Indigenous Scholars Oppose Navajo President 'Becoming Partners' With Israel

Gale Courey Toensing
4/6/13

 

A group of prominent scholars has written to Navajo Nation President Ben Shelly expressing disappointment at his support for Israel and urging him to pursue international relationships that mirror indigenous values and justice.

Robert Warrior, an Osage Nation citizen and Director of American Indian Studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he is professor of American Indian Studies, English, and History, signed an April 3 letter to Navajo Nation President Ben Shelly on behalf of a group of American Indian, Native Hawaiian, and other indigenous scholars, taking Shelly to task for his recent trip to Israel.

“As indigenous educators, we find your support for the state of Israel to be in complete contradiction to our values and sense of justice. Israel has illegally occupied Palestine for decades,” the group wrote. “Your public and political engagement with [Israeli] Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other Israeli officials sends a message that you endorse the continued occupation of the West Bank, including construction of new Jewish settlements there, as well as the ongoing settler colonial situation for Palestinians residing within the 1948 boundaries asserted by the Israeli state, and exclusion of Palestinian refugees from reclaiming their homes and homeland after being violently expelled during the nakba (catastrophe) when Israel was founded.”

Shelley met with Netanyahu and other officials at the Knesset [parliament] including the Deputy Minister of Development.  “I want to work with your people. I know that Israel is self-sufficient, what we need is your expertise, what can we share,” Shelly said in a Navajo Nation press release December 12, 2012. “What I read of you—you were no different than we are. How did you survive while moving forward in technology, greenhouses — I am interested in that and becoming partners.”

On February 1, 2013, Shelly met with Israeli diplomats and members of the Arizona Israel Business Council in Arizona to follow up on his December visit to Israel and in March Israeli farmers visited Navajo Nation to speak to Navajo farmers at a two-day conference.

The scholars refuted Shelly’s statement that the Israelis “were no different than we are,” asserting instead that the Indigenous Peoples’ experience parallels what has happened to the occupied Palestinians. The Diné people, like the other Indigenous Peoples represented by the scholars have suffered through the process of settlement, colonization, or militarization of their homelands, the group wrote. “Thanks to the wisdom of our ancestors, we have persisted. But our prospects as peoples will never be as full or complete as they might have been had those who colonized us been just and honest in their dealings with us. A similar process has unfolded for Palestinian people over the past half-century. Indeed, Israel demolition of the homes of Palestinian families is not all that different than the Long Walk your people endured in 1864. Your collusion with the Israeli government is a betrayal of that shared history and of the wisdom that has helped all Indigenous Peoples survive for centuries,” the scholars wrote.

Warrior said on April 6 that the scholars’ group has not had a response from the Navajo president yet. Shelly did not respond to e-mails from Indian Country Today Media Network by posting time, seeking comment on the scholars’ letter.

All of the scholars who signed the letter to Shelly have endorsed the U.S. Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel, which is part of an international movement led by Palestinian civil society to draw attention to the brutality of the ongoing occupation of Palestinian homelands, Warrior said.

Several of the scholars in the group have spent time in historic Palestine. Warrior told ICTMN in an e-mail that he spent the summers of 1984 and 1985 as a volunteer archeologist on digs for the Israeli Department of Antiquities and Museums where he got to know a lot of young Arab Israelis and Palestinians and experienced life on the ground under the occupation. “They were eager to talk to me as an American Indian person. It was eye opening, to say the least. What I saw was painful—young people trying to bring positive change to their communities being thwarted at every turn by bureaucracy and callousness,” Warrior said.

Warrior has followed Palestinian issues ever since he was a student of Edward Said, the iconic and controversial University Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University and the author of more than 20 books. Said was a leading literary critic, public intellectual, and passionate advocate for the Palestinian cause. He was born in Al Quds (Jerusalem) in 1935 and died in New York in 2003. “Said was a formative influence on the way I think about scholarship and political engagement,” Warrior said. During that time – the late 1980s – Warrior wrote a widely read and highly influential essay called "Canaanites, Cowboys, and Indians," partially reproduced on the internet, about liberation theology and its focus on biblical stories in which Indigenous Peoples are displaced in favor of “chosen peoples.” “Many of us see clearly the connections between what is happening to Palestinians and what has happened to our peoples. Groups do not need to fit exactly into a definition of what we regard as a tribal nation to deserve our solidarity,” Warrior said.

