Advent Of An International Controversy In Indian Country
By Thomas Ivan Dahlheimer
(January 24, 2014)
The advent of an international controversy is happening in Indian Country,
and it's being debated on Indian Country Today Media Network (ICTMN), the world's
largest Indian news source.
Currently, 41 selective comments are posted on the ICTMN article
Don't Mix Indigenous Fight With Palestinian Rights.
In the article its author Ryan Bellerose protests against the contents of an earlier ICTMN article
'Redwashing' Panel Follows Academic
Associations' Boycott of Israel.
Robert Warrior's ICTMN
Palestine Without Smears: Why Israel and Natives Aren't Natural Allies
defends his and his allies position as well as
criticises Bellerose and his ICTMN article.
"Redwashing" means using indigenous Native Americans to cover up Israel's ongoing
illegal occupation of Palestinian land and violations of Palestinians' human rights.
Also, "redwashing" can be defined as the promotion of Indigenous Peoples of the Americas
as a deliberate strategy to conceal the continuing violations of the Palestinian people.
During the Transnational American Studies conference held in Lebanon in early January 2014,
the panel protesting 'redwashing" presented information about: The advent of solidarity
between Indigenous Peoples in North America and Palestine, as well as the anti-solidarity [against
Israel] that has emerged as a result of "redwashing."
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.
The Native American and Indigenous Studies
Association (NAISA), a nearly 5,000 members association, has an on-line public
document that states: "As the elected council of an international community
of Indigenous and allied non-Indigenous scholars, students, and public intellectuals
who have studied and resisted the colonization and domination of Indigenous lands
via settler state structures throughout the world, we strongly protest the
illegal occupation of Palestinian lands and the legal structures of the Israeli state that
systematically discriminate against Palestinians and other Indigenous peoples.
Robert Warrior is a current leader of the NAISA. In 2009-10, he served as its
Nine of my posted comments to the article Don't Mix Indigenous Fight With Palestinian Rights
are presented below.
Comment 4 by me (rainbow):
In the second millennium, Jerusalem was inhabited by the Jebusites. In the Bible the
Jebusites are considered to be Canaanites. It was the Jebusites who first built
the fortress Zion in the town. Zion is a Canaanite word which means "hill" or
"height." In Judges: 19 it says: In those days when there was no king in
Israel, a certain Levite set out on a journey to seek his concubine.
He had with him his servant. When they were near Jebus [i.e. Jerusalem]
the day was far spent and the servant said to his master: "Come now let
us turn aside to this city of the Jebusites and spend the night in it."
[And his master said to him], "We will not turn aside to the city of
foreigners who do not belong to the people of Israel. Bearing these
facts about the origin of Jerusalem in mind, the Israeli writer
Dan Almagor, writing in the Israeli paper Yediot Ahronot,
29 January 1993 scoffed at the intended celebrations of the
founding of Jerusalem and stressed that David was the occupier,
not the founder of Jerusalem. Almagor said, "Let us be careful
about the rules of truth and reality in our publishing.
Accordingly, we must say truthfully: No festivities
for the 3000-year anniversary of the foundation of
Jerusalem but for the occupation of Jerusalem."... As
DeLacy O'Leary pointed out in Arabia Before Muhammad "The
majority of the present Palestinian peasants are descendants
of those who preceded the Israelites.".... In The Golden Bough,
the British anthropologist Sir James Frazer (1854-1941)
stressed that, "the Arabic-speaking peasants of Palestine
are the progeny of the tribes which settled in the
country before the Israelite invasion. They are still
adhering to the land. They never left it and were
never uprooted from it."
Comment 17 by me:
Have the Euro-Americans been in this land long enough to be classified as "indigenous?"
Israel invaded the indigenous Palestine’s homeland and occupied it for a long
time, so now some people classify them as indigenous to the land and claim that
the Palestine people are not indigenous. If we follow these people’s logic, the
Euro-Americans will soon be the indigenous people of this land and American
Indians will be foreigners who can be uprooted from their land again
Comment 26 by me:
The word "Hebrew" can be translated as "the people from the other bank of the
river," meaning the Euphrates. The Hebrews came from the eastern side of it
near the Mesopotamian city of Ur. They were a closely-knit group of nomadic
herding tribes with a strict kinship structure. Their leaders were called
Patriarchs ("father rulers"). The most important Patriarchs were Abraham,
his son Isaac and Isaac's son Jacob, and Moses. In about 2000 BC,
according to the Hebrew Bible, Abraham received a visitation from God,
who told him that he and his people had been chosen to fulfill a special
purpose of God. Abraham was also told that his people must leave
Mesopotamia, which they did. They migrated west with their sheep and
goats to a land called Canaan, which is now modern-day Israel and southern
Lebanon. Once there, Abraham had another visitation in which he said that
God told him that Canaan was to belong to him and his people - that
Canaan was to be the Promised Land. Canaan eventually became known
as Palestine. It was named for the people who lived there. These
people were called Philistines.
