“Thank You” to two non-Jewish friends of the Jewish people.


I just want to take a moment to thank two non-Jewish friends of the Jewish people who have recently come to some prominence in the ongoing conversation around the Arab-Israel conflict.

Ryan Bellerose is a Native-American Canadian activist, athlete, and writer who has spoken consistently to the idea that Arabs, as a conquering power, cannot claim indigenous status to the land of Israel.  After all, if Arabs can make this claim viz-a-viz Jews then why cannot Europeans claim indigenous status in the Americas?

It is hugely important, in my view, for Jewish advocates to thank our friends and, although we must stress Jewish self-sufficiency and independence, we must never fail to acknowledge our allies when they come forth.  We must reach our hands to such people.  This is true of not only large, significant groups such as, say, the people of the Czech Republic which has shown itself to be a consistent friend to Israel, or to, for example, the Evangelical American Christian community, but of specific individuals who have the integrity and the strength to stand up, even if it means standing up against significant segments of one’s own community.
Certainly Chloe Valdary is admirable in this regard and was, in fact, physically assaulted for her advocacy.

Her voice is like a bell in the night.

Indeed.

How is it that a young African-American woman from the US south, not even out of college, yet, understands what most Jewish people seem not to about our own people and has the cajones to stand up before the world and speak that truth?

What Bellerose and Valdary understand is that the struggle for Jewish sovereignty and self-determination is part-and-parcel of the ongoing movement for social justice and universal human rights.

All “Zionism” is is the movement for social justice for the Jewish people.  In this way it is little different from the Civil Rights Movement or the struggles of indigenous peoples to establish and maintain freedom.  The Jewish example is different from those other struggles primarily in the fact that the Jews of the Middle East succeeded in gaining their freedom upon the fall of the Ottoman Empire, the retreat of the British from the Levant, and through the establishment of the Jewish State.

In the apparently eternal struggle between “David” and “Goliath” most on the Left have now decided – unjustly – that the Jews, therefore, represent “Goliath.”

What Bellerose and Valdary understand is that the Jewish people represent .2 percent of mankind yet receive a degree of hatred and violence and malice wildly out of all proportion to our alleged crimes.

The Middle East is seething with riots and rapes and grotesque, theologically-inspired beheadings and millions of people are dying and being displaced.  Bellerose and Valdary have the insight and morality and clear-headedness to understand that what ails that part of the world is, thus, not the tiny Jewish minority endeavoring to protect itself and its children.

They do so not out of charity but of recognition that our struggle is their struggle.  Just as the Jews fight for the liberation of the Jewish minority in the Middle East, so Black people and native people’s throughout the world seek autonomy and independence.  We need to stand with the Kurds and with the Tibetans and with native people’s everywhere.  We could even stand with the local Arabs if they would kindly give up the ongoing and hysterical Koranically-based Jew Hating Industry.

As an American Jewish bird perched upon the Oakland foothills, I am, in some relative measure, out of harm’s way from antisemitic violence, but this is not the case for our friends and relatives in Israel who have to dodge boulders coming from highway overpasses with their kids in the car.

So, we need our non-Jewish friends very much and I just want to very much thank Ryan and Chloe.

They are gems and while this political moment will vanish in a twinkle, I will remember you both and so will many thousands of Jews throughout the world.

You have our sincerest thanks.

{And if either of you guys drop by the SF Bay Area, I know where the best Chinese food is at.}

Peace.

Originally published at Israel Thrives as  A Quick “Thank You” to Chloe Valdary and Ryan Bellerose

Michael Lumish is the editor of Israel Thrives , a regular contributor to the Times of Israel, and the Elder of Ziyon.

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2 comments

  1. Leon Poddebsky

    Bravo!
    Yes, even today there are some Righteous Among the Nations.

    • This was the first video I saw of Chloe close to 2 years ago now.

      She was raised in a Christian home, where they ate Kosher meat and observed shabbos.