J. Kehaulani Kauanui (Kanaka Maoli), associate professor of American Studies and Anthropology at Wesleyan University and the producer and host of the public affairs radio program, "Indigenous Politics: From Native New England and Beyond," is currently engaged in comparative research on Palestine and Hawai’i – both vivid and violent cases of settler colonialism and occupation, she told ICTMN. "The contested State of Israel perpetuates the violent domination and removal of the Palestinian people from their homeland, much like the U.S. settler colonial state's treatment of Native nations. Why any tribal leader would want to partner-up with Netanyahu is beyond curious; it is morally repugnant," Kauanui said. "Tribal presidents and chairpersons, like all other official government leaders, should not be surprised to be called out for colluding with an apartheid state."

Kauanui said, that "the Israeli government's courting of Shelley is a form of 'Redwashing' – the promotion of Indigenous Peoples of the Americas as a deliberate strategy to conceal the continuing violations of the Palestinian people." She was part of a five-scholar delegation to Israel/Palestine in January 2012 organized by the U.S. Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel. She has served as an advisory board member of USACBI since it was established in January 2009 in the midst of Operation Cast Lead.

In addition to Warrior and Kauanui, the scholars include J. Noelani Goodyear-Kaopua (Kanaka Maoli); Noenoe K. Silva (Kanaka Maoli); Lisa Kahaleole Hall (kanaka Maoli); Vicente M. Diaz (Pohnpeian); Jacki T. Rand (Choctaw); Kimberly TallBear (Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate); LeAnne Howe (Choctaw);  and Joanne Barker (Lenni-Lenape Delaware Tribe of Indians).

The group ended their letter with an appeal to Shelly to “rethink your partnership with this corrupt and contested state and seek out international relationships that better reflect on all of us as Indigenous Peoples.”

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NAVAJO NATION MEMBER's picture
NAVAJO NATION MEMBER
Submitted by NAVAJO NATION MEMBER on
The Navajo Nation is a sovereign nation and the government can enter into business relationships which will benefit the people. The rest is just hyperbole. I find it interesting that these scholars conveniently overlook the fact that Palestinian Arabs, relative newcomers to the Gallup, NM area, exploit and practice racism against the very people these so called scholars are writing about. Scholars...you do not speak for me or my nation.

Randy Hillard's picture
Randy Hillard
Submitted by Randy Hillard on
If you liked what Kit Carson did to you in Fort Sumner, you should love what the Israelis are doing to the Palestinians in Gaza.

Noah G. Hoffman's picture
Noah G. Hoffman
Submitted by Noah G. Hoffman on
It's very disconcerting when I hear the hate in the hearts of Native Americans for Israel and by inference, all Jews. For some years I've been directing a major historical revision on the iconic Jewish artist, Mark Rothko. I document his unacknowledged appropriation of indigenous culture and share the research online with 100's of Native American scholars, artists, and museum professionals. This week I am working hard to prevent the sale of sacred Hopi masks coming up at a French auction. I am an Orthodox Jew and I am also interested in opening up a dialog between Jews and Native Americans and have already been successful in a small way. I don't have a political solution for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but Jews and Israelis should be viewed as individuals and not stereotyped just as my work has taught me to do the same with Native Americans. Noah G. Hoffman Director The Mark Rothko Southwest History Project

Noah G. Hoffman's picture
Noah G. Hoffman
Submitted by Noah G. Hoffman on
It's very disconcerting when I hear the hate in the hearts of Native Americans for Israel and by inference, all Jews. For some years I've been directing a major historical revision on the iconic Jewish artist, Mark Rothko. I document his unacknowledged appropriation of indigenous culture and share the research online with 100's of Native American scholars, artists, and museum professionals. This week I am working hard to prevent the sale of sacred Hopi masks coming up at a French auction. I am an Orthodox Jew and I am also interested in opening up a dialog between Jews and Native Americans and have already been successful in a small way. I don't have a political solution for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but Jews and Israelis should be viewed as individuals and not stereotyped just as my work has taught me to do the same with Native Americans. Noah G. Hoffman Director The Mark Rothko Southwest History Project

James Martin's picture
James Martin
Submitted by James Martin on
Supporting Israel is supporting an occupying population. It is Capitalism which has given permission to Zionists to form the state called Israel. How do you imagine indigenous people have no rights to their existence and the invading force has every right to it's existence? Is it a bribe that you are responding to, giving creditably to Israeli's or is there some sort of blackmail that you are victim to that makes you subject to some wealthy partner?

