Brian’s Column: Indian vis a vis Palestinian

Who got (or gets) the deal more rotten?
By Brian R. Wright

Specifically, comparing the plight of the American Indian rousted by European-Americans of the 19th century and the Palestinian peoples ravaged by Zionist Israel of the 20th… into the 21st. These reflections, and a definitive table of results, stem from my observation—after watching an old 1975 documentary (I Will Fight No More Forever) about how the Nez Perce were finally rounded up after being driven off their lands by the cavalry in abrogation of treaty in 1877—that this was exactly like what the Israelis are doing/have done to the Palestinians in modern times. Except of course that the Palestinians weren’t afforded any kind of treaty to be broken.

I conveyed my thoughts to a small email group that includes the two individuals pictured above, who are also 911 truther friends and associates of mine. [In this ten-member email group resides the well-known, shall I call him, Israeli apostate, international musician and writer Gilad Atzmon.] Anyway, the man on the left above, Mr. Henry Herskovitz, took exception to my characterization of equivalence between ‘what we did/do to the Indians’ and what the Israelites have been doing to the Palestinians for nearly 60 years. In fact, he produced a table of 11 items he had thought of combined with 20 others an Iraqi friend of his contributed.

Candidly, though I protested some that I was talking about the essence of the act of land expropriation and cultural destruction, I was blown away by the comparison. I really don’t think most Americans have the slightest idea how much worse the Israelis have treated and are treating the Palestinians than the whites treated the Indians (as horrifically as they were treated)—and the list doesn’t even include the perpetual Gaza massacre, the West Bank occupation, the Wall, unrelenting arbitrary detention and torture of Palestinians and Arabs, etc.

Table: Comparison of Indian Treatment by US to Palestinian Treatment by Israel

The first 11 lines are from Henry, the next 20 lines (in dark red) are from his Iraqi friend.

