A Decade Of Indigenous Awareness

These days, the argument that we – the Jews – are indigenous to the land of Israel is commonplace. We see everyone from Noa Tishby to the Israeli Prime Minister making it.

But over 10 years ago, this argument simply wasn’t being presented (at least not in the mainstream if at all).

Sure, advocates would mention history, invoking historical evidence of a Jewish presence here for thousands of years. But that is not the same thing as showing how we are actually indigenous, an important distinction especially given how the palestinian Arab side claims this is what they are, and many misguided indigenous folk from around the world are parroting this lie.

Along came an unlikely hero: Ryan Bellerose, a member of the Metis people who are indigenous to parts of Canada. A hulking former football player who might on first glance give off the wrong impression of more brawn than brains, Ryan felt a kinship with the Jews, and was so impressed and inspired by our story – a fellow indigenous nation who were actually able to return to their homeland against all odds and make it a huge success – that he became a staunch Zionist.

But more than that, Ryan brought up and effectively articulated this entire indigenous argument, proving that the Jews are in fact the true indigenous people of Israel. He also argued how the Arabs here are not indigenous, but rather have rights of longstanding presence. And Israellycool was one of the first, if not the first, platform, on which he did so (his first post on the topic here being just over 10 years ago).

So remember, every time you come across proud Jews stating their indigenousness to the land of Israel, remember it took a non-Jewish ally by the name of Ryan Bellerose to awaken us from our slumber.

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