Patrick Wolfe's picture
Patrick Wolfe
Submitted by Patrick Wolfe on
Could a Navajo dignitary visit occupied East Jerusalem, Gaza, or the West Bank, meet with Indigenous people there who are still living in the frontier situation, and come away in support of the invaders? No doubt Ben Shelly was carefully shielded from such experiences. So the question is: why did he allow himself to be so partitioned from Indigenous experience? Why did he only visit the people who'd perpetrated the removals, the Andrew Jackson's and the Martin van Burens of the modern world? Why did he choose to be dry-eyed about the ongoing Palestinian trails of tears? There's a word for people like you, Ben Shelly. In the end, then, the question isn't for him - he's just another colonizer. It's for the Navajo people - why on earth do you tolerate a leader like this man, this friend and abettor of the Kit Carsons of the modern world? Wake up, Navajo! Patrick Wolfe.

Jennifer Denetdale's picture
Jennifer Denetdale
Submitted by Jennifer Denetdale on
It's unfortunate that the prominent indigenous scholars noted in this article seem to be unaware that many of our young Dine' scholars and community organizers like Andrew Curley, Melanie Yazzie, Klee Benally, Moroni Benally, Janene Yazzie , Teresa Montoya, Kim Smith, and Tristan Moone have voiced objections to President Shelly's support for Israel. Our Dine' students at Columbia participated in dialogues with students opposed to Israel occupation of Palestinian territories. Maybe they did their homework and checked in with Dine' community people and scholars, I don't know, but it sure seems odd not to note the consciousness raising our own young people have been doing on comparative settler colonialism. I want to take this opportunity to thank the Dine' young people who are voicing their opposition to President Shelly and raising Navajo consciousness throughout Navajoland. Thank you.

Against Racism's picture
Against Racism
Submitted by Against Racism on
Kauanui: "the contested State of Israel" There is nothing contested about the existence of the State of Israel unless one is a racist, hate filled, anti-semite.

Prof. Taheri's picture
Prof. Taheri
Submitted by Prof. Taheri on
Mahmud Al-Habbash, a regular writer in the official PA paper, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, indicates in his column “The Pulse of Life” that the Arabs left Israel in 1948 only after political Arab leaders persuaded them to do so by promising the Arabs a speedy return to their homes in Palestine: “…The leaders and the elites promised us at the beginning of the ‘Catastrophe’ (the establishment of Israel and the creation of refugee problem) in 1948, that the duration of the exile will not be long, and that it will not last more than a few days or months, and afterwards the refugees will return to their homes, which most of them did not leave only until they put their trust in those “Arkuvian” promises made by the leaders and the political elites. Afterwards, days passed, months, years and decades, and the promises were lost with the strain of the succession of events…” (Term “Arkuvian,” is named after Arkuv – a figure from Arab tradition - who was known for breaking his promises and for his lies.")." [Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, December 13, 2006]

Prof. Taheri's picture
Prof. Taheri
Submitted by Prof. Taheri on
“We heard sounds of explosions and of gunfire at the beginning of the summer in the year of the ‘Catastrophe; [The establishment of Israel and the expulsion from the land in 1948]. They told us: ‘The Jews attacked our region and it is better to evacuate the village and return, after the battle is over.’ And indeed there were among us [who fled Israel] those who left a fire burning under the pot, those who left their flock [of sheep] and those who left their money and gold behind, based on the assumption that we would return after a few hours.” [Asmaa Jabir Balasimah Um Hasan, Woman who fled Israel, Al-Ayyam, May 16, 2006]

