Iroquois Nationals and Israel: A True Test of Values for the Haudenosaunee

Are we to participate in this years games in Israel given their ongoing genocide against Palestine?

The 2018 Federation of International Lacrosse World Field Lacrosse Championship Games are less than a couple of weeks away. Thus, as Haudenosaunee, we have a true test of values before us.

Given their ongoing genocide against Palestine, are we to participate in this year's games in Israel?

It is a tough moral question that we as Haudenosaunee face.

I am a strong supporter of the BDS (Boycott Divest Sanction) movement against Israel because of their genocidal policies against Palestine. That’s what the policies are, and that’s what I will call them, for we as Haudenosaunee have been victims of the same sort of genocidal policies here in the United States of America. Israel carries out those same policies, including genocide, repression, and containment.

The United Nations calls the Gaza Strip an "open-air prison". I’ll do them one better and call it what it is: a reservation. I always thought of the term "reservation" as a place not for people, but a nature reserve for animals, to preserve the “savages” in their natural state.

Israel will call the “savages” terrorists for fighting against oppression and genocidal policies.

Do not misunderstand me. I recognize Israel’s sovereignty, since they respect us enough to recognize our sovereignty, but that only goes so far, especially in light of the hundreds massacred at the border and thousands more injured by Israeli Defense Force (IDF) soldiers, in this year’s Right Of Return March.

Seeing the violence perpetrated against mostly unarmed protestors, I can’t help but be taken back to November 20th, 2016, on the Backwater Bridge in Standing Rock, seeing the violence perpetrated against unarmed peaceful protestors and the similarities to our own struggles here.

Luckily for us, we were not subjected to lethal force, but those Palestinians standing peacefully against oppression and genocide had their lives cut short by Israeli Defense Forces. Many of these victims were children, medics, and even journalists -- making these war crimes -- but that’s a discussion for another time.

I would like to be clear that it is not that I don’t want us to participate in the year’s World Field Lacrosse Championship, and it's hard to just outright say, “No, we should not go” because we fought so long to be a part of it.

To turn our backs on that -- even for the right reasons -- is where I'm torn.

I hope those young men on the Iroquois Nationals understand our history and are able to see that what is happening to the Palestinians, is exactly what has happened to us. Land theft, genocide, oppression are all things that we as Onkwehonwe have experienced.

If we do go, if we don't decide to boycott Israel, I hope we can show Israel in other ways that those of us who faced oppression and genocide will not tolerate it. Just as we historically used the Creator's Game to replace war, this can somehow be our battlefield, to fight against oppression and genocide.

Comments (13)
No. 1-13
David Hollenshead
David Hollenshead

Cody, I think you could use this as an opportunity to educate the Israelis about the nature of "Ethnic Cleansing": My Prussian Jewish Grandfather wrote the Medical Protocols for treating the Survivors of the Concentration Camps, while serving in the US Army. What he saw, is not very difference to the wholesale slaughter of American's First Nations,. The current situation for the Palestinians is so similar, to when Jewish People of Europe were forced into the Ghettoes, before they were taken to the Concentration Camps. Can you first compare the abuse of your Nation by Europeans to the Holocaust, and then compare the abuse of your Nation by Europeans to the present situation of the Palestinians ???

Cody Jock
Cody Jock

You are absolutely right, that's definitely something I should touch on. I didn't include it in this because this was meant as a letter to my people and asking them an important question. Thanks for your input. Next time I'll definitely be sure to include more for those who are outside the community.

Mivasair
Mivasair

Cody, thank you so very much for writing about this. It is truly a dilemma. I commend you for what I believe is a thoughtful, sincere approach. I am a Jew, have lived in Israel for four years, have adult children living there now and I am a strong active supporter of the Palestinian people's struggle for their lives and basic human rights. You suggest that the Iroquois National players talk with their Israeli counterparts about the similarities between what your people have suffered and what the Israelis are doing to the Palestinians. That's a constructive thing to do. An additional thing is for the Haudenosaunee athletes to take some time to go out of their way, visit in the West Bank, see how Palestinians live and talk with them. If any of them want to do this, even for a two or three hours, I can help with contacts. Thank you again for your attention to the just struggle of the Palestinian people.

Ryanbellerose
Ryanbellerose

this Op ed is ridiculously biased and filled out outright lies. I am shocked that indian country ran it.

first off

There is no genocide of the arabs in "palestine" and anyone claiming it, is either stupid or ignorant. in fact the arab population in Gaza and the PA has exploded. no population in history has ever increased during a so called genocide. For you as a native to parrot that nonsense, suggests a profound ignorance.

no the united nations has never said Gaza is an "open air prison" and if they did, the claim would be laughable. and its nothing like a Rez, have you ever been there? I have, when was the last time you saw a 5 star restaurant on a rez? how about a waterpark? and im not talking about casino Reserves either. You need to think long and hard before spouting this nonsense because its a flat out lie.

Israel calls terrorists terrorists, you know people who stab toddlers and little old ladies and people sitting down for friday night dinner. why? because those are actually terrorists.

