Ryan Bellerose has pennedÂ another epic piece of moral clarity. Not one to mince words, Bellerose, a Metis activist from Western Canada, has written a devastating op-ed in the Toronto Sun (and syndicated in 4 other Sun papers) taking the Palestinian propaganda machine to task for dishonestly using the native rights cause.
though Palestinian propagandists love to characterize Zionism (that is, Jewish nationalism) and the re-establishment of Israel in 1948 as colonial enterprises, it is the Jews who are aboriginal to the Holy Land. Alone among other nations, Jews’ language, history, culture and folklore were born and forged in the Holy Land. There is no statute of limitations on being indigenous. Accordingly, to claim the Jews are colonizers in the Holy Land delegitimizes all indigenous peoples because such attempts trivialize the unbreakable, maternal ties to the land that make us, like the Jews, indigenous.
Berllerose goes on to explain why conflating Palestinian issues with Native Issues is plainly dishonest and untenable.
This is not the first time Bellerose has spoken up against theÂ appropriationÂ of his cause and culture by irredentist Arab nationalists. A few months ago,Â he wrote in the MetropolitainÂ an article entitled “A Native and Zionist” where he first explained the parallels between Jews and Native Canadians, and why he is so offended by Palestinian propaganda’s exploitation of his cause:
- The Palestinians are not like us. Â Their fight is not our fight. Â We natives believe in bringing about change peacefully, and we refuse to be affiliated with anyone who engages in violence targeting civilians. Â I cannot remain silent and allow the Palestinians to gain credibility at our expense by claiming commonality with us. I cannot stand by while they trivialize our plight by tying it to theirs, which is largely self-inflicted. Â Our population of over 65 million was violently reduced to a mere 10 million, a slaughter unprecedented in human history. Â To compare that in whatever way to the Palestinians’ story is deeply offensive to me.
Bellerose should be commended for his courage. As I have repeatedly stated and will continue to state, the Palestinians have an undeniable right to self-determination. That right, however, cannot be realized by rejecting all offers of peace and deliberately robbing the Jewish people of its history instead.
Only the truth will set Palestinians free.