The Indigenous and the Disingenuous
Underscoring the Left’s support for the Palestinians against Israel, and, by extension, for the Muslims against the West, is the Left’s idolization of indigenous peoples. Born of 19th-century romanticism, and married to the Marxist worldview through the ideology of primitivism, the Left holds to the narrative that the past state was how things should be (now here’s a reactionary way of thinking if you ever asked for one…), and that all troubles come from intervention by artificial agency. Taken to its most extreme but logical conclusion, the result is a wish for the human race to be extinct in order for the earth to be saved (consider Eric Pianka’s ravings), but that is of no concern here. I touch here upon those less extreme among the primitivists, who accept the right of humanity to exist but deem some humans more noble and worthy of existence than others. Under a primitivism that does accept humanity, indigenous peoples are the angels and Western colonialists the devils. As of the last few decades, the USA and Israel are considered by the primitivist Left to be the top representatives of the latter.
But what are indigenous peoples? There is no fixed definition, only working definitions for convenience. Both science and a literal reading of Genesis have it that all of humanity hails from one point of origin, although they differ on the particular of it. All humans not living in Africa or present-day Iraq, therefore, are colonists. So even the most rudimentary definition of the term “indigenous” cannot consider mere moving out of one land and occupying another as invalidating the status of indigenous.
The most minimal definition of “indigenous”, then, includes the first inhabitants of the land. America had been unpopulated by humans until some migrated there from Asia via the Bering Straits, so those migrants, now the American Indians or Native Americans, are the indigenous peoples of America. There are two problems this definition poses for our Leftist romanticists:
First, it lumps various peoples under a single heading, peoples who may be in enmity with each other. Labeling American Indians “indigenous” may be adequate when set against those nasty newcomers from Europe, but if we consider, say, territorial wars and colonization between the Cherokee and the Lakota, we are faced with having to call one group of Native Americans indigenous and another group of Native Americans colonialists. Few, if any, among the Leftist academics do that, insisting instead that Native Americans are one group, indigenous, but then those same academics show a bit of inconsistency in that they do not lump all the Semites of the Middle East—Jews and Arabs—under a single heading. Oops.
Second, the definition as “first inhabitants of the land” tears away at the very roots of the Leftists’ romanticism. How can an American academic speak of “oppressed indigenous people of Palestine”, when he is himself a descendant of Europeans? How can an Englishman speak of the same, when he is the descendant of Germanic invaders of Celtic Britain, or of Scandinavian invaders of Anglo-Saxon England, or of Norman-French invaders of the island? Judging from linguistic evidence, the only people in Europe who have a conscientious platform for standing up for indigenous peoples are, perhaps, the Basques—“perhaps” because even that is shrouded in academic controversy.
For the question of “Palestine”, the situation is similar to the European one, in that the original inhabitants—unless one opts for lumping all Semites together, as I previously hinted at—are lost in the mist of time and conquest. Neither Jews nor Arabs are indigenous according to the above definition. The territories should be returned to their rightful owners the Canaanites, who unfortunately are no longer here to reclaim what is theirs. Even the lunatic Leftists are aware of that fact, so they adhere to a different working definition for the term “indigenous”: inhabitants of a land for a continuous duration, such that anyone else is clearly seen to be a disruptor (see also the article Indigenous peoples on Wikipedia; for all its faults, Wikipedia does have the advantage of being contributed to by many varied minds, watchful of one another, which is more than you can say for Reuters).
It should be obvious that such a definition suffers from the problem of subjectivity: who determines how long the duration is for inhabitants of a region to be considered indigenous? As far as feelings go, the children of the first Jewish settlers in 20th-century British Palestine already felt as firmly rooted to the soil as any American Indian does to America. The only thing the Left has to back up its “indigenous Arab, colonialist Jew” dichotomy that has a semblance of objectivity is the trumped-up excuse that “the Arabs were here first”. That coming from Americans and British always cracks me up (at first, but then it subsides, because they are deadly serious about using that as an argument as to why it is only right that the tiny state of Israel should give up its land to the “Palestinians”).
The excuse of “they were there first” won’t fly, for all the reasons I expanded upon above and more. Even the hardcore Leftists don’t let it fly except in the case of Israel: call me when you first hear about Leftist “pro-Celtic demonstrations against the Anglo-Saxon occupation of Britannia”, or Leftist academic papers decrying “the Arabization of the culture, religion and language of the indigenous people of Iran”. No, there’s nothing here but our old pal Jew-hatred, also known as anti-Semitism. The Left’s pro-Palestinian, anti-Jewish stance cannot be taken as sincere; the romanticist, primitivist, indigenist excuses are nothing more than a disingenuous cover-up for the divinely-instituted hatred for Jacob’s progeny.
The hatred is of divine institution, and so is the Jews’ claim for the land. One of the first things a Jewish child learns in the Torah, when reading it with Rashi’s commentary, is that the reason for its beginning in Genesis and not in Exodus (the first mitzvot G-d has given the Jews) is for the Jews to have a title deed to the land of Israel (so-called “Palestine”). “That if the nations of the world should say, ‘you are thieves (listim atem), for you have occupied the lands of seven nations’, they (the Israelites) would say to them, ‘all the land belongs to G-d; He created it and gave it to whomever was right in His eyes; in His will He gave it to them, and in His will He took it away from them and gave it to us’.”
It is G-d who decides if the Jews will inhabit their land or not (that is also the answer to the Naturei Karta traitors: if He had disapproved, Zionism would not have succeeded). It does not matter who preceded the Jews in inhabiting the land or who came after they left. From the secular point of view (to which Herzl adhered), the state of Israel was set up to end the problem of Jews being persecuted by non-Jewish rulers; from the religious point of view—by G-d’s will that Israel return. Yet despite all that, the state of Israel permits non-Jews in all walks of life except for where military secrecy is involved, so that the Knesset, the Israeli parliament, boasts of Arab members too, who are merely ordered to leave the session room when they decry Israel’s defensive actions in Lebanon, instead of being put in front a firing squad, which countries so admired of the Left, such as Cuba and China, would without hesitation do.