# United States Israel
1 500+ years old 50+ years old
2 I was not born at time of creation of state. I was born before creation of state; ergo, this is a correctable error in our lifetimes.
3 The US was formed BEFORE a United Nations charter said “no acquisition of land by force.” Israel created its Jewish state afterwards, but in flagrant violation of international law.
4 Almost everyone in the US admits to the ethnic cleansing of Native Americans in the formation of the country. Almost no Jewish supporters of Israel admit the same.
5 The US was formed under freedom and justice for all (at least on paper). Israeli justice applies to only one ethnic, religious group of people. This is probably the most FUNDAMENTAL difference.
6 The few Native Americans left legally CAN own property and participate in government equal to their white co-citizens (at least on paper). Palestinians cannot own property even on the land they once held title to.
7 Native Americans living abroad can return to the United States. Displaced Palestinians are refused re-entry into the land they were displaced from.
8 The US has a constitution. Israel has none, most likely because of their unwillingness to define their borders in their attempt to capture all of “Greater Israel.”
9 Most US citizens were born here. Most Israeli citizens came and colonized Palestine from other countries.
10 The US ostensibly maintains relatively open immigration policies. Israel maintains a tightly closed immigration policy, unless of course, you are Jewish.
11 Though Christians count as the majority religion in the US, it is not a “Christian State.” Jews count as the majority religion in Israel, and Israel DEFINES itself as a “Jewish state.”
12 The white settlers have never said “there are no such people as Native tribes.” Settlers fight and discriminate against Natives but they don’t deny that they exist. Zionist settlers have said “there is no such thing as a Palestinian.”
13 Settlers used comparatively primitive weaponry. Christopher Columbus, while ruthless, didn’t have access to F-16s and Apache helicopters, white phosphorus, and nukes. Israel uses the most sophisticated weapons in the world: relative to its age, Israel is far more destructive than the US when it was the same age.
14 Early settlers were sometimes helpless and depended on Native tribes to show them how to cultivate land to feed themselves and survive. Settlers are well-armed and backed by the world’s only superpower.
15 While it was done with racist motive, white settlers taught Native children in white schools and tried to convert them to Christianity in a colonial attempt to integrate them. Zionists didn’t even do that. Zionists never tried to bring indigenous Palestinian children into its culture (though it did for African Jews). Judaism is reserved exclusively for Jewish children, and Palestinian children are excluded culturally and physically.
16 United States law doesn’t preclude marriage between a Caucasian and a Native American. Israeli marriage laws make life very difficult for Jewish-Arab couples (if and when they manage to get married in the first place).
17 Native Americans have served in the US Army during several wars (WWII, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq etc.). Palestinian Muslims from the W. Bank and Gaza would never be allowed in the IDF.
18 Some of the European settlers were fleeing religious persecution in Europe. For many, there was simply no safe place for them to return to. Israel was established after Nazi Germany was defeated. Germany and the rest of the EU now seem to have very friendly relations with Israel. Considering the amount of reparations European countries continue to pay Israel and Holocaust survivors, it’s likely they’ll welcome the return of Israelis with open arms. In other words, Israelis should have no problem returning to their original European home once Palestine is liberated.
19 Information was scarce and there was no mass media. It’s unlikely that many people outside the Americas knew about the genocide of the Native Americans. If the world didn’t come to their aid, it was likely because it simply had no means of knowing. The world is now a global village, and information travels at the speed of light. Massacres are broadcast worldwide live. Nobody can claim they don’t have access to learn about what’s happening to Palestine.
20 N. America is separated from the rest of the world by big oceans, making it inaccessible to the rest of the world if all they had was boats. So the native tribes were largely on their own. Modern transportation (planes, cars, etc.) and Palestine’s strategic geographic location make Palestinians far more accessible to solidarity activists (i.e. something can be done by internationals to help the situation).
21 Native Americans, after all these centuries, still haven’t given up (e.g. Leonard Peltier). If Native Americans still haven’t given up, why should the Palestinians be expected to six decades into the struggle?
22 Americans acknowledge the existence of Native peoples and culture. While they disrespect Native culture, they don’t try to claim it as their own (nobody says teepees were invented by European pilgrims). Israelis have coopted Palestinian food and claimed it as an Israeli creation (e.g. falafel) and Palestinian clothing (e.g. white and blue kuffiyah decorated with stars of David).
23 European settlers in America were slightly more honest. They wanted to discover the globe and compete economically. They didn’t invent a story about ancient connection to the land. Zionists fabricated a story that they used to exist on the land.
24 European settlers in America didn’t believe in a particular moral standard to hold themselves to that would guide them to treat Natives more kindly. Zionists brandish “never again”, but deliberately exclude Palestinians from that standard.
25 As Ward Churchill says, Whites “honor” Natives by naming things and places after them (any more honoring, he says, and the last remaining Natives will be completely annihilated). For example, many streets, cities, and states are named after Native tribes and individuals. So American settlers sometimes try to appear to care about the continuation of Native culture geographically. Zionists don’t even try to give the façade of pretending to care about indigenous Palestinian identity. They eradicate Arabic names of things and places and replace them with Hebrew names (e.g. Al-Khalil became Hebron; Tel Al-Rabie became Tel Aviv, etc.).
26 While the genocide, internal displacement, and expulsion of Native Americans to reservations was horrific, none of the Natives were deported outside the US (to the best of my knowledge). Israel has committed both internal and external displacement of Palestinians (the Nakba).
27 Native American reservations are governed by federal law. While it doesn’t have their interest in mind, the US has set up the BIA to govern Indian affairs. Israel claims no responsibility whatsoever for Palestinians. They are the “problem” of Fatah, Hamas, and/or other Arabs.
28 To the best of my knowledge, the US has not chased and assassinated Natives outside the US. Israel has located and assassinated Palestinian leaders all over the world.
29 While the US eventually became the most powerful superpower in human history, it was struggling for its existence in its first 60 years. In 60 short years of existence, Israel has already become a regional superpower. It has already entered alliances with other racist countries (e.g. apartheid South Africa), waged several wars, and occupied parts of other countries (Syria, Lebanon, Iraq), and contributed to wars on other countries (e.g. US war on Iraq).
30 American settlers didn’t emotionally manipulate the rest of the world by their persecution. Israel will never stop reminding the world of the holocaust as an excuse to justify its similar treatment of the Palestinians
31 European settlers in America didn’t have a powerful lobby to advocate their interests from within a powerful empire. AIPAC, ADL, JDL, and other parts of the Israel Lobby effectively own US military and foreign policy, media, and several other aspects of American society as well.
32 Aside the US-Canadian border, Native Americans don’t have to go through American checkpoints to move around. Palestinians have checkpoints within their own cities (e.g. in El-Khalil/Hebron).

I’ll just let that be my column this week. Maybe you can let this information sink in and then consider what we in America, especially, need to do to help our Palestinian brothers and sisters through BDS and other means… so that WE do not suffer the same fate. Please use this table address (http://brianrwright.com/CoffeeCoasterBlog/?p=9863/#Table) in communicating your outrage to public officials.

[Coffee Coaster Column link]

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2 thoughts on “Brian’s Column: Indian vis a vis Palestinian

  1. Nice counterpoint. My only point, after noting the list, most of the items being undisputed, is that as bad as the (some really bad hombres in the government and post Union Army in particular) American government was to the American Indians, it’s generally far worse for the majority of Palestinians… thanks to some very bad hombres in the Israeli government and its vassal governments, like the USG, who refuse to acknowledge the genocide.

  2. #16 Marriages, and cohabitation, of Native Americans with any other race were illegal in many states. Even in the states where it was not illegal, many Native Americans “passed for White” of “sometimes Black” so their children would not be taken from them by the state. Genetic testing has brought to light many of these “illegal” couplings.

    http://nativeamericannetroots.net/diary/811

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