Prof. Taheri's picture
Prof. Taheri
Submitted by Prof. Taheri on
An Arab viewer called Palestinian Authority TV and quoted his father and grandfather, complaining that in 1948 the Arab District Officer ordered all Arabs to leave Palestine or be labeled traitors. In response, Arab MK Ibrahim Sarsur, then Head of the Islamic Movement in Israel, cursed the leaders who ordered Arabs to leave, thus, acknowledging Israel’s assertion. Statement of son and grandson of man who fled: “Mr. Ibrahim [Sarsur]. I address you as a Muslim. My father and grandfather told me that during the ‘Catastrophe’ [establishment of Israel in 1948 and the expulsion from the land], our district officer issued an order that whoever stays in Palestine and in Majdel [near Ashkelon – Southern Israel] is a traitor, he is a traitor.” Response from Ibrahim Sarsur, Head of the Islamic Movement in Israel: “"The one who gave the order forbidding them to stay there bears guilt for this, in this life and the Afterlife throughout history until Resurrection Day.” [PA TV April 30, 1999]

Prof. Taheri's picture
Prof. Taheri
Submitted by Prof. Taheri on
“I have received a letter from a prisoner in Acre prison, to the Arab summit: “To the [Arab and Muslim] Kings and Presidents, Poverty is killing us, the symptoms are exhausting us and the souls are leaving our body, yet you are still searching for the way to provide aid, like one who is looking for a needle in a haystack or like the armies of your predecessors in the year of 1948, who forced us to leave [Israel], on the pretext of clearing the battlefields of civilians... So what will your summit do now?” [Fuad Abu Higla, columnist, Al-Hayat Al-Jadidah, March 19, 2001]

Prof. Taheri's picture
Prof. Taheri
Submitted by Prof. Taheri on
The Palestinians could have had a peaceful state… in 1937 with the Peel Plan, but they violently rejected it; in 1939 with the MacDonald White Paper, but they violently rejected it, pursuing their (in)famous battle-cry, “Itbach al-Yahud”–Slaughter the Jews; in 1948 with UN 181, but they violently rejected it. They chose instead to launch an offensive together with five regular Arab armies in an effort to “drive the Jews into the sea;” from 1948-1967 in the West Bank and Gaza, where the Arabs had ethnically cleansed every single Jew, but they violently rejected it. They chose instead to infiltrate the Jewish country and murder its civilians; after 1967, but instead, they and the rest of the Arab world issued the 3 No’s of Khartoum: No to peace with Israel, No to recognition of Israel, No to negotiations with Israel; after the 1993 Oslo Accords. But instead they chose to introduce their latest weapon against the Jews: The suicide bomber; in 2000 with the Barak offer, but they violently rejected it, and started the gruesome series of suicide massacres known as the “Second Intifada;” in Gaza after the Israeli withdrawal of 2005, but they violently rejected it with thousands of missile and rocket attacks; in 2008 with the Olmert offer, but they violently rejected. Every single month there have been dozens of attacks and attempted attacks from both the West Bank and Gaza. The only things preventing a bloodbath in Israel are the Israeli security measures: The barrier and checkpoints in the West Bank, the border and anti-missile system in Gaza, and the intelligence that leads to preemptive arrests. The Palestinians had many chances. They rejected them all because destroying Israel (“what was taken by force will only be returned by force”) has been a higher priority. And it still is. They would only stop attacking Israelis and talk peace if Israel accepts the right of return, in other words, peace with Israel only if there is no Israel. This total rejection of the Jews’ right to self-determination, and the relentless attempts to murder Jews, may lead to events such as the ones brilliantly depicted in Jonathan Bloomfield’s award-winning thriller, “Palestine,” in which actual history and future predictions are thinly veiled as fiction.

