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In annual gathering, Indigenous protesters mischaracterize Israel

A woman held a sign supporting Palestinians during the 54th National Day of Mourning on Cole's Hill in Plymouth on Nov. 23.Craig F. Walker/Globe Staff

Re “Annual day of mourning: At event in Plymouth, violence in Gaza is front and center” (Metro, Nov. 24): The substantial truth of Indigenous people’s displacement and unjust treatment by colonial American settlers and later by the federal government is well documented and therefore a story that the United American Indians of New England is absolutely correct in telling. However, for the group, which organizes the annual National Day of Mourning in Plymouth, to then employ historical amnesia by calling Israel a “a settler colonial state” when the Jewish people are indigenous to the land of ancient Israel since King David, as documented in the Old Testament, is an insult to that truth.

The return of the Jewish people to their ancient homeland came largely by escape from persecution and pogroms in the Russian Empire, then from pre-World War II and post-Holocaust Europe, then from expulsions by Arab nations after those states were defeated in war in 1948 and 1967, and then again escaping persecution in Soviet Russia. This is not “colonialism.”


The Palestinian people have been betrayed of a homeland by leaders who, over and over, have rejected every two-state peace plan proposed since 1937. With its attack on Oct. 7, Hamas leaves Palestinians exponentially farther from their dream of peace and statehood. Favoring the narrative of terrorists is a moral failure.

Ronald Matloff