Pro-Israel Columbia Indigenous Event A Success Despite Haters

Recently, an event put on by Students Supporting Israel at Columbia University about Indigenous Solidarity made waves.

Experience a night where 5 indigenous peoples from around the world, unite to share their stories, struggles, and aspirations. The thousand-year old sacred connection to a piece of land and the constant attempts of destruction and oppression, brings these people together in a discussion centered around pursuing common interests.

We are also offering a buffet styled meal of foods that originate from the lands of each speaker. Try the unique cuisine and give your taste buds an experience of a lifetime by trying sacred foods from around the world.

The speakers are as follows: Assyrian, Yazidi, Israelite, Native Canadian, Tibetan.

Needless to say, the haters were not amused by this potentially highly effective use of intersectionality to highlight the Jews’ indigenous status. Dozens (and yes, I literally mean dozens) of Columbia student groups – Cultural and racial groups – joined forces with Columbia University Apartheid Divest (CUAD) to officially denounce the event and SSI with a load of pseudohumanities (aka bovine¬†excrement):

Columbia SSI is no stranger to making waves. This past March, the organization erected a giant Pinocchio next to the mock “Apartheid Wall” during Israel Apartheid Week’s hate festivities. SSI’s bold approach is sorely needed on Columbia’s campus, and after being approved as an unconditional student group last month (as opposed to a conditional/probationary one which it was during the Pinocchio event), continues moving mountains.

Despite the intense protests and Ryan Bellerose‘s unexpected absence due to an unforeseen illness, the event went without a hitch, to a great turnout.

However, as expected, as antisemitism has now been the new “prejudice de jour”, they obviously came out in droves, acting very inconsiderately as a Yazidi woman talked about escaping ISIS:

The haters handed out fliers with a very antisemitic but seemingly-nuanced interpretation of Israel’s history. It used the antisemitic “Jewish Money Buying Power” trope to imply that we are greedy colonialists whose wealthy among us “bought” our tight to live there:

In the flier, they omitted all evidence of continuous Jewish presence in the land before 1880, leaving out thousands of years of history. They didn’t include censuses taken in 1860 in Jerusalem that showed higher amount of Jewish people living there, and the thriving Jewish population in Judea and Samaria.

SSI Founder Ilan Sinelnikov was at the entrance greeting guests. When the haters staged a walkout, Ryerson style, he was on hand to bid everyone good night:

Some haters stayed to watch the entire thing. Let’s hope they learned something, or at least that while their signs were correct, the “settlers” they were referring to were not who they thought they were.

Fortunately¬†– something that doesn’t typically happen¬†– the indigenous fought back:

The event was a huge success.



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