Thus Native-Americans can claim to be indigenous because no other peoples lived on that land prior to them. They can claim to be the original occupants. This may not be the case with the Jews, although our ancestry may share a genetic commonality with the "original occupants." Thus, according to Stuart, neither the Jews, nor the local Arabs, can lay claims to indigenous status. The question ultimately comes down to how sociology and anthropology define the meaning of the term, however, and if I were Stuart I would not be too eager to undermine Jewish claims, because genetic evidence may indicate "common ancestry."
Nonetheless, whether the Jews are indigenous or not, we have around 3,500 years of history within our tiny homeland and no one can claim on ethical grounds that the Jewish people should be stripped of the Jewish State. Where I firmly disagree with Stuart is in his complacence in the face of anti-Semitic anti-Zionism, a political sub-movement that, when you add western progressive anti-Zionists with Muslim anti-Zionists throughout the world, you realize that there are far, far more anti-Semitic anti-Zionists than there are Jews.
Just as Bellerose cannot afford to be complacent concerning the well-being and rights of the Métis, so we cannot afford to be complacent concerning the well-being and the rights of the Jewish people in the Land of Israel.
In a recent article for the Indian Country Today Media Network, in response to an anti-Zionist article in the same venue, Bellerose writes this:
The author clearly doesn't understand that in fact Judeah and Samaria are not 'Palestinian' lands but the ancestral homeland of the Jewish nation. This is easily verified through archaeology and study of the region. The Jewish nation does not lose their ties to their land simply because it was occupied first by Rome and then by the Ottomans. To accept that would be to put our own claims in danger.Judaea and Samaria are, in fact, the ancestral homeland of the Jewish nation and I very much appreciate Bellerose for acknowledging that. Furthermore, he writes:
Indigenous status is a complex combination of things, but the most important is the genesis of culture and tradition in conjunction with ancestral lands, which would mean that the Jews of Israel are indigenous, and the Arabs of 'Palestine' are not. They can claim indigenous status, but to the Arabian peninsula, which is not the Levant. Ask an Arab where his most holy place is, unless he is one of the tiny minority of Christian Arabs, he will tell you it's Mecca, and he will tell you this in Arabic both of which track back to... the Arabian peninsula. Ask a Jew where their holiest place is, and they will tell you, and they will do so in the language that developed on that land.Leaving the question of "indigenous status" aside, what I would argue is that Stuart makes a big mistake when he suggests that neither Jews nor local Arabs can claim to be indigenous. The problem with that suggestion is not so much that he is wrong, but that it flattens the field in favor of the Palestinian Arabs. It implies that the Jewish people have no greater claim to Jewish land than the Arab invaders of our land.
It seems to me that we have to make it clear to people who concern themselves with the Arab-Israel conflict that the entire land of Israel, including Judaea and Samaria, is Jewish land. If we cannot bring ourselves to make that claim - to insist upon it - then how can we possibly expect non-Jews to think of the area as anything other than under a foreign occupation?
Over the last one hundred and fifty years the Jewish people have been very good about standing up for the rights of others. In the United States we stood up against slavery and against poverty and against laissez-faire capitalism because it exploited workers. We fought for the New Deal and we fought for Civil Rights and Women's Rights and Gay Rights and Native Rights and the anti-war movement and the environment.
As far as I am concerned it is, perhaps, time that we fought for ourselves, as well. We should make our alliances where we can and we should support the indigenous rights of indigenous peoples, but it is long past time that we make Jewish well-being our main priority to the extent that we are politically active.
Progressive-left anti-Semites like to talk about some giant, semi-mythical "Jewish lobby" or "Israel lobby" that controls both the United States government and media. The truth of the matter, of course, is that if the Jews were half as powerful as they constantly tell us that we are then the United States would have recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel long ago. The fact that it has not shows the falsehood of this progressive-left anti-Semitic conspiracy theory.
What I say is that we take these claims and turn them into something that resembles reality. That is, the Jewish people need to stand up for our rights and we need to do so in an entirely unapologetic manner. The Land of Israel is the land of the Jewish people. Period. Furthermore, the Arab minority in Israel enjoys greater civil liberties and human rights than do Arabs anyplace else throughout the Middle East. If the Arabs of Israel, including those in Judaea and Samaria, wish to live in prosperity and peace they may do so, but when they inculcate their children with hatred toward Jews they undermine the potential well-being of their own grandchildren.
Until they give up Koranically-based hatred toward the Jewish "other," and until they accept Israel as the Jewish state, they will bring much misery to their own people.
It is entirely up to them.