The Bitter Medicine – by RM Bellerose (Facebook)

Indians understand bitter medicine but I wonder how deeply? You see we have been “allied” with the Arabs for over 40 years, at least in the activist community. In order to maintain that alliance we had to ignore reality, history, science and we had to allow our struggle to be used as a prop for the Arabs struggle AGAINST indigenous people. Some of us did not accept this and we have worked to educate our people, but this requires them to take some bitter medicine, they must acknowledge that some of our so called friends are anything but.

In those 40 years what has our so called alliance availed us? What have the Arabs taught us? have they helped us in any tangible ways? It is never easy to cut ties but in order for us to move forward, we need to stop supporting Arab colonialists and build bridges with actual indigenous peoples. Kurds, Yezidis, amazigh, and yes Jews. We need to demand that colonisers stop misusing our struggle and even our language to advocate on behalf of the descendants of colonisers.

We have food sovereignty issues, and water issues, who better to build bridges with than indigenous peoples who made the desert bloom? who better to ally with than a people who created ways to get drinkable water from the sea and the desert? The Arabs could teach us how to remain victims perhaps or how to exaggerate and live off the largess of others, but other than that, what can they really teach us? They are constantly crying wolf about a genocide that never happened, while denying one that did, how would learning their perfidious ways help Indians at all? meanwhile the Jews are dealing with generational trauma, yet they have built a strong, prosperous thriving country on their ancestral lands despite it being tiny and limited in resources. They did not have Oil money like their neighbours or the huge amounts of international aid that the “Palestinians” have received. What aid they do get is limited to being spent on American military and industry. I would argue that the Jews themselves understand bitter medicine because of this. They need the aid, but because of it they are limited in their options for their own industry.

We have been infantilised by the Government, they like the fact that our communities are damaged and broken, that our leadership is weak and ineffective, and because we are struggling we hide and by hiding we allow them to make us invisible.

So you tell me that you are upset because Jews don’t come to our events yet when they do, you are rude to them and treat them poorly. You say that Arabs support you but other than a few token statements they do less than nothing for us.

Leave aside that as indigenous people we should always stand with actual indigenous people, the simple truth is that out of self interest, we should be standing with the only indigenous people who managed to gain self determination on their ancestral lands, a people who have a proven record of innovation and cultural resurgence. Who resurrected a largely ceremonial language. All examples for us. People who created an economy from nothing. Who survived a very real genocide. We can learn from these people and just as importantly we can share with them, share our stoicism, our will to fight and live. They are lacking in only one thing, honest genuine allies, we are natural allies, as we share experiences and we are all indigenous people who have felt the lash of colonialism, actual colonialism.

I know they are waiting for us with open arms, they have stood on the front lines of civil rights struggles, they are not big talkers they are doers. And if we are willing to put aside preconceived notions and fallacies, they will work with us to rebuild our nations, feed our people, help us get clean water to our communities and teach us their methods of dealing with trauma. So yes for a few it will be bitter medicine, but for the rest of us, it will be sweet indeed. All we have to do is hold out our hand in friendship, to people who desperately need it.