed Atshan, a postdoctoral fellow at Brown University and a graduate of Harvard. Atshan, who grew up in the West Bank, has written for ICTMN before on Palestinian issues and has focused some of his work on connections that Palestinian activists have made with the Idle No More movement in Canada. (Bellerose identifies himself as one of the organizers of Idle No More, though he has been quoted as saying “pretty much anyone can step up and say, ‘Hey, I’m a spokesperson for’” Idle No More).

Atshan is a serious and brave scholar who is fighting not just for justice in Palestine, but also for LGBTQ people everywhere. His work on solidarity between Palestinians and people involved in Idle No More is based on abundant evidence from interactions that occurred when INM was at its high point. Whether Bellerose agrees or not, those examples were often profound, and regular readers of ICTMN might recall several stories here that reported on those actions of Palestinian solidarity. A poster project became perhaps the most intriguing. To see what Atshan based his presentation on, search the Internet for Idle No More Palestine. (If you search for Idle No More Israel, by the way, you’ll find that same set of Palestinian-related links and several pro-Israel blog posts, virtually all of them by Ryan Bellerose).

Even as Bellerose misidentifies and unfairly dismisses Atshan, he leaves out the other Palestinian from the panel, Steven Salaita, even though he is perhaps the best equipped to speak to all sides of the issues involved. Salaita, a Palestinian American who teaches at Virginia Tech, earned a PhD in English from the University of Oklahoma, where he took advantage of that university’s many American Indian-related resources and faculty while writing a dissertation (later published as a book) that is the first full-length comparative study of contemporary Palestine and Native America. Along with that book, Salaita has written five others.

These are wonderful people and excellent scholars. Bellerose baselessly and in several cases namelessly attacks them in his flimsy and simplistic effort to argue that Israelis and Indigenous peoples are obvious and natural allies. He lays out a version of Middle East history that makes Jewish people the only group indigenous to Palestine and seeks to delegitimize Palestinian claims to their own homelands. In doing so, Bellerose picks and chooses among what he claims are facts that are “easily verified.” He fails to mention, among many other examples, the list of peoples in the Bible, including the Canaanites, Philistines, Jebusites, and Hittites, that Yahweh, the god of the Israelites, commanded the “chosen people” to exterminate in their quest to lay claim to the land Yahweh promised to them.

Archeological and other evidence suggests that something other than what we read about in the Christian Old Testament/Hebrew Bible actually led to the establishment of ancient Israel. Rather than those various groups of Indigenous people of the area becoming exterminated, the record seems to indicate that incorporation, not extermination, brought them together. Nothing about this history is as simple or straightforward as Bellerose says.

Because his rather simplistic version of the contemporary and historical Middle East does not agree with those on the Beirut panel and that of the vast majority of those who have critically studied the region’s complex archeological and documented past and present, Bellerose calls Kauanui and the rest of us “partially educated.” He employs stereotypical imagery of Palestinians, presumably including Atshan and Salaita, as natural born terrorists thirsty for Jewish blood. In the comments section of the online version of his essay, Bellerose calls me “stupid” and “a useful idiot.”

We’ve all been called worse and survived, so I won’t belabor Bellerose’s lack of decency and manners (and at least he admits I am useful!). I will, though, point out the way much of what Bellerose and others in the pro-Israel camp deploy—stereotypes of opponents as violent, ignorant, and intellectually inferior—is eerily familiar to me and lots of other Indigenous scholars and artists who have endorsed the academic and cultural boycott of Israel, including Simon Ortiz (Acoma Pueblo), LeAnne Howe (Choctaw), Lee Maracle (Sto:lo), Vicente Diaz (Pohnpeian), Aileen Moreton-Robinson (Geonpul), Barker, Yazzie, and Rand.

That eery familiarity, however powerful, is not the primary basis of my 28 years of public solidarity with Palestinians. The issue of Palestine, Israel, and indigeneity has many layers and is anything but resolved. But it doesn’t have to be resolved for me to make up my mind in favor of standing in solidarity with Palestinian people. Similarly, I did not demand that marriage equality be somehow provably traditional among Navajo, Cherokee, or Osage people when I have publicly opposed legislation by these tribal nations against gay marriage. Likewise, I did not require clear guidance that Cherokee tradition demands racial justice to stand in solidarity with disenfranchised Cherokee freedmen. So, neither do I need Palestinians to qualify themselves as Indigenous before I understand their struggle to be connected to mine.

The reaction to ICTMN op-ed pieces on the Middle East over the past couple of years have revealed a disheartening lack of knowledge and compassion among American Indian and First Nations people about these issues. That seems especially true when you slog through the comments threads. Along with the usual Zionist suspects who patrol the Internet seeking to discredit any criticism of Israel and its occupation, comments from uncritical fans of Israel and from Bellerose on his own article expose those commenting as all too eager to sling mud.

The Indigenous world needs forums like this one to be places we can turn to for serious discussion and debate about the costs and benefits of participating in these complex issues. We won’t get to that sort of discussion so long as essays like Bellerose’s fill space that could and should be given over to people with something more substantial and less personal to say.

Robert Warrior is a member of the Osage Nation and Professor of American Indian Studies, English, and History at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. He is the author or coauthor of five books, including Like a Hurricane: The Indian Movement from Alcatraz to Wounded Knee (with Paul Chaat Smith). He is the founding president of the Native American and Indigenous Studies Association and first wrote for ICTMN in 1989, when it was the Lakota Times.

http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2014/01/29/palestine-without-smears-why-israel-and-natives-arent-natural-allies

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Posted on January 31, 2014, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 24 Comments.