Comment 27 by me:
In a best-selling book about the history of the American West, Theodore Roosevelt
wrote: "Many of the best of the backwoodsmen were Bible-readers. They looked at
their foes as the Hebrew prophets looked at the enemies of Israel. What were
the abominations because of which the Canaanites were destroyed before Joshua,
when compared with the abominations of the red savages whose lands they,
another chosen people, should in their turn inherit?"...The indigenous peoples
of the "New World" were viewed by the European invaders, and later by
Euro-Americans, as new Canaanites of the new Land of Canaan, a promised
inheritance and everlasting possession, for some new "chosen people,"
white Euro-American Christians, who were to treat (to some extent)
the new Canaanites (this lands indigenous peoples) the way the
Israelites treated the Canaanites when they invaded and took
possession of their homelands. The mental model of a chosen
people and a promised land provides a convenient rationalization
whereby one people feels entitled and justified, by divine right,
to take over, possess, and profit from the lands of other peoples.
Comment 35 by me
Hebrew tribes probably immigrated to the Canaanite region centuries before Moses
led his people out of serfdom in Egypt (1270 BC), and Joshua conquered parts
of Palestine (1230 BC). The conquerors settled in the hill country, but they
were unable to conquer all of Palestine....The Israelites, a confederation of
Hebrew tribes, finally defeated the Canaanites about 1125 BC but found the
struggle with the Philistines more difficult. The Philistines had established
an independent state on the southern coast of Palestine and controlled a
number of towns to the north and east. Superior in military organization and
using iron weapons, they severely defeated the Israelites about 1050 BC. The
Philistine threat forced the Israelites to unite and establish a monarchy.
David, Israel's great king, finally defeated the Philistines shortly after
1000 BC, and they eventually assimilated with the Canaanites. ...The Jews
of Jerusalem and the rest of Palestine did not for the most part leave
after the failure of the Bar Kochba revolt against the Romans in 136 CE.
They continued to live there and to farm in Palestine under Roman rule
and then Byzantine. They gradually converted to Christianity. After
638 CE all but 10 percent gradually converted to Islam. The present-day
Palestinians are the descendants of the ancient Jews and have every
right to live where their ancestors have lived for centuries.
Comment 36 by me
"The genetic profile of Palestinians has, for the first time, been studied by
using human leukocyte antigen (HLA) gene variability and haplotypes. The
comparison with other Mediterranean populations by using neighbor-joining
dendrograms and correspondence analyses reveal that Palestinians are genetically
very close to Jews and other Middle East populations, including Turks (Anatolians),
Lebanese, Egyptians, Armenians, and Iranians. Archaeological and genetic
data support that both Jews and Palestinians came from the ancient
Canaanites, who extensively mixed with Egyptians, Mesopotamian, and
Anatolian peoples in ancient times. Thus, Palestinian-Jewish rivalry is
based in cultural and religious, but not in genetic, differences."
Comment 38 by me
In the beginning of the 1900s, a group led by Theodor Herzl founded the Jewish
Colonial Trust. The group's aim was to establish a financial institution to
promote Zionist colonization in Palestine. ...The term "Arab
nationals" is not religious-specific, and it implicitly includes not
only the Arabic-speaking Muslims of Palestine, but also the Arabic-speaking
Christians of Palestine. The Jews of Palestine were/are also included,
although limited only to the [Arabic-speaking] Jews who had normally
resided in Palestine until the beginning of the [pre-state] Zionist
invasion. ...Although proud of their Arab heritage and ancestry, the Palestinians
considered themselves to be descended not only from Arab conquerors of
the seventh century but also from indigenous peoples who had lived
in the country since time immemorial, including the ancient Hebrews
and the Canaanites before them. ...The creation of Palestinian identity
in its contemporary sense was formed essentially during the 1960s, with
the creation of the Palestine Liberation Organization. However,
the existence of a population with a recognizably similar name ("the Philistines")
in Biblical times suggests a degree of continuity over a long historical period. ...The
Philistines resisted the Hebrews' ["manifest destiny"] invasion and
occupation of their sacred homeland. And now-days, their Palestinian descendants
are resisting the colonizing Jews' Zionist invasion and occupation of their
sacred homeland - an invasion and occupation that has caused many Palestinians
to be forced from their sacred traditional homeland, much like what
happened to the American and Canadian indigenous peoples.
Comment 43 by me:
The ancient Hebrew God was a God of war, thievery, ethnic cleansing and slavery.
