|Louise Benally/Photo Brenda Norrell|
By Brenda Norrell
French translation by Chris Prat
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.
Janene 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.
"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," Yazzie said.
"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." Read more of her statement at: 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."