Good News Friday

I’m having great difficulty in posting any good news this week, but still, it’s Friday, and I don’t want to skip a Good News Friday post. So I’m going to take the easy way out and post some incredible posts from Facebook from supporters of Israel.

The first two posters are not Jewish, but their strong, public and steadfast love for Israel and the Jews is almost unparalleled in this day and age.

Ryan Bellerose (on the left) at a Stand With Us event. (He doesn’t believe in wearing long trousers if he can possibly avoid it)

Ryan Bellerose is an indigenous rights activist from the far north of Canada, who fights for the rights of his own Metis nation, and became involved in the indigenous rights for the Jewish People. I quote from his Israellycool description where he is a contributor:

A member of the indigenous Metis people, Ryan grew up in the far north of Alberta, Canada with no power nor running water. Ryan was unsure if his real name was “Go get water!” or “Go get wood!” In his free time, Ryan plays Canadian Rules Football , reads books, does advocacy work for indigenous people and does not live in an Igloo.

It was Ryan that I first got to learn the concept of the Jewish People’s indigenous rights in Israel. It was something that I felt instinctively but did not have the knowledge or the background to express it. It is highly worthwhile reading his introductory post where he explains “Israel Palestine: Who’s indigenous?”. First he brings the criteria for defining an indigenous nation, and then he explains why this applies to the Jews:

Let us now look quickly at the Jews. How do they fit this definition?

  • Their lands were occupied, first by the Romans, then by the Arabs in the seventh century.
  • They share common ancestry with previous occupants as determined by several genetic studies.
  • Their culture can be traced directly to the Levant, where it developed into what is now known as “Jewish culture.” While different Jewish communities have slightly different traditions, they all share the same root culture, and it remains unchanged. They have resurrected their traditional language, and while many still speak Yiddish and Ladino, Hebrew has become the primary language again.
  • They have spiritual ties to the land, which plays a large role in their traditions as a people.

Despite all the arguments about “European” Jews, they in fact meet all the criteria set forth by Martínez-Cobo. Even though Israel is the first modern indigenous state, it still has lands that are occupied by foreigners in Judea and Samaria. Those are ancestral lands and, many feel that they should be returned to the indigenous peoples for self-determination.

As far as I’m concerned it was Ryan who brought the whole idea of Jewish indigenous rights into the public sphere, and all credit is due to him for persisting with this concept to the extent that the Jews’ indigenous rights have now become the accepted viewpoint in pro-Israel circles. Now that message has been internalized by ourselves, we are able to promote it further in order to combat the drip-drip of international delegitimization of our natural rights in Israel.

Ryan is currently in Israel on a visit and speaking tour with Stand With Us, (on one of his tours he unfortunately fell and broke his arm) and here are a couple of Ryan’s recent Facebook posts. I highly recommend you follow him. (In all the Facebook posts below, if the entire text does not appear, click “see more” for the rest to unfold).

I missed Ryan’s speech in Bet Shemesh last week but I plan on attending next week’s event in Jerusalem if I can possibly help it. (they got the date wrong in the blurb beneath the photo):

Here is the video of his excellent presentation in Bet Shemesh:

We can count ourselves extremely lucky to have such a stalwart friend on our side.

Farhana Rahman, a proud Muslim stalwart supporter of Israel

Another incredible supporter of Israel is this Muslim (!) woman who appears to have fallen in love with our country. 🙂  She wrote a Facebook post about her love for “magical Israel” which went viral:

Farhana Rahman, a young Muslim woman from New York who is employed in an Israeli mobile app startup named Zula, posted a Facebook status full of boundless love for the state of Israel and its citizens Sunday. For those demoralized by the news these days, it is a true must-read.

“As I am typing this,” she wrote upon returning to the US from her second-ever trip to Israel, “my heart is still pounding quite hard, and there is still that yearning to go back.”

What followed was an exuberant post full of love for the Jewish state and its residents:

“Muslim me went to the heart of Israel, and exploded- with emotions. And with sentiment,” she declared.

“Because everyone loved me. Everyone went out of their way to love me. No one could dare say that my online friends in Israel aren’t real friends. Because yes they are. It’s insulting for me to even refer to them as my friends. It is also insulting for me to refer to them as my family. They are a part of me. My lifeblood. They collectively transformed me into a much better version of myself.

Jews help people outside the tribe

She continued: “Many wonderful people traveled far and wide to see me. I didn’t want to bother anyone by asking for their time in my last-minute trip, but that didn’t stop them. They put their workloads and beautiful families aside, and came to see me and spend time with me in all crazy hours. I ended up falling for each of them even more than before, because they were all genuinely delighted over the fact that I was there. Probably even more delighted than I was.

“I don’t use the term ‘friendship’ lightly. I know I am saying it a lot here. I am far from popular, that’s for sure. But here’s how the culture in Israel works: If people know you, they love you. Well, you obviously have to be a good person. But anyway, everyone lifts everyone else up. You know those stereotypes of Jews only helping Jews and that’s why they are all successful and blah blah? Well I am solid proof that they wholeheartedly help people outside of the tribe as well.”

“And why don’t we all take a lesson from them?”, Farhana suggested, in a monologue that soothes hearts:

“Jews weren’t the only oppressed people that faced injustices in different points in time,” she observed. “Everyone was. And still is. Let’s all help build each other up as they do!

As for the “apartheid state” trope that is constantly repeated by anti-Israelis – Farhana had this to say:

“It’s almost crazy how many Muslim women I saw driving, shopping independently, studying, working, and enjoying life in Israel. Freedoms they couldn’t even dream of elsewhere in the Mideast. And yes, many of them were all burka’ed out to the nines. Also, it’s way safer to walk outside late at night in most parts of Israel, than in NY. Because the people are civil and good. If you reply with anything contradictory, I’ll simply ignore cause that won’t be worth my time.

“Anyway, I went to businesses run by Jews, and got great customer service. I went to businesses run by Muslims. Also got great service. Customers were mixed everywhere, and everyone got along just fine. Interestingly enough, in both cases, the shop owners/staff weren’t able to figure out whether I was a Muslim or Jew. I took that as a compliment.

“I didn’t think it would be possible for me to love Israel and her people more than before. But yep. This trip did it. Does that make me a Zionist? Probably. You will be surprised how many other Zionist Muslims I came across there. So bring it on haters, bring it on. I will stand at the front line for the chosen people. And after the smoke clears, we will cuddle and play board games together while enjoying bourekas and lemonade with mint.”

Her words bring tears to my eyes. But that’s not all! In a subsequent Facebook post Farhana tells us about the huge number of positive reactions she received in response to her initial post.

Kol hakavod Farhana. If only more Muslims, in fact more people everywhere in the world, were like you, who can see Israel for what she really is, who can view us without the filter of “apartheid”, “colonialism” and all the other modern-day epithets thrown at us.

We look forward to your next visit!

And to conclude, here is our very own Caroline Glick in this (undated) video. I’m not certain when this  video was made, but the message is timeless and so relevant in these days of defamation and delegitimization of Israel, and especially of the communities in Judea and Samaria.

 

With these stirring thoughts, I wish you all Shabbat Shalom!

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