Prof. Taheri's picture
Prof. Taheri
Submitted by Prof. Taheri on
We all want peace, and yet, after more than a century of conflict, the struggle between these two related nations remains more intractable than ever. Why? Because each side is entrenched in its own narrative, to the exclusion of the other’s. Its faults notwithstanding, one must admit that Israel has taken some steps since the Oslo Accords toward acknowledging the Palestinian suffering. These steps are reflected in school books, in the media, and through other informational outlets. The Arabs of the West Bank and Gaza, for instance, are now referred to as “Palestinians,” and most Israelis would like to see a Palestinian state emerge. The fact that Israeli voters don’t reflect these wishes has to do with fears of surface-to-air missiles two miles from Ben-Gurion International Airport, and scarred memories of blown-up buses and pizzerias. The Palestinians, unfortunately, have done little to allay Israeli fears. While Palestinians clamor for the removal of onerous checkpoints and barriers, militant attempts to penetrate these barriers and attack Israeli civilians have not ceased at all since the second Intifada. Similarly, school books and speeches, in Arabic, have grown radical, to the point of portraying Israel’s very existence as a crime. Little has been done to acknowledge and stop rejecting the Jewish roots in Palestine. The fact is that the Jewish presence in Palestine goes much farther back than most Palestinians, as well as Arabs and Muslims in general, would be willing to admit. Before 1948, Palestine was ruled by a series of empires. Before that Palestine was Judaea—a Jewish country. Jews have lived in Palestine continuously for more than 3,300 years. "Palestine" was the name given to the Jewish homeland in the second century by the Romans, in an attempt to break the Jewish adherence to the land. This was a century after the Jewish temple was destroyed and more than a million Jews were massacred. The Jews stopped fighting the Romans only after they had no more fighting men standing. As Evangelist William Eugene Blackstone put it in 1891, “The Jews never gave up their title to Palestine… They never abandoned the land. They made no treaty, they did not even surrender. They simply succumbed, after the most desperate conflict, to the overwhelming power of the Romans.” The Jews persisted through the centuries under the various empires, after the Arab invasion of 635AD (which they fought alongside the Byzantines), and after the Crusade massacres of the 11th Century, which decimated much of their population. They never stopped returning, and their numbers recovered. In the 19th century, before the Zionist immigration, Jews constituted the largest religious group in Jerusalem. Few Palestinians realize that Jewish customs, religion, prayers, poetry, holidays, and virtually every walk of life, documented for thousands of years—all revolve around Judaea/Palestine/Israel. For thousands of years Jews have been praying for Jerusalem in every prayer, after every meal, in every holiday, at every wedding, in every celebration. The whole Jewish religion is about Jerusalem and the Land of Israel. Western expressions such as “The Promised Land,” and “The Holy Land,” did not pop out of void. They have been part of Western knowledge and tradition dating back to the beginning of Christianity and earlier. After the Crusades, the Jews—including many who have returned over the centuries—lived peacefully with Arabs, often in the very same villages, as in Pki'in, in the Galilee, until the Zionist immigration of the 19th and 20th Centuries. Article 6 of the PLO Charter specifically calls for the acceptance of all Jews present in Palestine prior to the Zionist immigration. These Jews were simply another ethnic group in a region composed of Sunnis, Shiites, Jews, Druz, Greek Orthodox, Catholics, Circassians, Samarians, and more. Some of these groups, like the Druz, Circassians, Samarians, and an increasing number of Christians, are actually loyal to the Jewish State. Incidentally, genetic studies consistently show that Zionist immigrants (a.k.a., Ashkenazi Jews) are closely related to groups that predate the Arab conquest, like the Samarians, who have lived in Palestine for thousands of year. If, as the current Palestinian narrative goes, the Jews are not a people indigenous to Palestine but rather an invading foreign colonialist body, then they must be fought until they are removed from this land. Anything short of that, by any standard, would be injustice. Thus, war and bloodshed will continue until the Palestinians stop denying the Jewish narrative, and the fact that Jewish roots in Palestine date back thousands of years, long before the Arab invasion.

EndlessApollo's picture
EndlessApollo
Submitted by EndlessApollo on
Shameful! For the Native peoples of America to, in any way, endorse or support the vicious oppression, subjugation, and wholesale exile and murder of the Native Palestinians is hypocrisy at its very worst. Kissing up to apartheid Israel IS endorsing genocide akin to the very horror experienced by the Navajo. Nothing less.

Daniel Rosenthal's picture
Daniel Rosenthal
Submitted by Daniel Rosenthal on
The Jews were the original inhabitants of Israel but were expelled by the Romans. The Palestinian Arabs moved in to fill the vacuum left by the Roman occupiers. The Jews returning to Israel is no different than some groups of Native Americans sueing for return of their lands. This is not to say that Israel has done everything right or that the Palestinians have done everything right. Israeli tactics have sometimes have been heavy handed, and Palestinians have sometimes used terrorist tactics against innocent Israeli civilians including women and children. An equitable solution is one that recognizes that both Jews and Palestinian Arabs have national rights and that some way of sharing the land is the only just solutions. If you go back far enough, you may even find that many of the Israelis and Palestinians are related by blood and probably came from a common ancestor--one which exterminated the REAL inhabitants of the area, the Neanderthals. Of course they were a separate species......

