The Danger of Compromising Our Indigenous Identity

imageMany Jews like to argue that both Jews AND Palestinians are indigenous to the land of Israel. Doing so poses many dangers – some existential – to the safety and flourishing of the Jewish state.

Now before you write me off as a crazy right winger, hear me out.

All the evidence there is states that Jews are the oldest surviving people on that land, and that the Arabs conquered it much later, beginning around 700AD, with the majority immigrating following Jewish prosperity in the late 19th century..

Technically this means Jews are indigenous. But that does not mean we have any right to kick Arabs off our land. Arabs do have the right of longstanding presence and that should be respected. However, “right of return” which is a natural result of indigenous status and would logically need to be applied if indeed Palestinian Arabs were indigenous as we are, would destroy the only Jewish state in the world, as Israel would become another Arab country. It is evident to anyone who knows history that the Arabs conquered us, and the Jews have the longest presence by far, and that the genesis of our culture occurred in Israel. The writing is on the wall.

A lot of Jews are taught Palestinians are also indigenous, which may sound peaceful and innocuous as it is still acknowledging our indigenous status. The problem is, it is patently false and becomes a slippery slope to supporting a two state solution as a matter of principal, regardless of mutual recognition and peace negotiations, and supporting law of return for Palestinians, and thereby supporting the demise of the indigenous Jewish state. This well-meaning but incorrect and misguided teaching that is ubiquitous along conciliatory, peacenik Hebrew School teachers who just want the terrorists to leave us alone, is the most dangerous as it primes kids for groups like J Street and makes ordinary Israeli Zionists who tell the truth about our exclusive indigenous status look like crazy right wingers. It will not cause “them to leave us alone,” it will cause the opposite. It will justify their hostility against the Jewish state that doesn’t “recognize” their “indigenous status,” and undermine the special status that Jews have, such as the right to make Aliyah according to the law of return.

Those who claim both groups are indigenous probably think they’re doing something good and advancing peace through compromise, or just don’t want to perpetuate a conflict. That’s really all it boils down to. They might even know that only Jews are indigenous but know that saying that all the land is ours would start a balagan and cause people to call them extremists. They also believe in compromise (a western ideal). So they just say, “fine, Jews are indigenous but so are Palestinians” in hopes that this would keep the peace and make people more likely to accept it.

What they don’t realize is that Palestinian Arabs don’t think like we do. They, for the most part, aren’t teaching THEIR kids that both groups are indigenous, because they are colonizers. That is their ethos. So if one group says we are both indigenous and one group says only they are indigenous, the composite argument would be that only the Palestinian Arabs are indigenous, as “even the Jews agree.” In fact, this is the exact same thing that happened in America. The First Nations tribes wanted to compromise by saying, “this is our land and your land, we can share it,” whereas the European colonizers said “no, this is OUR land, not yours!” We all know how that turned out.

The problem with PC culture is that it assumes we are all the same, and even suggesting otherwise causes you to be burned at the stake as a racist. They genuinely believe saying “this is OUR indigenous homeland – Jewish and Arab” is a noble lie that will make peace. They can’t grasp the other side’s mentality, or realize they are not western, or that there is even such thing as western rather than “universally human,” their description of which matches western ideology, an ethnocentric precept.

It might sound benign and noble to be so conciliatory, but we sell ourselves short, and play into a terrible history of colonialism and oppression. Those who claim Arabs are also indigenous, even if they do so to not sound extremist, for conciliation purposes, to look like the “better” people for agreeing to “share” and don’t actually believe it, are promoting a revisionist narrative, and giving the colonizers ammunition to continue their conquest.

Terror will exist as long as the idea that Arabs (or “Palestinians”) are indigenous is promoted. I believe that we can and should coexist, just like any immigrants (should) coexist with their adopted community. Italians are indigenous to Italy, but legal immigrants to Italy who still hold a distinct identity from the host culture and religion have the right of longstanding presence, symbolized by the acquisition of citizenship, and that should be respected.

In the case of Israel, compromising with a group that doesn’t desire compromise is selling out our people, and potentially leading to the demise of┬áthe state of Israel. It is the source of everything J Street believes. Call J Street radical, crazy, or suicidal all you want but its entire philosophy originates from one idea built on falsehood: the idea of two states for two indigenous peoples.



Lex is a trained comedy actor who is Montreal's second-favourite export aside from poutine.