You claim you respect their sovereignty yet claim to support BDS. you claim they have killed a huge number of "palestinians" but the stats do not lie and they have in fact killed very few and of those the majority were in fact hamas operatives (as admitted by hamas).

The Jews are in fact the indigenous people of that land, just as you are the indigenous people of your land. if another group of natives came from bc and claimed your lands, you would fight, and thats how you have to look at arabs who came from the hejaz (not israel) and claim jewish land.

You want to stand up for indigenous people? stand up for the actual indigenous people, the ones whose entire history stems from that land.

I am glad the iroqious nationals are going and I know they will represent us well, and they need to focus on Lacrosse, not this virtue signalling idiocy.

Ryanbellerose
Ryanbellerose

and Mivisair you are the last person any true human rights activist should speak to, you are a well known pretender.

samara.buendia
samara.buendia

What a disturbing collection of slander and lies! Jews are indigenous to Israel, Palestinians are not. That is a well established fact proven by a mountain of evidence. First, Islam is an offshoot of Judaism-- Judaism was first. Jerusalem was the capital of the Jewish kingdom in 1000 BCE. The first Muslim conquerors-- and yes, they came as a colonial conquering force-- did not arrive in the land of Israel until the 7th century-- almost 2000 years later! Most Arabs who now identify as Palestinians have roots elsewhere (like Yassir Arafat in Egypt) -and Arabs did not even identify as "Palestinians" until the 1960s! They are so far from indigenous it is hard to overemphasize that fact. Also, there is no genocide being perpetrated by Israelis against Palestinians. That is another horrible lie. In the late 90s, the Palestinian population was around 2.8 million-- now it is almost 5 million, and a major point of humanitarian concern is unchecked population growth. SHAME ON YOU CODY JACK FOR SPREADING LIES. I am disturbed that Indian Country Today would print such bold faced lies against another indigenous people. Very upsetting! Here's more on Jews' indigeneity

blu2cloud
blu2cloud

Cody, it is sad that the intelligence of many is insulted but you aren't fooled. I hope you make a decision that is right for you to live with & what you know to be true. Think of the ancestors and the evil they saw & torment they experienced - what would they want at that time? Maybe, outsiders to come hear, see, be a witness to what they have to endure.

samara.buendia
samara.buendia

By the way, regarding Cody Jack's other slanderous comment about ethnic cleansing, 20% of Israel is Arab-- Arab Israelis have the right to vote, own land, serve in the military, etc. The population of Jews in the surrounding Arab states is almost zero. It is Jews who are prohibited from owning land in prospective Palestine and Jordan, even though Jews are indigenous to the area and Arabs are not. Cody Jack's ignorance and hypocrisy is incredible!!!

NufSaid
NufSaid

Thank you Cody for the excellent article. As a supporter of indigenous people everywhere, I am at a loss to understand this decision made by the Iroquois Nationals.

And as always where there is a story regarding Israel, the Hasbara (Israeli propagandists - well funded) are to be seen. I'm looking at you Ryan and Samara.

BDS

Sawsan
Sawsan

Samara, were to begin with you. You have taken history and flipped it upside down and made sense where no sense can be made. Distortion of facts and making history to it fit as you wish it to have been does not make it real history.

As to Palestinians in Israel, as one of those 20% you speak off, I can tell you very clearly that there is blatant prejudice and full fledged discrimination and human right violation against us. And by the way, not all Palestinians are Muslims, there is a large Christian Palestinian community (of which I am one of)

Wael8034023
Wael8034023

I especially loved the part where Arabs have the right to "own land" samara! to call your hasbara zionist bluff, all one has to do is to carry a small google search. The result, from your own zionist media is an eye-opener:

https://www.timesofisrael.com/israeli-town-halts-tender-after-arabs-buy-up-land/

And the following is the best jewel:

Heck, you are even passing laws making it illegal to speak their native Arabic language.

You are so full of hasbara lies samara! Why not tell us about your “Absentees’ Property Law” (1950), “Law of Return” (1950), “State Education Law” (1953), and the “Basic Law: Israel Lands” (1960) among 65 other fascistic and supremacist laws

Sun_Eagle
Sun_Eagle

I, Sun Eagle have been an active supporter of Indigenous People's of North, Central, and South America for the last 40+ years. I was friends with Thomas Benyacya, the late Chief Prophesy Carrier of the Hopi and stayed in his home. I visited with Beloved Grandfather David Mononguhelaa number of times when he was 107years of age. Many thought he was the hidden Spiritual Leader of the Hopi. We never discussed that. It was not necessary.

I have come here today with but one suggestion to help guide and open your eyes for a greater understanding of the situation in the Holy Land .

I, Sun Eagle highly recommend you read a book "The Haj" by Leon Uris. I found this short book years ago after spending many many weeks In a Public Library studying everything I could get my hands on because I desired to understand what was the Truth of the matter between the two people of the disputed land. This unique book ties together most all the loose ends of the delema. A must read for those who can bere Truth.

Sun Eagle

Kerntss
Kerntss

Israelis are the aboriginals. History and archeology concur. I support aboriginals.