Courtesy Guevara De La Serna

Palestinians Endorse Idle No More

Gale Courey Toensing
12/29/12

American Indians and Palestinians have supported each other’s struggle since at least the 1970s when the American Indian Movement hosted a delegation of leaders from the Palestinian Liberation Organization.

“What the American Indian Movement says is that the American Indians are the Palestinians of the United States, and the Palestinians are the American Indians of the Middle East,” the late great Indian leader Russell Means said many times. So it is no surprise that Palestinian activists are coming out in support of Idle No More.

In little more than two weeks since the December 10 launching of the Idle No More movement by First Nations in Canada oppose a Senate omnibus budget bill that leaves them with no power over their lands and resources, dozens of organizations and hundreds of individuals supporting Palestinian liberation and human rights have endorsed the Palestinians in Solidarity with Idle No More and Indigenous Rights statement of support of the continuing Native protest that has spread across Canada, the U.S., some European countries and into the Middle East. Palestinians in Solidarity with Idle No More and Indigenous Rights calls for justice, dignity, decolonization and protection of the land, waters and resources.

“We recognize the deep connections and similarities between the experiences of our peoples – settler colonialism, destruction and exploitation of our land and resources, denial of our identity and rights, genocide and attempted genocide,” the statement says. “As Palestinians, we stood with the national liberation movement against settler colonialism in South Africa, as we stand with all liberation movements challenging colonialism and imperialism around the world. The struggle of Indigenous and Native peoples in Canada and the United States has long been known to the Palestinian people, reflecting our common history as peoples and nations subject to ethnic cleansing at the hands of the very same forces of European colonization.”

The statement goes on to recognize that the Indigenous resistance movement in Canada “includes struggles against the ongoing theft of indigenous lands, massive resource extraction and environmental devastation (including tar sands and pipelines), the continuing movement of survivors of the genocidal residential school system, and movements to demand an end to the colonial and gendered violence against Indigenous women.”

Palestinians In Solidarity with Idle No More and Indigenous Rights was launched by Vancouver resident Khaled Barakat, a Palestinian writer and community activist whose organization Samidoun focuses on the plight of political prisoners in Israeli jails and also works with Native activists and groups.

“As a Palestinian I try to study the history of the struggle here in Canada and I also see in the present conditions among Native communities that we have a common interest, a joint struggle in so many different ways,” Barakat told Indian Country Today Media Network. “I have a personal conviction that the Palestinian struggle and the struggle of all indigenous peoples around the world are connected.”

Barakat noted that both Palestinians and Native peoples have similar challenges in terms of a lack of unified representation and leadership and that one of the most effective colonialist strategies – divide and conquer – is still alive and well and working to the detriment of unity. “The Zionists, for example, are working so hard on trying to get some of the Native leaders to go and support Israel and some of these chiefs who don’t really represent the actual population and people go to Israel and try to portray that Natives and Israelis have bonds, not Natives and Palestinians, but in the final analysis those individuals’ numbers are not significant. Our numbers and support have to do with grassroots and people in the streets so eventually we will win,” Barakat said.

The core issue for both Native peoples and Palestinians is land, Barakat said, noting that Israel has violated dozens of United Nations resolutions and international laws in illegally occupying and expropriating Palestinian lands for Israeli settlers. “Land is definitely the main issue because of the resources, but it’s also the culture, it’s the history, it’s the ownership. And the economy is a major determining factor in the conflict – whether it’s among First Nations and other Indigenous Peoples here in Canada and the U.S. or Palestine – and the land is very much connected to that,” Barakat said.

An empathy with Native peoples goes back to Barakat’s childhood. As a young boy growing up in Palestine he saw that the Israeli media always portrayed Native peoples as savage, barbaric terrorists – the same terms used to portray Palestinians in the media, he said. “So even when we were children we would fight over who would play the cowboys and who would play the Natives, because everybody always wanted to play the Natives,” he said.

Barakat said it was no coincidence that he chose to begin the call for the Palestinians in Solidarity with Idle No More statement lines from the late Palestinian national poet Mahmoud Darwish’s great epic poem The Speech of the Red Indian. In this poem written in 1992, Darwish captures the passion and sorrow of both Palestinians and Native Americans over what has befallen their peoples – invasion, colonization, ethnic cleansing, genocide, land theft, and imprisonment on tiny postage stamp-sized areas of what had once been their vast homeland.