  1. I read somewhere that the per capita donations from Jews to Israel is higher in Canada than in the US.
    We are constantly intimidated over “anti semitism” when we criticize Israel. Can any conscious Indigenous forget David Ahenakew and what the likes of Bernie Farber of the CJC Canadian Jewish Council waged in terms of character assassination and media smearing.

    • I agree there is a strong pro-Israeli bias in the corporate media, government, etc., since Israel plays such an important strategic role for the west. Ahenakew didn’t criticize Israel and its colonial project as much as he vented anti-semitic statements, agreeing favorably with the Nazi’s extermination of German Jews. Israel is a product of Zionism and there are Jews who oppose both the state of Israel and Zionism.

  2. While i would stress the need for a peacefull resolution to the Palestinian/israeli conflict, i strongly support the right for any people to resist in defence of their homeland.

    As both arab and Student of History i closed the essay mentioned above just after the first paragraph, being appealed by its racist sunderstanding of cultures and the historical flaws.
    For Bellerose the old, darwinistic concept of “race” (that actually can’t and should not be used when talking about human societies, as they have never been static and intermarriages have allways occoured) and “culture”, as something a group of people (for example a nation) shares, passes on to the next generation, something that is allways changing and allows integration, seems to be the same.

    For the flaws of the historical understanding – yes, in the end of the 7th centurie A.D., the so called “Islamic Conquest”, saw moslem Arabs conquering territories from the arab peninsula to north africa.
    What Bellerose fails to mention is, that these Arabs where driven by a religious, not a racial ideology.
    As they where never many in numbers, they didn’t drive the natives from their land, but integrated them in their religion, while they kept their tradition for many centuries an gradualy became “arabs” in a cultural sense. That process took many generations.
    One has to mention that the Inhabitants of the Levant where no complet strangers to the arabs, both spoke a semitic language and there had been contacts for many centuries before.
    “Arab” can actually never be defined as a race – even the term itself does most likely come from the arribi-aliance. A confederency of southern semite tribes.

    So todays palestinians are decendants from allmost all people ever to live in the levante, Jews, Phoenicans, and many more (most of them semites), that integrated arabic (a semit language, just like they spoke may different semite languages before) and the Muslim Faith in their culture and over time created their own version of arab culture and islam, that ist different from that in the Maghreb, or that in cenral arabia. Therefore they are not ident with the arab conquerors, who where never that distinct from the other semite nations in the region. After all, the history of semitism doesnt start with Islam, nor does it with Judaism, but it’s much, much older and richer.

    That Arabs and Jews, historically speaking two brother Nations, now are deadlocked in a struggle of life and death is in itself a whole new and modern tragedy

  3. I sent this responce to indian country, I think its a bit long but its not boring.

    I read Robert Warrior’s “rebuttal” to my article, not expecting to encounter any valid criticism because Mr. Warrior has never demonstrated a great ability to think critically or to understand the context of history. It becomes more clear when I come across his ramblings that his rudimentary grasp of history stems not only from a lack of knowledge, but also from a desire to confirm his personal biases. The mental gymnastics he uses to justify some of his positions appear to me to be glaringly evident, but I will again answer him point by point.

    Mr. Warrior states that my article was heavy on bluster, but I note that he was unable to refute a single fact with verifiable evidence. His suggestion that Naisa is one of 3 groups that supported this racist and bigotted boycott is the only factual thing in a paragraph designed to play on a lesser-informed reader’s heartstrings.

    Mr. Warrior then states, “Bellerose uses unfair attacks and a flawed version of middle eastern history.” If, by “unfair attacks,” he means to suggest that I called out people who are not Native for pretending to speak on behalf of Natives, then I suppose he might be correct; however, it is also a fact that I believe we don’t need “Palestinians” and Native Hawaiians to speak for us. Perhaps it is Mr. Warrior’s view that it is unfair to suggest that actual Native Americans can speak for ourselves. I would like for Mr Warrior to explain exactly which part of my history lesson was flawed. Does he take issue with the fact that the Arabs conquered the entire Middle East in the seventh century? That the Palestinians have not only accepted the conqueror’s mantle, but have also embraced it? He continues to use sentimental, emotionally manipulative language to persuade the reader of the correctness of his argument, surely knowing that he is failing on factual presentation and continues to use the catchphrase “Palestinian lands,” even though the history, the archaeology and the anthropology all refute his assertion, unsurprising, given his own investment in the subject. if he admits he has been wrong all this time, several papers he has written are invalidated.

    Mr Warrior goes on to quote the United Nations, despite the fact that its international credibility has suffered tremendously in light of its appointment of known human rights abusers to UN organisations whose very aim is to identify nothing less than… human rights abuse. Mr. Warrior ignores the United Nations’ increasingly strident and increasingly anti-Israel positions, sticking its head in the sand, even in light of UNESCO’s recent cancellation of an exhibition called “The 3,500-Year-Old Relationship of the Jewish People and the Land of Israel.” It was cancelled, as has been well-reported to pressure from outspoken representatives of the Arab community – people, in fact, who are invested heavily in the idea that an indigenous people do not have an inherent right to self determination on their ancestral lands.

    It is a FACT, not supposition on my part, that the UN once censured Israel 13 times in one year, while condemning the actual genocide in Rwanda ONCE. It is a FACT that objective voices recognised the need to create a watchdog organisation called http://www.unwatch.org, just to show the world that people ARE paying attention. Unlike Robert Warrior, I actually pay attention to facts.