"This is how you will know that the living God is among you and that he will
certainly drive out before you the Canaanites, Hittites, Hivites, Perizzites,
Girgashites, Amorites and Jebusites." (Joshua 3:10) ...While Joshua defeated
many of the kings of these peoples, they were not entirely destroyed,
as this reference from Solomon's time, three hundred years later,
indicates: "All the people left from the Hittites, Amorites,
Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites, that is, their descendants
remaining in the land, whom the Israelites had not destroyed --
these Solomon conscripted for his slave labor force, as it is
to this day." (2 Chronicles 8:7-8) ...The Philistines were listed among
the seven nations the Israelites were to drive out, they are mentioned
in Joshua 13:2-3 as the unconquered peoples: "This is the land that
remains: all the regions of the Philistines and Geshurites: from
the Shihor River on the east of Egypt to the territory of Ekron
on the north, all of it counted as Canaanite (the territory of
the five Philistine rulers in Gaza, Ashdod, Ashkelon, Gath and
Ekron -- that of the Avvites)...." The reference to "Canaanites
who dwell in the plain" (Joshua 17:16) probably is to the Philistines
Comment 41 by me:
The worldview that sanctions people of a Biblical-based religious persuasion to
take the land, property, and very lives of other human beings because "it's God's will, and is
therefore destined to occur" originated (but was temporarily confined to a Hebrew Middle East view)
when "God told Abraham" that Canaan was to belong to him and his people and that they were to
invade Canaan and use military force to take procession of the indigenous Palestine
people's land. ...In the 1400s this ancient Hebrew
"ethnic cleansing" belief was modified, and expanded to a worldview by the Pope
of the Roman Catholic Church. It became known as the Doctrine of Christian
Discovery worldview and it was used to establish
the colonizing, international laws of Western Christendom, which were
then used to dispossess indigenous peoples' lands around the world, and
also subjugate them. During the American colonizing of the "Wild West" it
was called "Manifest Destiny", which can be understood as an
American application of the Doctrine of Christian Discovery.
...This Christian doctrine
provides the legal foundation for the most important
US Supreme Court decision ever decided affecting the Indigenous Peoples
of this land, Johnson v M'Intosh. This legal decision says Indigenous
Peoples have no legal title to the land they lived upon for hundreds or
sometimes thousands of years, only a mere right of occupancy, and that
the tribes were no longer independent indigenous sovereign nations, or
that their sovereign nation rights had been diminished.
...To understand the
ancient-Hebrew religious-influential connection
to the origin of the Doctrine of Christian Discovery is an essential understanding
if an informed person wants to act to contribute to the effort of dismantling the Doctrine's
heinous effects in the world, and to also help resolve the contested State
of Israel, Palestinian-Israel conflict
Steven T. Newcomb is an Indian Country Today Media Network
columnist and internationally renowned Indigenous activists. He is a Shawnee, Lenape
author and scholar who is co-founder and co-director of the Indigenous Law Institute.
And he is one of the leaders of the indigenous peoples'
movement. He has participated at the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous
Issues for many years. We have contributed to each others' work. Newcomb has helped
me with some of my activist initiatives.
He helped me draft an apology resolution
that was introduced to the Minnesota
legislature. It includes a statement about the harm that the Doctrine of
brought upon Minnesota's Indigenous peoples. On January 27, 2014 a
column/article of his [Domination
And the Northern Gateway Pipeline] was published in ICTMN. The article and comments are
related to the Israel-Palestinian conflict and how it's effecting Indian Country. Three
comments were posted to the article. The comments are my comments. Newcomb's ICTMN article
and my comments are located
Indian Country Today Media Network published a letter of mine about this
topic. It is displayed on my website. It is located
On January 29, 2014 Indian Country Today Media Network published an article that
critized, both, the ICTMN article Don't Mix Indigenous Fight With Palestinian
Rights and it's author Ryan Bellerose. This ICTMN article is titled
Palestine Without Smears: Why Israel and Natives Aren't Natural Allies
. Its author is Robert Warrior. Fourteen comments are posted on this
article. Two of the comments are mine. I go by the name "rainbow" in the ICTMN
Rober Warrior is Director of American Indian Studies at the University of Illinois
at Urbana-Champaign, where he is Professor of American Indian Studies, English,
and History. Professor Warrior has lectured in a wide variety of places, including
Guatemala, Mexico, France, Malaysia, Yale University, Harvard
University, the University of Wisconsin-Madison, University of
Chicago, the University of California-Berkeley, and the University
of Miami. The Native American and Indigenous Studies Association (NAISA) selected
two of Warrior's books The People and the Word and Reasoning Together for
its list of the ten most influential books in Native and Indigenous studies in the
first decade of the twenty-first century. In 2009-10, he served as the founding
President of the NAISA.
Warrior and I recently began corresponding.
On January 19, 2014 Hamodia published an article titled
134 Congressmen Sign Condemnation of Israel Boycott