Navajo women in solidarity with Palestine oppose Navajo president's visit to Israel

Navajo women in solidarity with Palestine oppose Navajo president's visit to Israel

By Brenda Norrell

Navajo women in solidarity with Palestine oppose Navajo President Ben Shelly’s visit to Israel this week and spoke out against the ongoing genocidal policies of Israel and Shelly’s longterm human rights abuses at home. Navajo women said Shelly and Israel are part of the war machine. Working with sustainable agriculture, Navajos said that Shelly does not need to go to Israel to learn how to use chemicals to grow food.

Louise Benally, Dine’ resisting forced relocation at Big Mountain, Arizona, said, "Ben should stay in Israel, to learn how to farm, they are only puppets for the war machines."

"Is he learning how to farm food, or weapons of mass destruction?" Benally and other Dine’ on Black Mesa say the Navajo Nation government is a puppet government of the US, which abandoned them for coal mining and power plant dollars.

Working with sustainable agriculture, Janene Yazzie, Navajo, said Shelly does not need to go to Israel to learn how to use chemicals to grow food.

“To hear that our president believes the apartheid government of Israel has more to offer than the Dine’ people in his homeland fighting against his policies is hurtful and unbelievably ignorant.”

Yazzie points out that Shelly’s visit to Israel this week is the latest in a long list of human rights violations, which includes schemes to sell out Navajo water rights, and sending armed Swat teams to intimidate Navajos at public forums.

Yazzie said, "It should not shock or surprise us that our Navajo Nation President Ben Shelly has taken an unexpected trip to visit Israel, a government that has committed itself to carrying out genocidal practices against its population of indigenous Palestinian peoples. I make this argument because our President has illustrated himself to be unfit to make the kind of informed, wise, and strong decisions that promote the inherent rights of our own Dine (Navajo) people; let alone prove himself to be the kind of leader that is concerned or educated about the campaign of genocide waged by Israel."

"In communities across our nation there is a struggle to localize food production by returning to traditional methods of farming and irrigation suitable to our climate, our soils, our native foods, and the values of our culture. Instead of visiting these projects or investing in them President Shelly has gone to Israel to learn about 'Fertigation,' a method that is dependent on the use of chemical fertilizers. There are other Dine entrepreneurs such as myself trying to introduce sustainable ways of building energy-efficient homes out of local materials, with waste-water recycling systems that allow us to optimize our use of this precious resource."

"The underlying conflict in all these issues is that all these grassroots projects employ 'alternative methods of development' that empower communities to work together to meet their own local needs. However the projects that have received open support and funding within the past year are based on the unsustainable model of top-down private investments, based on illusions of trickle-down economics."
Read Janene Yazzie's full statement: http://bsnorrell.blogspot.com/2012/12/navajo-janene-yazzie-solidarity-with.html 

Angela Davis, Navajo, points out that the Navajo Nation has used genetically modified seeds for years at its commercial farm, Navajo Agricultural Products Industry, and promoted Monsanto on NAPI's website.

Davis said, "If Ben Shelly cares so much about agriculture, then he should stop buying genetically modified seeds from Monsanto. He also says he identifies similar problems with radiation contamination in Israeli water, while ignoring his own people who are sick and dying from radiation in their water from uranium mining that he supports!"

"He also sees similarities with Israeli peoples' struggles in their homeland and shares their leader's concerns. He's like Benjamin Natanyaho, a dictator that commits genocide of oppressed people in their own occupied territories. We have more in common with the Palestinians than the Zionist regime of Israel. Ben Shelly is a liar and I don't believe his visitation intentions are in the best interest of the people." 

For permission to repost this article

brendanorrell@gmail.com

About Brenda Norrell

Brenda Norrell has been a news reporter in Indian country for 32 years. She is publisher of Censored News, focusing on Indigenous Peoples, human rights and the US border. Censored News was created after Norrell was censored, then terminated, by Indian Country Today after serving as a longtime staff reporter. Now censored by the mainstream media, she previously was a staff reporter at numerous American Indian newspapers and a stringer for AP, USA Today and others. She lived on the Navajo Nation for 18 years, and then traveled with the Zapatistas. She covered the climate summits in Cochabamba, Bolivia, and Cancun, Mexico, in 2010.

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About Brenda Norrell

Personal Website
http://www.bsnorrell.blogspot.com/

Biography

Brenda Norrell has been a news reporter in Indian country for 32 years. She is publisher of Censored News, focusing on Indigenous Peoples, human rights and the US border. Censored News was created after Norrell was censored, then terminated, by Indian Country Today after serving as a longtime staff reporter. Now censored by the mainstream media, she previously was a staff reporter at numerous American Indian newspapers and a stringer for AP, USA Today and others. She lived on the Navajo Nation for 18 years, and then traveled with the Zapatistas. She covered the climate summits in Cochabamba, Bolivia, and Cancun, Mexico, in 2010.