    Warrior then goes on to criticise my assertion that the Panel doesn’t consist of actual Indians: I stand by that assertion in a group calling itself NAISA, NATIVE AMERICAN STUDIES AND INDIGENOUS STUDIES. I not only expect to see actual indigenous people, but actual Native Americans, in more than a token capacity. I read your “paper,” with its poor writing, and incredibly poor research, hand in hand with its conflation of Israel with the United States, which is a flawed comparison from the start and only gets worse the more you belabour your incorrect comparisons. I would love to debate this with you, and your assertion of several decades of research does not constitute debate. Warrior’s self-congratulatory attempt at an appeal to authority argument by stating all his “qualifications” could be effective only if his stated position were not so incredibly flawed. The entire basis of his argument is that the Palestinians are indigenous but any thinking person can see that an assertion that conquerors can become indigenous through conquering and subsuming indigenous people is not only wrong, but catastrophically wrong and dangerous to our own indigenous rights. Mr. Warrior doesn’t claim to be a Middle Eastern specialist, nor does he offer serious credentials to support his argument.

    Mr. Warrior goes on at great length to defend his friend J. Kēhaulani Kauanui and talks about her ability to track her Hawaiian and non-Hawaiian heritage, while studiously avoiding the fact that she refuses to speak about how much “kanaka maoli” blood she in fact carries, or where she grew up, and what traditions she followed growing up. A Hawaiian acquaintance listened to her “radio show” and laughed at her mispronunciations of Hawaiian words, not a great testament to the cultural validity of someone who Warrior claims speaks “with tremendous first-hand experience and knowledge of Hawaiian traditions, protocol, history, and contemporary politics.” He then says that she has a radio show and infers that it will be a great effort for me to match her razor sharp skills, though I’ve encountered nothing that Kauanui writes to support that assertion. I’ve still seen no answer to the questions that were asked; and as I said in my article, Native Hawaiians, while they have a history of similiar character, do NOT share OUR history, not even remotely.

    Mr. Warrior’s claim that Naisa is made up of native people is vague in the extreme: if he wishes to refute my claim, I expect him to provide COLD HARD NUMBERS, and not the unsubstantiated misinformation he has provided so far. It seems that he does not even know the actual composition of his own membership, though perhaps he didn’t anticipate that anyone would challenge him with an inconvenient request for factual substantiation of his argument.

    In regards to “Atshan” ( as spelled in your friend’s article), I stand by what I said, I think it’s humourous that Mr. Warrior attempts to call my own involvement with INM into question. I have organised several events in Calgary, been the security liason for several more, and participated in several other events; however, I have repeatedly stated that this is a grassroots movement and that we are ALL leaders. Writing articles talking about “Palestinian solidarity with INM” doesn’t mean they are actually in solidarity with us at all. The lack of respect shown to our people, such as the pressuring of respected indigenous artists, demonstrates that they are not in solidarity with us – but of course, Mr. Warrior was part of that particular bullying campaign against indigenous artists, if memory serves correctly.

    Your attempt to conflate writing books with somehow being more knowledgable or moral is also sign that your own scholarship is suspect; in fact, some of the greatest scholars in history haven’t written excessive numbers of screeds filled with vitriol – some of us work for a living.

    I find it almost sad that Mr. Warrior attacks my historical based claims with “verification” from the Bible, because at no point did I base any of my arguments on Biblical sources. Perhaps it would benefit him to reread what I wrote, because as scholars well know, and as many people who don’t call themselves scholars also know, while the Bible may be a very good read, it is not a perfect historical account (unless, of course you believe the world is six thousand years old, and that dragons were flying around). About the only truthful thing Mr. Warrior stated was that it’s complex and that several peoples were incorporated, but he fails utterly when he tries to claim that a people who self-identify as Arabs are somehow connected to those events and people.

    I did enjoy that Mr Warrior attempted to drop the racist card on me, suggesting that I believe all his friends to be terrorists, but feel that this argument would be more forceful if he could provide some specific example of such an assertion on my part. I was also impressed that he wrote almost a page without using the word Zionist incorrectly, though I note that in the end, he reverted to form. Kudos on the attempt, however!

    I stated very clearly that Indigenous status stems from several things, but primarily the genesis of culture and language in conjunction with longstanding presence and maternal ties to the ancestral lands. Mr Warrior has given no argument to that, despite its being the crux of this entire debate. Rather, he chose to make this personal, attempting to insinuate that he is an educated native person with more qualifications and therefore greater credibility than some average, everyday Indian from Northern Alberta who – obviously – could not possibly measure up. The facts, though, are the facts, and in this case, not only are the facts on my side, but your stunning lack of a coherent argument against them not only shows the rightness of my argument, but also that Mr. Warrior is, once again, catastrophically wrong and that his intransigence in this position actually damages the struggle for Indigenous rights.

    • Israel is a strategic outpost for US interests in the Middle East, which is why it receives billions of dollars annually in funds and military aid. I find it odd that you never address this in your defence of the Israeli state. Or the fact that Zionism is a colonial movement established by European Jews who sought to invade and occupy Palestine, and that they did so with the assistance of the US. It is the Palestinians who are now suffering under this occupation, yet you side with the oppressor. As for the UN, despite many resolutions condemning various acts by Israel, little if any sanctions are ever carried out against Israel. This is because Israel is a vital part of US hegemony in the region, and as the US sits on the UN security council, it is unlikely any serious sanctions from the UN will ever be carried out against Israeli atrocities. As for your response against Mr. Warrior’s article, your personal attacks on him and other Indigenous activists shows how much you’ve accepted the mentality of the colonizer.

