Native Americans stand with Jewish students against Hamas supporters

Native Americans stand with Jewish students against Hamas supporters

Lani Dawn, a Jewish Native American woman, posted a video to Instagram showing protesters at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) violently attacking her. Dawn’s offense? Carrying a sign reading, “Hamas supporters are not welcome on native land” and a t-shirt reading, “Rape is not resistance.”

“Tonight I was physically assaulted by a @UCLA student,” Dawn wrote. “He used a wooden stick to shove me from a ledge. i was peacefully standing on. Campus PD stood by and watched… I also witnessed @UCLA campus PD tell one of the ‘pro-Palestine’ protestors that “they are good” moments after this incident. @UCLA faculty were involved in intimidating Jewish protestors and instigating or intentionally ignoring assaults. I need as much footage of this from different angles.”

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A post shared by Lani Dawn (@lanimekeel)

Dawn is a registered member of the Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara Nation and an unaffiliated descendant of the Sicangu Lakota Nation. She is also a descendant of Jews who moved to the US from Russia in the early 20th Century.

“I was quickly surrounded by a mob @UCLA students and EVEN @ucla faculty as a form of intimidation. Where I continued to maintain my peaceful presence & protest. The violence on American campuses is UNACCEPTABLE. The lack of police intervention is UNACCEPTABLE. NON-indigenous people TARGETING and ATTACKING an Indigenous woman while you claim to be supporting an ‘indigenous liberation movement’ is UNACCEPTABLE,” wrote Dawn.

During the protest, Dawn spoke with, Sal Yazhi Lozano, a Native American man who was demonstrating alongside pro-Palestinian protesters.

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A post shared by Lani Dawn (@lanimekeel)

“Shortly after I was attacked, we noticed each other and reached across the human barrier of ‘Free Palestine’ protesters to introduce ourselves with respect and simply honor each other’s presence, wrote Dawn. “Instantly, ‘Free Palestine’ protestors started telling us we were not allowed to speak to each other! They even told us we need to leave the premises if we weren’t going to obey the rules.”

“The violence is not welcome on Native land,” Dawn wrote. “ These illegal encampments are not welcome on Native land. Hamas supporters are not welcome on Native land. FREE PALESTINE FROM HAMAS.”

“READ THAT AGAIN. Several non-indigenous ‘Free Palestine’ protestors told two NATIVE AMERICAN people that we were NOT ALLOWED on the premises of their ILLEGAL encampment if we aren’t going to obey THEIR rules. And they call themselves an ‘indigenous liberation movement’?” added Dawn.

“As hosts and original stewards of the land of America, we have the honor to welcome those whose moccasins come to walk softly on the earth,” Dawn wrote. “We also hold a solemn responsibility to stand against those who bring violence, chaos, and bad intentions.”

Lozano also spoke about the incident on Instagram, posting that “Two Indigenous people supporting two different cultures today set an example while everyone else dared to say we couldn’t speak to each other nor shake hands because she was on the Jewish side and not on Palestinians side with us. That triggered us, and this indigenous woman spoke up and stood her ground on indigenous land. She was even beaten by Palestinian men.”

Lozano stressed that he did not support the protestors’ actions and would “not allow nor tolerate any of that, especially on our women or lands.”

“How dare they tell us on our lands we can (sic) talk to each other. Don’t get it twisted…YOU ARE ON INDIGENOUS LAND!!!” added Lozano.

Indeed, UCLA acknowledges that it was built on ancestral land appropriated from the Gabrielino Tongva tribe.

Lozano appears to have had a change of heart. Recent posts to his Instagram account show support for Jewish claims to indigeneity and a chant in front of a sign reading, “Native men believe Israeli women.”

Dr. Laralyn RiverWind, Co-Founderof FireKeepers International and Ambassador for the Georgia Tribe of Eastern Cherokee, responded to the incident.

“I publicly honor the Native Americans who took a stand against Hamas supporters at UCLA,” Dr. Riverwind tp;d Israel365 News. “You stood against those who condone and justify murder, rape, and rage – actions for which there are never any justifications. These are not the ways of our people.”

“For thousands of years, aggressive Muslim groups have violently colonized many countries across the world. Those with the eye of an eagle can see the plans they have for this nation and land. My hope is that your tribes honor you each with an eagle feather for your bravery and ability to think clearly.”

“Wish I could have joined you!” she added. 

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