indigenous resistance

Russell Means, Lakota Activist leads resistance against the U.S. government with a goal of creating a sovereign nation for the Lakota people, separate from the U.S. In Al Jazeera’s “Inside USA” he explains the significant connections between such resistance movements among indigenous people across history and the globe:

They [Lakotas] were still resisting imperialism. It is a classic third world situation. On Indian reservations. It’s no different than the homelands of apartheid South Africa. The United States of America is the role model for Palestine–the occupation of Palestine–the entire robbery of the natural resources of Palestine, for Iraq, which is another Indian reservation.

You can watch the episode below where he makes this statement. For those of you familiar of what a refugee camp looks like–whether Palestinian or Iraqi–you’ll notice the resemblance to the Native American reservation (code word for refugee camps, refugee camps on their own land). There are similarities in other ways–lack of access to electricity, jobs, as well as environmental degradation as a result of the colonial occupying power.

Even Europeans–who don’t have selective memories or historical amnesia–can recall their own resistance to occupation. Chris Davies, Liberal Democrat party spokesman for the environment for the north west of Britain and a member of the European Union’s parliamentary delegation to the Palestinian Legislative Council recalls this history and relates it directly to Hamas’ resistance to the Zionist state’s illegal occupation of Palestine:

Furthermore, many of the European Union countries were themselves occupied during the Second World War and supported resistance movements against their occupiers. Hamas too is fighting an occupation. There seems to be a failure to appreciate what the word means.

Palestinians are resisting–and I would add that it is not just Hamas–and there are daily, numerous reasons to do so. Here are a few reasons from today:

Palestinian security sources said that an Israeli contingent invaded several neighborhoods in the city as a special undercover Israeli army unit was deployed in one of the city’s streets.

The sources confirmed that the special force abducted three Palestinian residents, identified as Samer & Amjad Mabrouk as well as Dawood Abu Dawood, then took them to unknown destinations.

Also, the Israeli forces took over the house of Nasif family in Nablus’ Almadallah Aljadida neighborhood, turning it into a military outpost.

Earlier in the day, an Israeli contingent swept into the Qarrara town in southeastern Gaza, as Israeli drones rocketed a group of fighters, while the latter were defending the area.

Dr. Mo’awiya Abu Hasanin, chief of hospital and emergency department at the Hamas-run ministry, confirmed to IMEMC that corpses of the four killed were found earlier in the day in eastern Qarrra town in southern Gaza.

Abu Hasanin denied reports that a Palestinian woman was injured during the Israeli attack, asserting all those killed were resistance fighters.

The Alqassam brigades, the armed wing of the ruling Hamas party in Gaza, declared four of its fighters were killed by the Israeli troops.

Meanwhile, Israeli sources claimed that an Israeli drone spotted a number of ‘militants’, while planting explosives near the border fence with Israel to the east of Alqarrara town in southern Gaza.

Witnesses said that the Israeli drones fired at least two rockets towards the fighters who were clashing with a number of invading tanks near a local school.

Witnesses added that the heavy Israeli artillery shelled Palestinian-owned houses in the area, as an Israeli military bulldozer demolished the house of Abdallah Alsemairy, after having forced inhabitants out.

The said Israeli invasion is the second in less than two weeks after the Israeli army killed 8 Palestinians including six Hamas fighters.

The Israeli police kidnapped on Monday at night Abdul-Baset Al Razim, a Palestinian reporter from Jerusalem after breaking into his home in Abu Dis and searching it.

The Police and members of the so-called border-guard units, broke into the house of Al Razim casing excessive damage, confiscated his laptop, several documents, his mobile phone and took him to an Al Maskobiyya prison in Jerusalem.

His wife voiced an appeal to local and international human rights groups and the Palestinian Journalists Syndicate to intervene for his release, especially since he suffers from several chronic diseases and needs regular medical checkups.

Like the Palestinians, Native Americans resist in various ways and have not given up their rights to their native lands. And some attempt to lobby a U.S. government that turns a deaf ear to the concerns of both indigenous people. As the episode of “Inside USA” above shows what Native Americans lobbying the U.S. government is up against, so too Palestinians have an uphill battle which is a little better known world wide as a result of the Israel lobby. This other episode of “Inside USA” is an interesting counterpoint as it shows Palestinians attempting to create a lobby in the U.S. and what it is up against:

Interestingly, the program refers to Wolf Blitzer of CNN’s former role as a member of the Israel lobby. It directed me to Youtube where I found him speaking in this role in a clip from 1989 with Norman Finkelstein, Father Martin Jenco, and Zafar Bangash. Any wonder why CNN continues to be a mouthpiece for the Israel lobby? Here are the clips:

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