      • The Palestinians received 89 billion dollars in aid. with that kind of money you could provide medicine food and shelter to the entire African continent . where do you think that money as going to?
        The “palestinians” are not native to the region If you are really interested in the actual historical accounts of the area Adriani Relaldi book “Monumentis Vertiribus Ilustratada” written in 1695 this Dutch historian talks about his trip to Israel/Palestine in which its inhabitants where mostly Jews and Christians and a few Bedouins.

  4. I am not defending anything, I am simply speaking the truth, something that Robert neglects to do. his entire article is ad hominem and outright falsifications mixed with some half truths.

    now as for your post,
    You are incorrect that zionism is a colonial movement, you should do a quick study on jewish culture to understand why thats incorrect. I will suggest you google the word zionism to start with, the key word being ancestral. they wanted a state on their ancestral lands, not in uganda or somewhere that had no meaning for them.

    your statement is incorrect therefore and its not only incorrect but its ignorant. Your argument is that displaced indigenous people can have their indigenous status removed by being displaced by a coloniser. I disagree, and your position would suggest that you are the one who has accepted the mentality of the coloniser. You state that the jews invaded an occupied Palestine, which is ridiculous, they have a continuous presence dating back 3200 years, or did you miss that? indigenous status is based on several things, its complex, but the Palestinians do not fit that checklist, they have completely accepted the mantle of the coloniser now.

    You should probably read the article I wrote, that Warrior chose to respond to, I take issue with people claiming to speak for indians when they arent indians, to be quite honest, I would be interested to see where Mr warrior grew up, I somehow doubt it was on a rez. I believe that there are enough indians with intelligence and education, that we do not require people to presume to speak on our behalf.

    • Zionism is a colonial movement started by European Jews who, as you say, wanted a state on their ancestral lands. It is not a 3,500 year old movement, but rather one that was created in the late 19th century. The reason there were European Jews was because the Romans forced them out of present day Palestine, in the First Century AD. Many Jews fled into and across Europe, while some remained. In what later became Palestine, Jews and Arabs lived side by side, until the Zionist movement of the early 20th century began promoting the migration of European Jews to Palestine and the acquiring of land as part of their colonial project. The Zionists then launched an offensive, following WW2, to establish their state (in 1948), with the assistance of the US. The only reason Israel exists to this day is because of US financial and military support.
      I am not saying Jews invaded Palestine. Zionists invaded Palestine. Not all Jews are Zionists, which is a religious-political movement, and in fact there are Jews who oppose Zionism as well as the Israeli state.
      You say that the Palestinians are the colonizers, but you have it backwards. They are living under a Zionist colonial occupation, and that is why they are an oppressed peoples fighting for their liberation. The Israelis are not an oppressed people, they are in fact the most powerful military force in the region, whose citizens enjoy many privileges derived from their ongoing colonization of Palestinian lands, lands they are continuing to steal in order to build new settlements. That is colonialism.
      As for your questioning of who is or who is not a genuine Native, this is a rather weak attempt at character assassination that reinforces colonial divisions among our people. And growing up on a rez doesn’t make you any more “authentic” a Native than those who have grown up in cities, it just makes you a rez Native.

  5. You arent paying attention, your first statement is a contradiction in itself.

    They arent european jews, they are jews, if one of us was forced to go to mexico, would that make us a “mexican cree”? They are jews because their culture and bloodlines come from the land they call their ancestral lands. you dont lose indigenous status through displacement. thats a really bad argument for any indian to make.

    The key word is ancestral, pay attention. ancestral is the most important part of that statement.

    your entire last responce is filled with fallacies my friend. lets take them in order.

    first the romans forced “many” jews out into the diaspora, but not all, the jews always maintained a presence on their lands. many were converted into christians by the romans but there have always been some jews there.

    second, actually the majority of what is now called Israel was part of a kingdom called greater Israel, and the area that is now disputed called by people from the east, the west bank, and people from the past Judah and shomron was actually the most populated area of the jewish homeland.

    Your assertion that jews and arabs lived peacefully side by side is also incorrect, and its the typical pap spread by colonial apologists. first off the jews were second class citizens, this is a fact, as non muslims they had completely different rules and laws even on their ancestral lands (sound familiar? yeah I thought so too) its an absolute lie that Jews always lived happily side by side until zionism.

    more importantly there were always pogroms and massacres, long before zionism the movement came into life in the 1800′s. for instance there were several massacres of jews under the caliphates I dont like wikipedia as a source, but its easier than sourcing each massacre in limited space feel free to google it http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Persecution_of_Jews

    next the population in the region grew larger, and jews went and purchased land, this is also fact, that teh region was literally renewed by the return of the jews, you can ask that noted love of jews the grand mufti who was quoted in the peel commission interviews as admitting that schools and markets were created where none had veer existed under the ottomans. the british vaccilated between supporting the zionist project and hindering it, depending on which government was in charge.

    You are also absolutely wrong, and not just slightly but completely wrong about the united states and its support of Israel. I suggest you go and read up on it. in fact the united states was not only against Israel at the start, but was worried that the Israeli state would be a communist or socialist state, it outlawed the sale of weapons and aircraft to Israel beginning post ww2 and that carried on into the 1960′s actually.

    The main supplier of weapons to israel post ww2 was the eastern bloc in particular czechoslovakia. and france which was trying to make money lol again, this is fact not opinion and feel free to research it. Tripartite Declaration of 1950 would be a good place to start, in fact the US didnt start helping Israel until after the 6 day war. their main concern was preventing an arms race and they actively played both sides. so no in fact the united states hasnt “helped israel from the beginning” and in fact prevented Israel from taking cairo and making this entire discussion a moot point.

