Harold Monteau: Indian people must never forget genocide
"Our young Indian women and men have given their lives and left their blood and limbs on various fields of battle to defend the right of the Jewish People to exist. We have done so since World War II and we have done it in disproportionate percentages much higher than we represent in the American population. American Indians have fought wars to protect Israel since the Jewish State which was recognized by the U.S. just minutes after Israel declared itself an independent nation. Should we continue to send our young men and women to defend the right of Israel to exist? Of course, we don’t question the right of the Jewish State of Israel to exist and Israel is our steadfast ally in our war on terror. American Indians, of all people in the United States, understand what it is like to be under constant attack and to have to fight off both State Government and Federal Government attacks on our Tribal Sovereignty which is a precursor to our right to exist. Like the Nation of Israel, we too are constantly vigilant in protecting our right to exist into perpetuity. The Jewish People should reciprocate and support the American Indian Nations’ right to exist into perpetuity. At present, they do not. Jewish politicians in this country urge the Federal Government to “disappear” our Indian Nations and attack our government-to-government relationship with the U.S.

In 1996 I was invited to sit on a panel at a meeting of the National Association of State Legislators. Also speaking on the panel was a Jewish American politician from New York who has gone on to higher offices in his career and is still fighting a war of “containment” against the Indians in his state. When it came his turn to speak he proclaimed that the answer to the problems between the various states and Indian Tribes was “that Indians should take their rightful place in America and disappear into the mainstream”. I stopped him, which I admit was rude, and told him that I was not going to sit there and let him state that the solution to Indian-State issues is that we Indians should “disappear”. I told him that in taking that position he was advocating the genocide of American Indians. He became enraged, shouting “ genocide!!…that’s Buchenwald, that’s Auschwitz! How dare you?”. I responded that his position was a call to end the existence of American Indians, just slower than the murder of the Jewish people by the Nazi. He just could not believe that someone would equate his brilliant “final solution” for the “Indian Problem” to genocide.

Jewish people do not own the term “genocide”. They certainly have every right to invoke their mantra, “Never Forge” when reminding the world that the Nazi tried to murder every Jew in Europe. However, the Jewish People must recognize that we American Indians also experienced murder our holocaust with some putting the casualty number at 20 Million or more. We have as much right to remind the world to “Never Forget” the holocaust that was perpetrated on the American Indian People and how, in this day and age, we still must fight off attacks on our homelands, our sovereignty, our people and our “race” that are meant to bring about our “disappearance”."

Get the Story:
Harold Monteau: INDIANS SHOULD “NEVER FORGET” (Pechanga.net 5/19)

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