Israel and the American-Indian question

As State Department condemns Jewish "settlements", embittered American Indians see Thanksgiving as glorifying American "settlements."

Hillel Fendel,

State Department building
State Department building

This past Friday, outgoing State Department spokesman John Kirby said, in answer to a reporter's question, that "we believe [Israeli settlements in Judea and Samaria] are corrosive to the cause of peace."

Ironically, just six days later, this upcoming Thanksgiving Day, many Native Americans - formerly known as American Indians - will sadly commemorate the European "settlements" of 400 years ago that ultimately became the United States of America.

An article in last week's Boston Globe – it appeared the same day that Kirby reiterated the official U.S. condemnation of the Jewish presence in the Biblical Jewish homeland – began as follows: "There is no 'thanks' in Thanksgiving for most Native Americans… for many [of them], the holiday is a day of mourning as they reflect on centuries of racism, genocide, and attempts to destroy their culture."

Hundreds of people are scheduled to take part in the 47th National Day of Mourning in Plymouth, Mass., on Thanksgiving Day. Others will commemorate the sad day in other ways, the Globe reports.

Claudia Fox Tree, for instance, plans to fast on Thursday as she reflects on the struggles of her people. "That first Thanksgiving was a myth that has been perpetuated through the years,” she told the Globe. "[The] real history is that Thanksgiving was a celebration of massacring the indigenous people."

Another woman agreed: Did the history of this land begin in 1620? Were there no people here before the English came?” she asked. “Plymouth Rock is a monument to racism. At the National Day of Mourning, we gather on Cole’s Hill and tell the history of the Wampanoag people and challenge the myth of why the Pilgrims came and that everyone lived happily ever after."

Darius Coombs will be at the Wampanoag Homesite in Plimoth Plantation, sharing with visitors his people's history and culture. “All the staff at the Wampanoag Homesite are Native Americans," he said. "On Thanksgiving, some will wear black face paint as a sign of mourning to remember those that died so that we would be here."

Their common sense, it would seem, is that the United States was founded squarely upon driving out the Indian population, generally via war or other forms of killing. The U.S. has now come full circle with Spokesman Kirby condemning Israel for settling and building non-populated parts of its own homeland.