    I hope you are beginning to understand that many of your opinions are clearly based on poor foundations, that the “knowledge” you have been given was actually not true and therefore its time to reexamine your opinions.

    You also need to look at a map, this is not Israel vs palestine, it never has been , its muslims vs jews, it has religious overtones on both sides. look at a map compare the size of the two sides and then tell me about how oppressed the arab muslims are.

    now for your last point, which would possibly be valid if we didnt deal with plastic shamen and appropriators all the time, you say questioning someones indigenous status is a character assasination, I say its a valid goddamn question when someone is portraying themselves as speaking for us. If you want to try and speak for indians, you damn well better be one. and while I agree that being from the bush is not the sole signifier for being an indian, and being an urban indian is not necessarily a signifier that you are not, I would suggest that indians in general have a commonality of experience, but that more pale skinned “white looking” Indians who grew up enjoying white priviliege, may not share that experience. If you depend on blood quantum to self identify as an indian, and you dont give a shit about your own culture, traditions, sacred places or language, you are probably already beyond colonised, you are assimilated. it takes more than a ponytail to make an indian.

    • It’s ironic that, on the one hand, you say that Natives who don’t share the rez experience, etc., are not “real” Natives, but Jews whose families lived in Europe for 3,000 years, let’s say, are 100% Jewish and deserve to have their ancestral homeland in the Middle East back, even if it means oppressing and colonizing an entire population. You yourself propose that “dislocation” means someone can be considered less Native, but then claim this same concept can’t apply to European Jews.
      I never said all Jews were forced out by the Romans, but they were significantly reduced in numbers and many eventually migrated to Europe. By the mid-1700s, in fact, it has been estimated that around 750,000 Jews were in Europe out of a total world Jewish population of some 1.2 million. That is, more than half of the Jewish population were living in Europe. At the time the Zionist movement emerged, in the late 1800s, Jews were a minority population in Palestine. The Zionists encouraged settlement of European (and American) Jews in Palestine as part of their strategy of colonizing Palestine.
      As for US support for Israel, the US was the first country in the world to recognize Israel. But it also sought to avoid antagonizing Arab states in the region, which is why France was the main arms supplier to Israel. France, of course, was under US control, as was much of Western Europe post-WW2, through the Marshall Plan (which dumped billions of dollars in economic aid to countries devastated by the war as a means of countering Soviet expansion). You can be sure France did not engaged in large-scale arms deals without US consent at this time. As I stated previously, Israel is today the strongest military power in the Middle East, a key strategic ally of the US and Western Imperialism.
      Does the fact that there is an ancestral claim on land justify the current conditions under which Palestinians live? Does it justify an apartheid regime, military occupation, the bulldozing of Palestinian homes, the routine bombing and invasion of Palestinian communities? Who is the oppressor and who are the oppressed? Are the Israelis living under such conditions? No, they are not, because they are the oppressors.

  6. According to the article, where Israel builds settlements “Those lands are the most resource rich.” That is absurdly incorrect.

    The land within the area now known as the West Bank on which Israeli communities have formed are no more or less ‘resource rich’ then anywhere else in the area. There are no mineral or precious metals to be mined in areas such as Maaleh Adumim or Hebron. The only possible reason to make such a statement might be an attempt to bolster the idea of a comparison between the Native treatment at the hands of the white American government, where tribes were pushed from place to place as valuable resources were found to be sitting under them. This is not what is happening in the Middle East. To the contrary, Israel has shown a remarkable willingness to trade resource rich land, such as the oil rich Sinai, for peace and recognition of its right to exist.

    The reason that the Israelis have moved into areas such as Hebron is the ancient connection between the Jews and the land, a connection to be found in buried artifacts, in the language and customs, and the history of the region. There are stellae in Egypt from 1,000 years before the Common Era which refer to the land of Yisrael, aka Israel. There are no such mentions of the land or people of Palestine. In fact, in 1920, the Arabs opposing the creation of the Mandate for a Jewish Homeland insisted that it was wrong to detach the land from Syria, and described themselves as southern Syrians. In 1946, as commissions reviewed the possibility of partitioning the land, the Arabs insisted that Palestine was a word for the Jews, not for the Arabs. In 1963, the original PLO Charter explicitly stated that they made no claims on Gaza or the West Bank. This was changed in the revised charter following Israel’s victory in 1967. There are no historical Palestinian borders, there was no historical Palestinian people. There were Arabs, and they invaded some time after 700 CE, but that does not make them the indigenous people. Their language, their culture, all belong to Arabia.

    Despite all the claims of Israeli brutality and maltreatment, one need only visit the region to see where both peoples can live together and have full and complete rights. Within Israel, Israeli Jews and Arabs (and Christians) have full rights. They vote, run for office, own businesses and homes, can go to universities and in many places share in each others’ lives. In the areas under Palestinian control, there can be no Jews, and Christians are feeling the pressure as well. A poll of Arabs in East Jerusalem found that 40% would move further into Israel if their homes came under PA control. Only 30% want the PA to take over. Despite what we hear being said on college campuses. Where is ethnic cleansing really happening?

    Consider these simple historical facts. In the 1920′s and before, Arabs and Jews lived together in Hebron, and had done so for hundreds if not a thousand years. While both groups revered the Cave of the Patriarchs, only one was allowed to pray there. The Arabs. Any Jew found going above the 7th step to the building was put to death. How is that for peaceful coexistence? Even paying the Jizya, a tax non-Muslims have to pay to the Muslims to be protected from the Muslims, did not change that law. Furthermore, Jews could not testify in Arab courts, they were not considered to be ‘equal’ men. In 1927, ired by the presence of some new Jewish immigrants, the Arab community attacked, slaughtering Jewish men, women and children. How is that for peaceful coexistence? As a result, an historical community was wiped from the map.