You who come from beyond the sea, bent on war,

don’t cut down the tree of our names,

don’t gallop your flaming horses across

the open plains….

Don’t bury your God

in books that back up your claim of

your land over our land,

don’t appoint your God to be a mere

courtier in the palace of the King.

“It’s almost an instinctive feeling to see ourselves in the indigenous struggle,” Barakat said. “It’s because of this that Palestinians in general see that what happened and is still happening to Natives in Canada and the U.S. is actually happening now in Palestine.”

 

The below video features the late Russell Means speaking about American Indians and Palestinians relationship.

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Anonymous's picture
Anonymous
Submitted by Anonymous on
Great article with a lot of truth. Sad but the mainstream media has not and will not share this information. Like the Indians in so many countries sanctioned by the Doctrine of Discovery. This story deserves to be told, if only for it's informational value. I am sad that I cannot link this to facebook as the facebook links continue to be inoperative here. But I will copy the URL address and share with others. Good stories deserve to be told and retold. Hope Indian Country Today fixes this facebook linking problem soon. Andre Leonard,

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous
Submitted by Anonymous on
I am a North African, born and raised. I am outraged by this article. While alive, Russell Means allied himself with the worst terrorist groups and individuals on the face of the earth, because of his hatred of the American government and nation. Now that he is dead , you are using this worst feature about his life to make him speak posthumously about the struggle of Palestinians. Palestinians are Arabs, who consider themselves "white":they are not oppressed by Jews, nor do they have a history of being oppressed, but rather the reverse. As Arabs, they have been and are oppressors of all indigenous people of the Mediterranean Basin. I am a member of the International Amazigh indigenous movement which counts over 30 million Berber people living under this oppression in Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco and the Sahara. We see the Kurds and the Copts as our allies, but we know the origin of the present day Palestinians , displaced Arab people from Jordan and other Arabic countries, who are misrepresenting themselves as 1) indigenous and 2) original settlers of the land they occupy. Please check your facts. AIM also kissed Khadafi's murderous bloody hands to get money from him, Rusell Means included.

Chris7Roberts's picture
Chris7Roberts
Submitted by Chris7Roberts on
Nothing short of seizing government buildings is needed. Nothing short of reoccupying ancient lands is needed. Nothing short of provoking an armed conflict with the army is absolutely needed. Where is your Wounded Knee Idle No More? Chris Roberts

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous
Submitted by Anonymous on
Most of the population now known as Palestinian descended from migrants originating from the surrounding Arab countries and from local Bedouins. Many migrated in waves from the middle of the nineteenth century to the middle of the twentieth century. Others were imported by the Ottoman Empire and by the British for infrastructure and agricultural projects, or migrated to the region following Zionist economic success, which produced a staggering population growth.[41] Palestinians are perhaps the newest of all peoples, comprising many scattered groups. In fact, in origin they are more Egyptian, Syrian, Jordanian, Lebanese, and mainly Bedouin, than Palestinian. Palestinian Arabs, as opposed to Arabic-speaking residents, have not been in the area west of the Jordan River from the Islamic occupation, from the Ottoman Empire, or even from British rule since 1917. No Palestinian state has ever existed, and so, no Palestinian people has ever been robbed of its land. There is no language or dialect known as Palestinian; there is no Palestinian culture distinct from that of surrounding Arab ones; and there has never been a land known as Palestine governed by Palestinians at any time in history. For these reasons, Palestinians have been driven to fabricate a past by denying and expropriating that of Jews and Israel. In the United States, where many feel guilt and remorse over historic racism, the Palestinians depict Israel as a racist state, which treats them in the same way as African Americans were treated.[49] For human rights organizations, Israel is a cruel occupier that violates all human rights and freedoms of the Palestinians.[50] In world public opinion, Israel is depicted as an oppressive society that perpetuates systematic extermination and ethnic cleansing.[51] And to Palestinians and other Muslims, the prospect of a Palestinian state is represented as the creation of another proud Arab or pious Muslim state.

