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Native American Scholars Oppose Navajo Friendship with Israel

Shurat Hadin reports:

A group of Native American scholars recently sent a letter to Navajo Nation President Ben Shelly, urging him to shun the Israeli democracy because of claims the latter does not mirror parallel “indigenous values and justice.”

“As indigenous educators, we find your support for the state of Israel to be in complete contradiction to our values and sense of justice. Israel has illegally occupied Palestine for decades. Our public and political engagement with [Israeli] Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other Israeli officials sends a message that you endorse the continued occupation of the West Bank, including construction of new Jewish settlements there, as well as the ongoing settler colonial situation for Palestinians residing within the 1948 boundaries asserted by the Israeli state,” the group wrote.

The Navajo Nation leader has met numerous times with Israeli officials in Jerusalem and the United States, proposing cooperation in the agricultural and technological fields.

The scholars, who have endorsed the BDS movement against Israel, added that this leader’s “collusion with the Israeli government is a betrayal of that shared history and of the wisdom that has helped all Indigenous Peoples survive for centuries…Rethink your partnership with this corrupt and contested state.”

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  • Turtle Heart

    I am an American Indian religious and ceremonial leader, for wat of a better term. I have never seen any value in American Indian alignments with Israel or Palestine. This so-called group of “scholars” has no influence or significance to the majority of American Indian tribes…as such their proclamations have no value to anyone but themselves. I have never seen any good reason to align with any middle east country. There are agitated elements that talk of supporting Palestinian issues, but they do this to rub salt in the eyes of the Federal government, not because their actions are well reasoned or supported. Sadly, there is no group anywhere in the world that can be said to represent American Indians. The more than 500 tribes are divided. There is not, and has not been, any significant voices that speak for these diverse groups…so on that score, the credentials of this “scholarly” group is entirely fictional. In that sense, this is an entirely made up story. The Navajo nation is itself deeply divided between the Fedrally supported and detested “official” government and the more traditional tribal elder system. The tribal elders do not support Israel and they do not support Palestinians. Only politically motivated actors, hoping for money at the very least, would move in this direction. There is no historic, cultural, or spiritual basis for such a relationship.

  • Turtle Heart

    C. Flecker, I do not believe you. I am an Ojibwe man, 65 years old, I have traveled all over, all my life, to American Indian communities, and have never heard a single word against a Jewish person ever spoken. Some militant groups from semi-criminals such as AIM have voiced support for palestinians but they did this hoping to get money from them and to get attention because that is the kind of low people attracted to groups such as AIM, The Navajo people do not know anything at all about Jewish culture, the average Navajo barely understands their own culture, much less being educated about other cultures. American Indian reservations house large populations of poor and uneducated people who, like you, do not know very much about the world around them. If the Navajo are interested in Israel it is because those particular Navajo, such as the corrupt and not very well respected Navajo President want something, usually money.

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