Friday, January 17, 2014

Native Rights Activist Lauds Israel

Ryan Bellerose

Israel, Palestine: Who's Indigenous? - Ryan Bellerose

I am a Metis, one of the recognized aboriginal peoples in Canada, a native rights advocate, and a Zionist. There is a very clear guideline to being an indigenous people, as detailed by anthropologist Jose R. Martinez-Cobo (former special rapporteur of the Sub-Commission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities for the UN).

Israel is the world's first modern indigenous state: the first time in history that an indigenous people has managed to regain control of its ancestral lands and build a nation state - a great example for indigenous peoples to emulate.

Palestinians have what are called "rights of longstanding presence," and although these are legitimate rights, they do not trump indigenous rights. If indigenous people allow the argument that conquerors can become indigenous, we are then delegitimizing our own rights. If conquerors can become indigenous, then the white Europeans who came to my indigenous lands in North America could now claim to be indigenous.


LHwrites said...

Very true! But of course, a complicated issue.

Bruce said...

Actually the contribution of this article, is to show how uncomplicated a situation this is. I found this article wonderfully refreshing.

LHwrites said...

What's complicated is parsing out historical from biblical and also determining exact borders and length of time each group lived in an area. Then there's reality, and historical precedent vs. how long a people have been out of an area. Reality is, we give American Indians a lot of stuff, but they really don't get much considering what happened to them. Historically, when colonial powers returned lands, it was to those living there which were usually indigenous. In Israel's case, giving it back to them and moving them in, is a very rare occurrence and the nations that engineered it don't have such a history when it comes to their own borders. And of course, giving back the land to Israel makes going back to 1967 borders seem more reasonable, though for safety sake, I'm not sure it is reasonable. I think it's very complicated, but that's my point of view and clearly many do not share it.

Bruce said...

Okay, I concede. There are indeed complexities.
B :}