    Whose experience is really like that of the Natives?

    • Historically Jews suffered many of the same atrocities as Natives in the Americas, I agree. Does that justify the current oppression that Israel inflicts on Palestinians? Does the fact that Jews were massacred a hundred years ago, or a thousand years ago, justify Israeli massacres of Palestinians today, targeting of civilian infrastructure, bombing and demolishing Palestinian homes, imprisoning thousands of Palestinians in Israeli jails, or the expansion of Jewish settlements into Palestinian lands? Your description of Israel sounds like Israeli propaganda, as if there is no racism and Israel is the perfect society. It only exists thanks to massive US arming and funding.

  7. Zionist means person who supports the right of the Hebrew people to national self-determination in their ancestral homeland. Anyone who opposes the return of many of the Jews to their ancestral homeland, (Jews have always and continuously lived there), and the re-establishment of their ancient nation, is an enemy of indigenous peoples everywhere. Don’t support the Arab colonizers and imperialists!

    • Because someone opposes Zionism doesn’t mean they oppose the return of Jews to their ancestral homeland. What is opposed is a colonial state based on military occupation and apartheid laws which Palestinian Arabs are subjected to, and which ultimately serves the interests of Western imperial powers.

  8. Wow, zigzag, where did you get your history from? Electronic Intifada? Certainly not any credible history book.

    Jewish people are indigineous to what is now Israel, Judea and Samaria (the West Bank) as well as western Jordan (the East Bank) and southernmost Lebanon. We have had a continuous presence that dates back to the return from Egypt, sometime between 1200 and 1250 B.C.E. We were not expelled in the first century C.E. as you claim. The First Jewish Rebellion against Rome (67-73 C.E.) was one of many. The most famous is the Bar Kochba Rebellion (132-135 C.E.) when Jews expelled the Roman legions for nearly three years, which was actually the third Jewish rebellion. The Romans then renamed Iudea (in Latin) to Syria Palestina in their attempt to quash Judaism. Even the name Palestine and Palestinians was given by conquerors and is not indigenous.

    Oh, and wile some Jews were expelled in the second century and many scholars consider what the Romans did at that time genocide, there was still a very substantial Jewish population outside of Jerusalem. Further rebellions against the Byzantine Empire continued, most notably in the 4th and 7th centuries C.E. Indeed, how did Benjamin of Tiberias manage to raise a Jewish force of 26,000 to ally with the Persians during the Byzantine–Sasanian War if there were no Jews? The consequence of that alliance was the restoration of Jewish sovereignty in 614 C.E. The Byzantines didn’t retake Jerusalem until 628 C.E., meaning there was a Jewish state in Israel five hundred and fifty years after you say we were expelled.

    Similarly, there was a Jewish majority or plurality in Jerusalem throughout most of the period of Ottoman rule, before the Zionist movement ever started. A British colsular report from 1857 claimed that Jews made up nearly 80% of the population, though that number is higher than most other reports from the era. A reporter for the New York Daily Tribune, in a report dated April 15, 1854, put the Jewish population at 8,000 out of a total population of 15,500, which is still a majority. That reporter was Karl Marx.

    While the Zionist Movement certainly started in Europe, the fact remains that a majority of modern Israelis are people with no ties to Europe whatsoever. Two thirds were born in Israel. A majority are either descended from or are people who were expelled from Arab countries, not Europe, Jews who have lived in what is now Israel for centuries, or other non-European places like Ethiopia. Genetic studies, most importantly recent ones since the decoding of the human genome, make clear that European Jews are Middle Eastern people. If you accept the (rather nonsensical) idea of generational refugees as the Palestinians do, then Ashkenazi Jews must also be refugees from what is now Israel.

    Put simply, Jews are the indigenous people of Israel. Palestinians? 80% are descended from people brought in by the British from neighboring countries to build infrastructure. Of the remaining 20% most are descended from Arab conquerors, not native to the Levant.

    Finally, you assert that Israel was created with aid from the U.S. to create and maintain American hegemony. That is entirely false. Jews were under an arms embargo from the United States during the revolt against the British (1946-48) and the War of Independence (1948-49). Not one penny of military aid went to Israel from the U.S. until the Kennedy administration in the 1960s. The arms mostly came from Czechoslovakia (at the direction of the Soviet Union) and France, not the U.S. Last I checked there is no Czech hegemony anywhere. Meanwhile, during the 1948-49 war, the Arabs fought under the command of a British general. In that war, as others, the Arabs (including the people who would come to be known as Palestinians later) were on the side of the foreign conqueror.

    I really suggest that you read real history rather than propaganda. Ryan Bellerose clearly has.

    • Thanks for the history. As I stated in my comment, not all Jews were expelled by the Romans. I don’t know where you get your population numbers from, but what I found was that, in the early 20th century, Jews were a small minority of the population of Palestine. According to two different sources, in 1914 the Muslim Arab population of Palestine was between 525,000-657,000, that of Christian Arabs between 70,000-80,000, and that of Jews between 59,000-94,000. These figures are cited in this Wiki article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_Palestine
      So the question is: where did all the Jews come from that eventually became a large portion of the population post-48? They came from the Jewish diaspora, primarily Europe and America. It was the Zionist movement that promoted immigration to Israel in the early 20th century and the eventual establishment of Israel.
      In regards to the US and support for Israel, the US administration was the first country in the world to recognize the state of Israel, hours after it was declared. While the US did not immediately begin arming Israel, because of its relations with the Arab states, this task was left to France which was the main supplier of arms to Israel. The Czechs supplied arms, from the Soviet Union, as part of the Cold War and Soviet efforts to gain influence in the region. The creation of Israel was not an act of liberation, but one of colonization which continues to this day.

