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 article 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 founding President.

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 and persecuted.


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." ref.


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 Biblical-based sanctioned "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' global decolonization 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 Christian Discovery 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 here.

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 comments-section.

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

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