"God Given Right" - Palestine and Native America
By Robert Robideau (February 1, 2006)
The recent election windfall victory of Hamas has sent shock waves through the United States and the European Union. They swiftly announced their threat to withhold $400 million in aide if Hamas refused to recognize the state of Israel and disarm.
Hamas, which has promoted itself as a militant alternative to the discredited Fatah government, now has to live up to its own rhetoric of providing an alternative to the long suffering Palestinian people.
Mr Zahar, the leader of Hamas who rose to power in 1989, reportedly said, "Spies and thieves must fear us," and "thieves are those who steal our land". As a member of the American Indian Movement, I know full well that the roads into the Americas were paved by thieves. It was A government spy sent to create internal disruption, who set the stage for the execution of Anna Mae Aquash, an icon in Indian country; and while over 150 government police terrorized communities on the Pine Ridge Oglala Lakota reservation in the summer of 1975, the federal government stole one eighth of the Pine Ridge reservation land.
The state of Israel sets on land that was originally Palestinian but Zionist movements in Europe and the United States claimed that the "land was given to them by God" and their belief that their race possessed some "natural superiority". Euro- Americas pray to "god and country" and teach their future generations to pray homage to the gangsters, outlaws and thieves who stole the country from Indian nations in god's name.
The European idea that they possessed a "God given superiority" not only had brought them into conflict with the Palestinian people, but also North American Indian Nations in the 1800s.
In contrast, Euro-Americans and Europeans began their westward expansion of North America under the banner of manifest destiny. A belief that they had a "divinely inspired mission" to expand. Euro-American expansion meant the thief and occupation of Native American Indian lands. A big part of William Henry Harrison´s responsibility, who as the Territorial Governor of Indiana, was to obtain title to American Indian lands so that white settlement could expand in the area, asked the Indiana legislature: "Is one of the fairest portions of the globe to remain in a state of nature, the haunt of a few wretched savages, when it seems destined, by the Creator, to give support to a large population, and to be the sea of civilization, of science, and true religion?" Isn't this the Zionist attitude toward Palestine?
The United States continued the European practice of recognizing only limited land rights of Native American Indians who they regarded as "savages" who stood in the way of Euro-American expansion. The same mentality has prevailed with Israel people in their dealings with the Palestinian people.
In the time of Manifest Destiny, this idea was clear and simple, "Indian Removal". The "Indian wars" between Native Indian Nations and Euro-American armies, which are now well recorded, ended in more then 300 treaties that won some tribes large sections of land, but today these lands have all but melted away into the hands of Euro-Americans.
Euro-American's believed that Native American Indians were "destined to melt and vanish before the advancing waves of Anglo-American power..." but the large land sessions won by the Tribes through treaty in fact allowed future generations to survive, even as their lands continued to be lost through one passage after another of Congressional Acts that swindled tribes out of millions of acres of land.
Today Native lands have become checker boarded with Euro-American ownership and continue to be subject to Congressional Acts to defraud Native people of even more land and the natural resources.
The Palestinian people continue to struggle through various groups like Hamas in self defense of their sovereignty and to keep their remaining lands. So too, has North American Indian people continued to struggle to keep what is left of their lands and recover stolen lands.
The Federal Government offers the Lakota Nations 100´s of millions for their sacred Black Hills, but the Lakota people have refused the federal paper dollars, firmly stating, "Our sacred land is not for sale!"
Of the numerous Native American Indian groups that have historically formed to confront the continued Euro-American intrusions into our lives and sovereign rights, the American Indian Movement (AIM) has become best known. Like the PLO, Hamas and other Palestinian liberation groups, we too were criminalized by the invaders and thieves who attempt to undermine our rights as a liberation group with aggression, violence and name calling. As with the Palestinians, we too will not be denied, through threats of violence, our right of self defense.
On September 2005 the Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) launched a three day aerial attacks killing and wounding Palestinians in the northern Gaza Strip. An action by the Israel government to demoralize Palestinian victims through acts of terror are common tactics used by occupying forces.
For 30 years Congress has failed to fully investigate their law enforcement agency the FBI´s role in the "Reign of Terror" on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota that resulted in 240 assaults and 60 murders in a 3 year period. It also failed to investigate the gross misconduct of the FBI in the case of Leonard Peltier, a member activist of the American Indian Movement who has now spent 30 years in federal prisons for defending the lives of his people against the violent and aggressive attacks of the FBI. The order to eliminate Mr. Peltier was apparently authorized by the federal government.
If the United States and the European Union fail to buy Mr. Zahar out with "aid money", we can expect that they will use military units with similar powers given to law enforcement agencies here in the United States under the old Counter Intelligence Program (COINTELPRO) or the one now known as the Patriot Act to eliminate him in the name of God.
United States history attest to the genocide of North American Indians and most educated Euro Americans and Europeans would agree that a genocide has been committed on this continent in the name of God and riches, but when it comes to the Muslim world the racism is disgusting.
The "Gods" must be crazy to think that their programs of racism and genocide will stop freedom fighters around the world from carrying on with their struggles for liberation and self defense.
Robert Robideau is co-director of the Leonard Peltier Defense Committee.
Originally appeared in Counter Punch.