      • Once again your history is faulty. 800,000 refugees from the Arab countries in the Middle East and North Africa are now, two generations later, roughly 45% of the population of Israel. When you add Sabras (Jews who were in Israel all along) plus Jews from Asia and Ethiopia, you have your majority. Jews from Europe were the minority, and aliya from America was minimal and still is. Once again, read history, not propaganda.

        The creation of Israel was an act of liberation that took place over a period of roughly 70 years, with most of the institutions founded during the Ottoman period. It is NEVER colonization when the original indigeous people reclaim their land. If you want the truth you need to abandon your preconceived notions and open your mind. You are as wrong in these comments as you were in your other claims.

      • “The two main waves of Jewish immigration to Palestine, Aliya, which means Ascent in Hebrew, were between 1881 and 1916 with people coming from Poland and Russia. During this period the Jewish population of Palestine went up from 24.000 to 55.000. From 1917 to 1925, because of the Balfour Declaration and the British Mandate, another 97.000 immigrants arrived, mostly from the same regions.

        Between 1926 and 1928, net immigration was negative with more people leaving than arriving.

        1929-1939: 250.000 Polish, German, and other European Jews went to Palestine.

        1939-1948: immigration was mostly clandestine and, therefore, there are no reliable figures.”

        Source: http://www.medea.be/en/themes/arab-israeli-conflict/jewish-immigration-into-israel-and-the-occupied-territories/

        I don’t know what sources you are quoting, but all the information I find validates the fact that the majority of Jews who immigrated to Palestine originated from Europe, where the Zionist movement was based.
        The history of the Jewish homeland is certainly one of centuries of conflict and invasion by other kingdoms and empires, and centuries of persecution in the Jewish diaspora that resulted from the displacement of much of the Jewish population. But I do not agree that the establishment of Israel was an act of “liberation,” since it occurred in the context of dispossessing Palestinian Arabs and creating an apartheid regime that continues to oppress Palestinians to this day. Ultimately, whatever the merits of the Jewish claim to their ancestral homeland, Israel is, as far as I am concerned, a brutal oppressive state that only exists because it serves the interests of Western imperialist nations, and in particular those of the US.

  9. You are a hell of a lot braver and more open minded than the people you support. I will give you credit for posting comments that do not support your opinions. Good on you.

    and I would openly debate anyone, Robert Warrior or any other Native american who positions themselves as an expert on this subject, because I have spent a huge amount of studying this. I may not call myself an academic, and I don’t teach at a university, but I know what I am talking about.

  10. “It’s ironic that, on the one hand, you say that Natives who don’t share the rez experience, etc., are not “real” Natives”

    thats not at all what I said, but those of us who grew up on reserves or in indian urban communities, share a commonality of experinience that simply growing a ponytail and talking like one of us doesnt give someone. if you grew up as a rich kid do you really think you share experiences with a poor kid? read the prince and the pauper by dickens.

    Its important that someone who claims to speak for us, has at least a shadow of that experience.

    I am not going to argue the validity of wikipedia as a source it has uses as a general source but frankly its too easily coopted.

    as for your assertions about american support, you were wrong, you dont need to play verbal gymnastics to try and make yourself right, just say it with me ” I was wrong to infer that america supported israel from the start , my assertion was based on incorrect information.” there, done. rather than try to twist facts to fit your idea of what happened, just read the facts and adjust your opinions, its easier and its more just.

    France supported Israel because they wanted to get into the arms market, not out of some super secret cabal, in fact once france broke into the market they dumped the Israelis to get at arab oil money. anyone who has studied the region and its twists and turns, knows that. in fact the jews had to steal some ships and some planes that they had already paid for lol

    as for these words you throw out, you have got to learn that language has power, don’t use words incorrectly, you speak about “massacres” but there arent any “recent massacres” that were not invented.

    since you are using wikipedia, Im gonna get you to do something, go and google how many palestinians have died since 1947 until now, in conflict with Israel, I already know, and in fact I use the Palestinians own stats, but Ill let you respond, and then we will know where we stand.

