An Indigenous Take on Palestine

Shiloh Connor
4 min readJan 1, 2024

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Hey y’all.

I know it’s been a hot minute since I made something like this- I’ll be explaining my impromptu hiatuses in time, believe me- but I wanted to talk about something that has been on my mind.

Photo by Rami Gzon on Unsplash

If you’re on social media a lot or paying attention to current events, you know there’s an ongoing war in the middle east that has been openly declared an apartheid genocide, including by South Africa- a nation still scarred by its own Apartheid to this day. The victims of this event- Palestinian citizens- have been systematically oppressed by the government of Israel for longer than most of us have even been alive.

I’m not an expert on the history of the conflict, who started what, how long it’s been happening or why. But I have done enough research to know that the IDF has committed multiple war crimes, including the mass killing of civillians, the murder of doctors and journalists, denial of financial, medical, and survival aid, and collective punishment clauses.

Photo by Ehimetalor Akhere Unuabona on Unsplash

I know, I know- this is an awfully dark subject. It’s terrible to think about- the deaths of innocent people. And I know that Zionists will call me an antisemite for condemning the IDF and Israel’s government, because that’s what they’re doing to everyone else who talks about this- even to jewish creators like luckyfrogshop condemning the actions of the IDF.

But if we keep silent, we are compliant to the oppressor here. It is not antisemitic to condemn a government.

I have a Jewish friend who grew up in Palestine- I’m going to call him Bud for privacy- who told me stories of how it agonizes him to see the place he loved and grew up in demolished by conflict. How there are a great number of Jewish folks in the area who hate the conflict, who lost loved ones to this apartheid and are crying out for peace. I want to take a moment to acknowledge all of you out there- Muslim, Jewish, Christian, Atheist, and even the Zoroastrian population of the region who have lost loved ones to the violence and death in Gaza.

I am so… so sorry you are suffering. You have my love. You have my empathy.

It’s also important to remember that both Hamas and the Israeli government benefit from the continuation of this war. Palestinians who have lost their homes and loved ones are easy to radicalize into obedient loyalty, and the leaders of the Israeli government can probably make a decent dime off the war effort. War Economy is good for those doing the invading, after all. And this is why we have to separate the civilians from these groups when having this discussion. Because the Palestinians have both a legitimate claim to oppression and legitimate grievances both politically and historically with the Israeli government.

Some of you are gonna ask- ‘Shiloh, why do you care about this? You’re an American goy, it’s not relevant to you.’ Well, actually, it is. Why?

Because I’m Indigenous.

Cheyenne people taken hostage in 1868 following Custer’s attack on Washita.

Because when I look at what is happening in Gaza right now I think of the suffering my people have endured for hundreds of years, and I empathize with the people of Gaza because I have listened to the stories of my ancestors, I witness the suffering of my cousins. I remember when Reservations asked for PPE during COVID and were sent body bags.

I see what happened to my people reflected in the eyes of Israel’s leaders.

So.. what do we do? American officials vetoed a call for peace in the UN, and have literally made criticizing Israel a hate crime. How do we support the victims of an apartheid genocide in a meaningful manner when our own leaders are silencing us?

As I have said before, the way we speak up is by getting loud. Here a re a few ways to do so-

A list of companies who are openly supporting Palestine that you can support financially
A few charitable orgs providing aid to Gaza
And some social media links to journalists who need your support while they cover what happens in Gaza

But lastly, and most importantly, join the call for a ceasefire. Follow the instructions below and text “SIGN PLWJVW” to ResistBot @ 50409 to sign a Ceasefire petition.

We have the ability to fight back in a world full of cruelty. No matter what your faith, your race, your class or your creed, you have a right to life and to happiness. We need to fight for eachother when the world is being unfair.

Do right by your fellow humans. I believe in you.

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Shiloh Connor

Freelance Artist, Writer, and Activist looking to start a conversation!