curtj's picture
curtj
Submitted by curtj on
Think about that word, colonialism, and how it affects all Indigenous on this continent. We've seen our resources and lands stolen, millions of Indigenous murdered and the survivors locked up in concentration camps called reservations, where even those are being taken over by the descendants of the illegal European immigrants. Our leaders refuse to educate themselves on the history of this lands and why and how the lands ended up in the invaders fists, theyre stuck in a box making decisions affecting their lands, rights and people, based on intellectual and philisophical parameters of colonialism, foisted on them by our government. It's nothing more than theft and murder and since Israel was born by the actions of 2 of the most original purveyors of colonialism, America and Britain, it is logical for them to have their heads stuck up Israels orifice. But so called Indigenous leaders? I'll wait to see if you all would print this, iffin your corporate sponsors allow its post.

Rima Najjar
Rima Najjar
Submitted by Rima Najjar on
As a Palestinian and a human being, I am truly appalled at the level of discussion on this supposedly academic site. Noah G. Hoffman and others are trotting out all the tired Zionist narratives that have been so poisonous for the Palestinian cause over the years. In the process they are not only vilifying Palestinians, but also denying the settler-colonial parallels between the history of the indigenous peoples in the United States and in Palestine. Noah G. Hoffman wants to read statements that have to do with justice and human rights of an oppressed people as “the hate in the hearts of Native Americans for Israel and by inference, all Jews.” Someone oddly calling himself “Against Racism” doesn’t see anything to contest in the Zionist. Prof. Taheri trots out, “the Arabs left Israel in 1948 only after political Arab leaders persuaded them to do so”, denying the well-documented Palestinian ethnic cleansing. Taheri then writes several other posts distinguished by their lack of learning. Daniel Rosenthal gives us, “The Jews were the original inhabitants of Israel.” In this supposedly academic discussion, there is a truly appalling level of ignorance about the history of Zionism and the establishment of Israel. It is difficult to know how to begin to address it all. I’ll just post two ideas here for the consideration of the readers of this thread. One is a quotation that I hope will be self-evident in its justice and rightness: "The solution to the dispossession and persecution of one people can never be to dispossess and persecute another. When we do this, or participate in this, or even just allow this to happen without criticism or resistance, we only help ensure further injustice, oppression, intolerance, cruelty and violence in the future." - Iain Banks The other is a simplified version of key ideas important for the understanding of the Zionist state. For anyone who needs references for these “pillars” as I call them, please let me know. I have checked in here on my Facebook account, and there is a lot of information posted there publicly. THE THREE PILLARS OF ISRAEL 1) The first pillar concerns the manufacture of two racial groups, as there are no real racial distinctions between Jews and Palestinians. 2) The second pillar consists of the policies and practices that facilitate the segregation of the population into different geographical areas, privileging one group over the other. 3) The third pillar rests upon the use of “security” laws to “justify” inhuman acts against Palestinians. 4) The fourth pillar concerns the settler-colonial nature of the Zionist state as propped up by the US and Europe. 5) The fifth pillar is the destruction, eradication and negation of the Palestinians as a people with a historic and deep connection to the land.

cfranklin's picture
cfranklin
Submitted by cfranklin on
To Noah Hoffman: You seem to be equating a critique of the Israeli state and its human rights violations against Palestinians as an expression of hate against individual Jews, and as an an act of anti-Semitism. As an anti-Zionist Jew, I would challenge both these equations and instead would say that the Indigenous scholars who wrote to Shelly are in fact working against institutionalized forms of racism and colonialism--that their work is crucial to the creation of justice and peace.

shai_P's picture
shai_P
Submitted by shai_P on
As a settler woman, I wouldn't dare to say to Navajo what they should or shouldn't be doing, but my concern is with people trying to shame the scholars who wrote the letter. Lovely settlers/colonizers/settler-invaders, do we/you realize how we/you are supporting the invasion of Palestine and here? Jews 'deserve' Israel/Palestine because it was their territory in 'Biblical times' as you say, and that for some reason legitimizes the incarceration of Palestinian youth, men and women, the dying of pregnant women at checkpoints, the dying of little Palestinian children in their mothers' arms and the brutal murders of youth, men and women. However, when it comes to Native American/Aboriginal/Indigenous rights here in the US and Canada, we have a difficult time understanding the sovereignty of their nations, we argue that they are almost dead so why should we pay attention to them, we talk about how hard our forefathers from Ireland and other places worked to 'settle' this land. Do we see the connections here?