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous
Submitted by Anonymous on
Most of the population now known as Palestinian descended from migrants originating from the surrounding Arab countries and from local Bedouins. Many migrated in waves from the middle of the nineteenth century to the middle of the twentieth century. Others were imported by the Ottoman Empire and by the British for infrastructure and agricultural projects, or migrated to the region following Zionist economic success, which produced a staggering population growth.[41] Palestinians are perhaps the newest of all peoples, comprising many scattered groups. In fact, in origin they are more Egyptian, Syrian, Jordanian, Lebanese, and mainly Bedouin, than Palestinian. Palestinian Arabs, as opposed to Arabic-speaking residents, have not been in the area west of the Jordan River from the Islamic occupation, from the Ottoman Empire, or even from British rule since 1917. No Palestinian state has ever existed, and so, no Palestinian people has ever been robbed of its land. There is no language or dialect known as Palestinian; there is no Palestinian culture distinct from that of surrounding Arab ones; and there has never been a land known as Palestine governed by Palestinians at any time in history. For these reasons, Palestinians have been driven to fabricate a past by denying and expropriating that of Jews and Israel. In the United States, where many feel guilt and remorse over historic racism, the Palestinians depict Israel as a racist state, which treats them in the same way as African Americans were treated.[49] For human rights organizations, Israel is a cruel occupier that violates all human rights and freedoms of the Palestinians.[50] In world public opinion, Israel is depicted as an oppressive society that perpetuates systematic extermination and ethnic cleansing.[51] And to Palestinians and other Muslims, the prospect of a Palestinian state is represented as the creation of another proud Arab or pious Muslim state.

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous
Submitted by Anonymous on
Much gratitude is owed to Anonymous for rebuking tiresome canards that have surrounded Palestinian claims by stating the truth, namely, "No Palestinian state has ever existed, and so, no Palestinian people has ever been robbed of its land. There is no language or dialect known as Palestinian; there is no Palestinian culture distinct from that of surrounding Arab ones; and there has never been a land known as Palestine governed by Palestinians at any time in history. For these reasons, Palestinians have been driven to fabricate a past by denying and expropriating that of Jews and Israel." Hardly a more noxious example of a skewed and false analogy could be posited than that between Palestinians and American Indians, notwithstanding the comments of my hero Russell Means. Palestinian writer, Khaled Barakat's claim of empathy is not unwelcome; however, the gist of and probable motive for Palestinian in Solidarity With Idle No More is a resumption of typical PLO propaganda ploys of the 1970s: attempting to co-opt the American Indian Movement (AIM) for self-serving purposes and elusive respectability. Borrowing from Barakat's own observation, the present Palestinian glomming onto First Nations's Idle No More, which issued no urgent call for help from such quarters, he's co-opting "one of the most effective colonialist strategies – divide and conquer" and attempting to add another canard--that of "common interests" and "joint" struggle. No such thing.

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous
Submitted by Anonymous on
The Jewish people actually have much more in common with the North American Native peoples than to the so-called Palestinians. It was, in fact, a pro-'Palestinian' speaker who recently appeared at a large university in the U.S. West and stated that there were no Natives in America. Add that attitude to the Palestinian philosophy of destruction vs. the Native philosophy of harmony, and you begin to understand how very different the two groups really are.

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous
Submitted by Anonymous on
I am going to have the back of ANYONE who stands up Canadian First Nations and Indigenous people world wide! Thank you for your support Palestinians!!! Much love to you and yours!

DZS's picture
DZS
Submitted by DZS on
“the Palestinians are the American Indians of the Middle East”??? How can logic be twisted in such a horrible way? How can Jewish people who returned to their ancestors’ land (which was at that time pretty deserted and sparsely populated) after two thousand years of suffering racism and genocide in alien countries be compared to overseas colonialists? Look at an Asia map in your kids’ school atlas. You’ll see a tiny Israel state of 7 million (5 million Jews) surrounded by a vast sea of Arab countries with a population of about 100 million just in the bordering countries, not counting such states as Iran, Sudan and so on, whose persistent attempts to annihilate the state of Israel resulted in the occupation of the territory that is currently called Palestine. Before 1967 this territory was not independent but belonged to Jordan. And Palestinians are a part of a larger Arab nation (explained very well in a 12/29/2012 - 16:30 comment). So who resembles the American Indians more – the large Arab world who is trying to push Jews out from their ancient lands or tiny Israel who is fighting for its survival? I think that a rational for AIM siding with PLO was their hate for the US government, just like “your foes are my friends and your friends are my foes”. “As a young boy growing up in Palestine he (Khaled Barakat) saw that the Israeli media always portrayed Native peoples as savage, barbaric terrorists” – outright lie. And concerning empathy – ask those Native Americans who happened to have contacts with Israelis.

