Some 100 Palestinians and peace activists launched a one-month campaign at the West Bank Sunday, titled ’30 days against the roadblocks’.Inspired by US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice’s visit to the area, some of the protesters chose to convey their message in an original way and dressed up as native-Americans.At about 11 a.m. the protesters gathered at the Hawara roadblock south of Nablus, and held up signs in English denouncing the military roadblocks across the territories.Several of the demonstrators, mainly children, were dressed up as native-Americans and wore traditional headdresses.The demonstration was organized by a group called ‘Palestinians for Peace, Dialogue and Equality’.The protesters also criticized the difficulties created by the checkpoints, and the limitations they impose on the Palestinians’ freedom of movement.One of the signs at the protest read, “The roadblocks are ruining the Palestinians’ lives,” while another poster aimed to juxtapose between the native-Americans, whose lands were stolen by the newcomers from Europe, and the Palestinians.“The Indian wars are not over, Ms. Rice. We are still here too,” the sign said.
When Native Americans come up in media and political discussions about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, parallels are drawn between Palestinians in the territories and Native Americans in the United States.But Hawk’s Blood Suarez, a 50-year-old Apache originally from Texas, denies the connection.“We were highly offended when things came out in the media comparing Native Americans to Palestinians,” he says.Instead, he sees strong similarities between the Native Americans and Jews: Both people were targeted for extermination and both have lived in exile, he says.In fact, some say the Native Americans should take heart from the example of the Jews, who showed that it is possible for a people to return to its native land and revive its ancient language after an exile of 2,000 years.Native Americans, who number approximately 2.5 million in the United States, according to the Bureau of Indian Affairs, were forced by the U.S. government to live on reservations.“I admire the people who” take a stand, and “that’s why I admire the people of Israel: They’re people who stand up to defend their homeland,” Hawk’s Blood Suarez says. “We are not with the Palestinian people.”—-The maverick Hawk’s Blood Suarez — who directs the New Jersey chapter of the Confederation of the American Indian Movement, an autonomous offshoot of AIM that was formed in the early 1990s — came to support Israel through a personal experience.Several years ago, he arrived in New Jersey from Texas to protest the development of baseball fields on the site of an ancient burial ground of the Lenape, the tribe that inhabited New York before the Dutch arrived in the 17th century.There he became friendly with New York Times photographer Nancy Wegard, who was covering the protest. Her mother is a Holocaust survivor from Lithuania, and her late father was a U.S. Army investigator who uncovered mass graves during his tour in Europe.The Wegard family introduced Hawk’s Blood Suarez to his first matzah ball soup, and he learned more about Jewish history during his time with them. He later took it upon himself to start demonstrating for Israel.“We were completely surprised” when he showed up at the Walk for Israel march wearing a Star of David, says New Jersey JCC volunteer Jeff Ginsberg.“He pointed out parallel after parallel between their tribe and ours,” says Ginsberg, who has become friends with Hawk’s Blood Suarez since the march. “The last time that I saw him, he was wearing an IDF T-shirt.”
What’s wrong with a wall? Israel is building a wall of separation, a barrier that will help prevent cowardly terrorists murderers from continually slipping over the borders to slaughter Israeli civilians. The International Court of Justice thinks this is a crime? It “inconveniences” Palestinian people?Well, never mind then about the Israelis who are ‘inconvenienced’ by being blown to bits, or having family blown to bits. This is an egregious expression on the part of the ICJ, and discredits them before the sensible world. But it unfortunately resembles the American governments soft position on illegal Mexicans crossing America’s southern borders, and also on the whole idea of deporting Arab Muslims from America. We mustn’t “inconvenience” anyone. Terrorists must be allowed therefore their free hits. We’ll just have to take it on the chin, because we’d rather inconvenience the whole nation, the whole world, rather than inconvenience the race and religion of the terrorists. We’d rather the terrorists have their chance at the whole country, rather than inconvenience a few million Arabs in America by deporting them all.
About the AuthorAn Australian immigrant to Israel, Aussie Dave has been blogging since early 2003.
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