    • So Jews who lived in Europe for 2,000 years, for example, shared all the experiences of those Jews who remained in what became Palestine, but Natives who do not share the “rez experience” aren’t real Natives? Your pro-Zionist beliefs have obviously clouded your ability to see the hypocrisy of your position. I agree that some Natives do not share the same class background, and I would criticize them based on that, not by asserting they are somehow “less Native.” Theodor Herzl, the founder of the World Zionist Movement, came from a family of assimilated German-speaking Jews living in Hungary (and before that, Serbia).
      I agree that the initial support for Israel from the US is not as clear cut as I implied, but to say that the US didn’t support the creation of Israel is false. As I said, the US was one of the first to recognize the state of Israel. Because of the Cold War and US efforts to secure allies among the Arab states, it did not publicly support the arming of Israel. That task was left to France, while the Soviet Union used Czechoslovakia as its proxy arms supplier to Israel. This was because both the US and USSR had the same problems in regards to gaining influence among Arab states who were hostile to the creation of Israel. Long story short: Israel only exists thanks to support from western imperialism (initially France, then the US). Your lack of knowledge about imperialist history, I think, blunts your ability to see the strategic importance of Israel for the US. As it is, today Israel only exists thanks to massive US funding, a fact you seem to neglect and appear to have no response to.
      As for how many Palestinians have been killed by Israelis, I will use a Jewish source, that states that, since 1948, 85,582 Palestinians/Arabs have been killed by Israeli forces, compared to 24,113 Israelis. These figures include the Israeli wars with Arab states as well as Israeli invasions of Arab states, such as Lebanon, which included targeted attacks on Palestinian refugee camps (such as the massacres at Sabra and Shatila in 1982). In the first Intifada (1987-1993), 200 Israelis were killed, compared to 1,162 Palestinians. In the second Intifada (2000-2005), 1,100 Israelis were killed, compared to 4,907 Palestinians killed. During the second invasion of Lebanon (2006), some 164 Israelis were killed, compared to 1,954 Palestinian/Arabs. During the Israeli attacks on the Palestinian territories as part of Operation Cast Lead (2008-2009), 14 Israelis were killed, compared to 1,434 Palestinians. Here’s the source: https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/History/casualtiestotal.html
      Looking at these numbers, it’s pretty clear who is doing most of the dying: the Palestinian people. Not only that, they are living in ghettos created and controlled by the Israelis, who even now seek to expand their settlements by occupying more Palestinian lands. The Palestinians do not have the most powerful military in the Middle East, nor they do have large prison camps with thousands of Israelis tortured and imprisoned inside. You are clearly standing with the oppressor and by extension you are defending imperialist interests in the Middle East. If you can’t comprehend that I suggest you start learning; I’ll stand by while you google that shit.

  11. You are trying really hard to equate our situation with what you imply is the jewish situation by looking at surface commonalities, this is why your argument fails.

    first off, you keep going back to the ” jews were in europe for 2 thousand years” meme, but they actually werent. SOME jews were, not the majority, in fact Caitlyn already debunked that notion. but even if they were, is there a statute of limitations on being indigenous? do we lose that status simply by being displaced for a long time? Jews didnt assimilate, thats why they have been maligned by christians for centuries, they assimilited, but only to a limited degree, they always maintained that culture,, you know, the one that developed in the holy land?

    I didnt say that natives who didnt have the “rez experience” arent as “indian” as those who do, but indians who never experienced what its like to be indian, either in an urban community or on a res, dont share that experinience with those who do. the people who can “pass for white” have much different experiences than those who cannot. Believe me, I have seen both sides of that fence myself.

    You entire paragraph about Israel only existing because of western imperialism debunks itself so I wont even bother, however you should know that in fact, western imperialism actually hindered Israel, first by giving away over 75% of the mandate to the arabs then by actively hindering immigration to the point where the jews revolted against western imperialism and kicked the british out. just sayin, one of seems to know his history, and one of us seems to be getting history lessons from Robert Warrior lol.

    Your stats are misleading, you say Palestinians when you want them to appear to be the underdog, and then you include all arab casualties when discussing this? you cant have it both ways.

    In facts less than 45 thousand Palestinians have died due to conflict with Israel since 1947, this is according to the Palestinians themselves, the Israelis suggest approx 35, and the UN suggests 40. thats in 67 years btw.

    You are basically misleading people when you compare Israel on a state by state basis with palestine, because you are smart enough to know this is not Israel vs Palestine, this is muslim vs jew, and suddenly the conflict takes on much different overtones.

    • You’re the one who implied that there’s a “statute of limitations” on being Indigenous, if you recall. According to you, because Mr Warrior did not grow up on a rez (as you assert)–becuz he was displaced in other words–he has no right to speak for Natives. But you’ll unconditionally support the right of European Jews to invade and occupy Palestine. And I say European Jews because that is where Zionism was established. It is also where the majority of Jews lived in the early 20th century. As much as 60% of the world’s Jewish population lived in Europe by the 1930s, perhaps as many as 15 million. In 1922, there were only 83,794 Jews living in Palestine, compared to 590,890 Muslims.
      If Mr Warrior’s family had emigrated to Europe some 2,000 years, and he arrived here in North America last year claiming that whoever was on his family’s ancestral land had better leave, or he’d kill them, and he did kill them, and then forced the descendants of these people into a ghetto/prison, do you think this would be a righteous act? Judging by your statement’s questioning Mr Warrior’s “authenticity” as a Native, I don’t think you would.

      I do not oppose the principle that Jewish people return to their ancestral lands. What I do oppose, as do many other people I believe, is the brutal occupation and apartheid regime that Israel has established. Nor can it be simplified as an example of Jews “liberating” their homeland from the “colonizing Arabs.” What is today Palestine has been invaded and controlled by many other peoples, including the Egyptians, Assyrians, Babylonians, Greeks, Romans, the Byzantines, as well as the British. But for you, and Zionists, it is the Palestinian Arabs who must today pay the price for the historical displacement of the Jews.

      Regarding the numbers of Israelis killed, the list I used includes those Israelis killed by other Arab states, not just Palestinians. So it seems only fair to also include, in that same list, the numbers of Arabs killed by Israelis. That’s how the list is compiled, anyway. And really? Only 47,000 Palestinians have been killed by Israelis since 1947? Are you really such an idiot to think that makes it all better?
      Now consider the numbers from the most recent major conflict: during Operation Cast Lead (2008-2009), 14 Israelis were killed, compared to 1,434 Palestinians. And you still believe the Israelis are the “liberators,” the righteous guys fighting for their homeland? Oh right, you think it’s just a Jewish-Muslim war going on. Never mind the political, economic and strategic importance of the Middle East, and why imperialist states have had such a great interest in the region. Or why Israel is the main recipient of US economic and military aid. I wonder what those Jews who oppose the state of Israel and its actions against the Palestinian people would make of your simplistic “religious war.”

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