FireSign's picture
FireSign
Submitted by FireSign on
I haven't read bigger lies since I was in the PLO in the 1970's. I left it because of the widespread corruption, graft, and outright lies being told about the history of the Jewish/Muslim conflict. Fact - There has always been a Jewish presence in Israel. Jews have treasured the land since time immemorial. Fact - Arab Muslims came to the land many, many centuries after the Romans tried to annihilate the Jews. Fact - Palestine is the name given to Judea and Samaria by the Romans in order to wipe out the memory of the Jews. Jews who left after the destruction of the Temple (where the Dome of the Rock now stands) lived in what is now Jordan, Iraq, Iran, Syria, Egypt, Morocco, Libya, and Tunisia. Many also went to Europe as far west as Spain. This was long before Mohammed was even born. Fact - Jews have had their businesses, homes, bank accoounts and all they owned seized, and they were thrown out of these countries in 1948 because the Jews took back their homeland from occupation, and now the diaspora came back to their ancestral lands. Don't even bother with the Askenazi Jew being converts argument. It's a red herring. The Muslims leave you with the impression that Europeans are the only Jews in existence, and don't bother telling you about the Mizrachi Jews that have lived in the Middle East for millenia. Fact: The Muslims claim that they settled California before the whites came to the Americas. Another lie. Fact: The Protocols of the Elders of Zion is a KGB-written propaganda lie that has proven to be a lie. It is a best-seller in the Middle East. The fact that Native Americans have glommed onto this lie is analagous to the rest of the world believing that Custer was an innocent bystander at Wounded Knee and his version is of course the authentic truth. It's not. I am astounded that Native Americans, who have so very much in common with the Jewish people, have fallen for the Jew-hating liars. Check your facts. Check your history. Check your sources. Find out what the real truth is, it is out there. I was willing to give my life at one time for the Palestinian cause. I went into a deep depression when I discovered the truth, and what I had believed so much in was nothing but lies. I have lived many years among the Muslims, and it is also a FACT that in the hadith it says that it's okay to lie to non-Muslims if it will further the aims of Islam. The aim of Islam is to have an Islamic world, and they will absolutely not tolerate a Christian (Lebanon) or Jewish state in the middle of the Islamic world. The Arabs - whose indigenous land is ARABIA - NOT Judea and Samaria (present day Israel) are widely known to have practiced genocide on the indigenous peoples of North Africa, Europe, and others in the Middle East. Jews don't do this! The People are being used (again). I am so sad to discover this as Native Americans have much to learn from the Jews, such as how to remain a people in the face of the majority. Jews have much to learn from Native Americans, as in how to regain and practice our authentic spirituality, even in the face of the majority.

FireSign's picture
FireSign
Submitted by FireSign on
You need to know that Palestinians still do "honor killings." If a woman is raped, then she has brought shame to the family (!) and one of her male relatives is "honor bound" to kill her in order to erase the shame. Funny that the Palestinians would support women standing up for themselves and not taking this kind of treatment any longer. It certainly isn't something that they practice.

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous
Submitted by Anonymous on
This interview should be put in our present day history/government books that are being used in the schools that are teaching our children.

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous
Submitted by Anonymous on
NO!!!! I am a First Nations Person. Calling for help and support from Palestinians who want to take the land from Israel is asking for TROUBLE. You do not want their 'help'. Palestinian activists are stirring up trouble by prodding First Nations People for their own ultimate purposes!! Wake up!