shai_P's picture
shai_P
Submitted by shai_P on
As a settler woman, I wouldn't dare to say to Navajo what they should or shouldn't be doing, but my concern is with people trying to shame the scholars who wrote the letter. Lovely settlers/colonizers/settler-invaders, do we/you realize how we/you are supporting the invasion of Palestine and here? Jews 'deserve' Israel/Palestine because it was their territory in 'Biblical times' as you say, and that for some reason legitimizes the incarceration of Palestinian youth, men and women, the dying of pregnant women at checkpoints, the dying of little Palestinian children in their mothers' arms and the brutal murders of youth, men and women. However, when it comes to Native American/Aboriginal/Indigenous rights here in the US and Canada, we have a difficult time understanding the sovereignty of their nations, we argue that they are almost dead so why should we pay attention to them, we talk about how hard our forefathers from Ireland and other places worked to 'settle' this land. Do we see the connections here?

wings32s's picture
wings32s
Submitted by wings32s on
I find their statements to be both prejudice with out merit as well as anti-Semitic. Dr Samuel Goldman

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous
Submitted by Anonymous on
The anti-Israel stance of the Indigenous scholars cited in this article is totally dismantled by ignoring the carnage Muslims are inflicting upon each other in Syria. More and more, such actions and excoriations by liberal Indigenous scholars as reported in this article is an example of blatant intimidations and "my way or the..." bravado. Navajo President Ben Shelly and all American Indian students should stop to focus on what the main purpose for American Indian people is. Trying to find cause with Palestine reflects desperation--and-- colonialistic susceptibility. To the same extent that these Indigenous scholars cited in this article are agenda-driven, American Indian students should carefully study the purpose that their imperfect analogy between Palestinians and Native Americans presents. For instance, an analogy is valid only if it is precise and honest.

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous
Submitted by Anonymous on
Who are these so called white scholars posing as Native Americans? If they read a book they would know that the Native Americans are the true Israelite descendents. Did you hear Shelly and I believe this wholeheartedly after much research, he said," We are a lost Tribe of Israel"! Wake up Native Americans to your true heritage, We are Hebrew People! There are true Biblically based books written about our rich heritage. Here are a few you can download or read on the web: History of the American Indians by James Adair, View of the Hebrews by Ethan Smith, The Ten Tribes of Israel by Timothy Jenkins. As for these so called palestinians their heritage is from Edom who sold his birthright to the Holy Land for a bowl of soup. As for these white Israelis their heritage is from Khazar Jews, they converted to Judaism in the 9th century A.D. Their lineage is from Japheth , Togarmah, Phrygia and their natrural homeland is the Caucacus region. There is a book called The Thirteenth Tribe by Arthur Koestler that explains this in detail. Just Google the books and have open abd discerning heart. Jesus wants you back as His People! Teach this truth to your children, let them know they have a rich heritage and to stay with their people and not to pollute their flesh by intermarriage. God will save His Native American Israelites.

I am Dineh's picture
I am Dineh
Submitted by I am Dineh on
People using emotional English terminology in reference to the Jews-using Navajo recognition/agreements is sad. We have walked away from the elders and ancestors that fought the cloak called Christianity. I am a Vet, The enigma calling itself Israel is a 20th Century colonization of Palestinian ancestral lands. It was established by the same lineage of Aristocrats that stole your lands, water and air. If you defend those actions, you need to do more research. A-men...

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous
Submitted by Anonymous on
I invite all of you to read the comments of the Amazigh man who explains in a topic (idle no more) that it's the contrary : Arabs don't accept the resistance of Jews people. I am an Amazigh jew from Tunisia (indigenous roots) and I am chocked by the ignorance of many comments. Many middle eastern countries like conquesting land as much as European countries. My ancestors were dhimmi and I am proud that now we became warriors... Just check History of Northern Africa and you will understand ...

eaglelibrium 's picture
eaglelibrium
Submitted by eaglelibrium on
Navajo's are exactly like israelis. They invaded pueblo land and are now claiming everything from their land to their culture. The Navajo Nation gets bigger as the indigenous people people get squeezed out and their resources stolen. They're not real natives, natives will never sell out like the lost tribe of Israel, AKA Navajo Nation, has.

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