Acknowledging Ryan Bellerose.

 

Ryan Bellerose is a friend of the pro-Jewish / pro-Israel community who, like many of us, has grown increasingly skeptical of the two-state solution.

 

I met the guy online when he arrived at Israel Thrives a couple of years ago for the purpose of kicking the holy crap out of one of my regulars.

 

Bellerose is a Métis from the Paddle Prairie settlement of northern Alberta – I want to stress northern Alberta – and a fighter for the rights and well-being of indigenous peoples, including the Jewish people.

 

This makes him highly unusual among indigenous rights activists because he is with the very few who recognize Jewish indigenous rights. Jewish people, for progressive-left internal political reasons, have been left out of the Indigenous Rights Club.

 

Instead, we are considered white, imperialist, racist, militaristic, colonialist, inhumane, apartheid-lovers.

 

In a recent article for TabletBellerose wrote:

 

Now, to understand indigeneity, one must also understand indigenous people, how we see ourselves, and how we see the world. At its simplest, indigenous status stems from the genesis of a culture, language, and traditions in conjunction with its connections to an ancestral land, most commonly derived from ties to pre-colonial peoples. Once a people have such a cultural, linguistic, and spiritual genesis as well as a coalescence as a people, they are generally acknowledged as an indigenous people.

 

Bellerose’s discussion of indigeneity is grounded in a 1981 report to the United Nations Economic and Social Council written by anthropologist José Martínez Cobo.

 

Bellerose, it should also be understood, stands up on the street as well as in the pages of Tablet. 


I very much wish that he had been around during the vigils for Edward Joffe and Leon Kanner.

 

Reem Assil, of Reem’s antisemitic restaurant, for reasons that defy the moral imagination, venerates the genocidal Jew murderer, Rasmea Odeh. Furthermore, she is now actually being rewarded for that hatred.

 

The New York Times recently published a piece concerning Assil’s joint by Rebecca Flint Marx entitled, An Arab Bakery in Oakland full of California Love.


Full of California Love.


One of the hysterical things about this article is that Marx made a correction in the body of the text shortly after it was published reading:

 

In 1970, Ms. Odeh was convicted by Israeli courts for her role in the murder of two students.

So, the Times acknowledges that Odeh is a convicted murderer, yet the headline still reads, An Arab Bakery in Oakland full of California Love.


The only conclusion that I can come to is that the New York Times thinks that you’re a bunch of idiots.

 

Furthermore, Justin Phillips of the San Francisco Chronicle tells us that Reem Assil continues meteoric rise with new fine-dining restaurant at Jack London Square.

 

Oh, joy.

 

{But I digress.}

 

The reason that Bellerose matters is because he encourages a widening of our understanding of the conflict.

 

By rightfully insisting upon the indigeneity of the Jewish people to the Land of Israel he forces an expansion of the conversation both geographically and historically.

 

This is not a fight merely between Israelis and Arabs residing within the Jewish home. This is a fight between the indigenous Jewish population and their former Arab and Muslim conquerors who have yet to give up on reinstating theo-political domination. This makes it a struggle between the tiny Jewish minority in the Middle East and the far larger Arab and Muslim populations that surround them.

 

That is the obvious implication of insisting upon Jewish indigeneity because the very idea of Jewish indigeneity to the Land of Israel contradicts Arab and Muslim imperial ambitions within the Jewish home.

 

It is inescapable.

 

Another obvious implication is that this is not merely a modern conflict. History did not begin in 1948, nor 1967.

 

Anyone with even a glancing understanding of the history of the region acknowledges that between the time of Muhammad until the failure of the Ottoman Empire during World War I, Jewish people – and other such dhimmi-sorts – lived as second and third-class non-citizens.

 

The late professor Martin Gilbert described dhimmi status under Muslim rule as follows:

 

There could be no building of new synagogues or churches. 

 

Dhimmis could not ride horses, but only donkeys; they could not use saddles, but only ride sidesaddle. 

 

Further, they could not employ a Muslim. Jews and Christians alike had to wear special hats, cloaks and shoes to mark them out from Muslims. 

 

They were even obliged to carry signs on their clothing or to wear types and colors of clothing that would indicate they were not Muslims, while at the same time avoid clothing that had any association with Mohammed and Islam. Most notably, green clothing was forbidden…

 

Other aspects of dhimmi existence were that Jews – and also Christians – were not to be given Muslim names, were not to prevent anyone from converting to Islam, and were not to be allowed tombs that were higher than those of Muslims. 

Men could enter public bathhouses only when they wore a special sign around their neck distinguishing them from Muslims, while women could not bathe with Muslim women and had to use separate bathhouses instead. 

Sexual relations with a Muslim woman were forbidden, as was cursing the Prophet in public – an offense punishable by death.

 

Under dhimmi rules as they evolved, neither Jews nor Christians could carry guns, build new places of worship or repair old ones without permission,or build any place of worship that was higher than a mosque. 

A non-Muslim could not inherit anything from a Muslim.  A non-Muslim man could not marry a Muslim woman, although a Muslim man could marry a Christian or a Jewish woman.

Martin Gilbert, In Ishmael’s House: A History of Jews in Muslim Lands (New Haven, Connecticut: Yale University Press, 2010) 32 – 33.

 

The conflict is greater in scope both geographically and historically then most people realize and that is particularly true of progressive-left enemies to the Jewish people who see the conflict as a result of twentieth-century “Zionist” aggression.

 

By insisting upon the indigeneity of the Jewish people to Israel, Bellerose forces us to rethink dominant formulations around the conflict in two fundamental ways.

 

1) The Jews are the colonized indigenous population who managed to free themselves from thirteen centuries under the boot of Arab and Muslim imperialism.

2) This is not a conflict between “Zionists” or Israelis versus Palestinian-Arabs. What we are seeing, rather, is the current moment in the long Arab and Muslim war against Jewish sovereignty in the Middle East grounded in Koranic malice.

 

The concept of indigeneity is key and while Bellerose knows it, most Jews do not.

Find Mike Lumish at his own Blog Israel Thrives

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