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous
Submitted by Anonymous on
Reading these comments I can say that every race is divided these days. Europeans, East Asian, Middle Easterners, Africans and Native Americans all have division with their own ethnic groups. All these race have people that have their Pro-Westerner right wing agenda (Capitalism, Progress and Advancement at the expense of others ) and Anti-Westerner left wing Agenda(Anti-Materialist, Anti-Colonist, Socialist-Equality) They pretty ally with the people of other races that share their political Ideology whether it's Right wing or Left Wing. All the right wing Whites, Blacks, Asians, Native American, Middle Easters re Allies while all the left wing Whites, Blacks, Asians, Native Americans and Middle Easterners are allies.

neversink's picture
neversink
Submitted by neversink on
My Native Americans brothers and sisters seem to need a history lesson. Jews were in Israel long before the Arabs, and for thousands of years before there was even a religion called Islam. Perhaps you don't know Jewish history, but Arab forces ethnically cleansed Jewish neighborhoods dating back many centuries. Just like Native Americans had historical ties to the Americas for many centuries, Jews have ties to Israel for thousands of years also. Let's not forget how many treaties exchanging land for peace and security were broken by Washington. Look what those land concession got the many Indian nations. Israel is far from an apartheid state. In fact Israel is the only multi-cultural country in the mideast. Go to Israel and you will see people of all colors and religion living together. While other mideast nations attack Christians, the Jewish state welcomes them and protects their rights to worship. While women are cruelly punished under Sahria law in many Muslim nations, women in Israel play an active role in society. While children are sold into sexual slavery in places like Syria and Saudi Arabia, children's rights are protected in Israel. Israel has survived despite all the anti-Semitism, they have lived in exile for two millennium, and unlike Native Americans, the Jews recovered its ancestral land, their language and culture, their religion and customs against heinous enemies who have no tolerance of Jews and who wish their destruction. Israelis have done this under incredible odds. Israel has been a leader in providing breakthroughs in medicine, computer technology, agriculture, and scientific knowledge contributing so much to the of mankind. Their educational institutions are considered some of the best in the world. None of these accomplishments can be said of their Arab neighbors. While Israel contributes to the world, their Arab neighbors are bent on destroying them. Both Hamas and Hezbollah talk of the "final oblivion" that will push Israel and the Jews into the sea. Iran is bent on destroying Israel. Sounds like Hitlers "final solution," doesn't it. What have the Muslim nations contributed to the world. They have run guns, destroyed ancient Buddhist shrines, amputated men and women in Mali, whipped couples who are not married, burnt churches in Nigeria, attacked African tribes in South Sudan, destroyed the environment in many areas by poaching, and treat women like second-class citizens. The radical Muslims have threatened cartoonists, novelists and any free thinkers with death. There is little tolerance in the Muslim world. They are bent on creating a Muslim world where music, literature, dance, intellectual thought, multiculturalism and the joy of life is banned. And let's not forget that Jews living in Arab lands for centuries were attacked in the last half of the 20th century. Jews in every Arab country had everything stolen from them and were murdered, assaulted, raped, and had to flee their homes where their families had lived for many years. The racism and apartheid accusations against Israel are desperate lies. I repeat, Israel is the only Mideast country that has a multi-cultural population where religious differences are tolerated and where women have rights and where Sharia law doesn't exist. The real horrors that go on in many mid-east countries, from sexual slavery to child-selling, to cruel Sharia law, to attacks on Christians, to intolerance of women and independent thinkers are mind boggling. Again, the only real safe haven for Christians in the Mideast from persecution is Israel. The racism that some say exists in Israel, a multi-cultural society, is a myth. The racist society you should attack is the one that is on-going throughout the Arab and Muslim world. I applaud the 7 million Israelis (5 million Jews) for their fortitude and courage and perseverance in the midst of billions who wish them ill. We have a lot to learn from them.

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous
Submitted by Anonymous on
I am a registered member of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe and this article makes me sick.

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous
Submitted by Anonymous on
Except a few misinformed commenters, the gist is pretty obvious, American Natives ! You are being hijacked.

Wendy Page
Wendy Page
Submitted by Wendy Page on
"Anonymous." "Anonymous." "Anonymous." "Anonymous." "Anonymous." ..............you ought to be. I'd be ashamed of most of my comments if I were you, too.

Wendy Page
Wendy Page
Submitted by Wendy Page on
"Anonymous." "Anonymous." "Anonymous." "Anonymous." "Anonymous." ..............you ought to be. I'd be ashamed of most of my comments if I were you, too.

Wendy Page
Wendy Page
Submitted by Wendy Page on
Well, SOME of you "Anonymii" anyway. Full up to your eyeballs with "fictitious facts".... it's sad.
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