And Now, A Message About Gaza From Montana

Via the Jewish Labor Bund's local chapter, here are two statements for a ceasefire from Jewish and Indigenous leaders in Big Sky Country, co-signed by candidates for Congress.

And Now, A Message About Gaza From Montana
An 1865 map of the Montana Territory, indicating deposits of precious minerals.

Edited by Sam Thielman

I'M A MEMBER OF THE JEWISH LABOR BUND, a revived Jewish socialist group rekindling an antizionist tradition. Members of the Montana chapter brought to my attention the following statements concerning Gaza that I thought would interest FOREVER WARS readers. They're meant to be read together. 

The first statement was jointly written by "Maka Yuchanch," "Shakes the Ground," Lance FourStar of the Red Bottom Clan of the Assiniboine Nation in Northeastern Montana, and the Jewish Labor Bund. It's co-signed by three of the four Democratic candidates running to represent Montana's second congressional district in the House of Representatives: Ming Cabrera, John Driscoll and Kevin Hamm. Lance FourStar, in addition to being a tribal leader, is treasurer of the Montana Democratic Party

There are moments in history that call us to set aside political differences to come together to do what is right. We, the Democratic primary candidates for Montana's Eastern District in the US House of Representatives in collaboration with members of Montana’s Jewish and Indigenous communities, feel strongly that this is one of those moments. We are setting aside our respective campaigns to join together and uphold our shared Montana values of democracy, freedom, reason, and compassion.
If we fail to condemn the killing of tens of thousands of innocent Palestinian civilians and the displacement of two million others, we can no longer claim to be defenders of morality. We believe that failing to use our political platforms to counter dangerous, dehumanizing narratives that endanger both Jewish and Palestinian communities around the world is not only morally reprehensible, but a policy failure that will perpetuate lasting harm to both communities well beyond this election cycle. We recognize the diversity of voices within both the global Jewish and Arab communities, and we reject the notion that the views of entire ethno-religious groups can or should be spoken for by unelected political action committees.
Further, we recognize and honor the deep sense of solidarity between the Indigenous communities of Montana and of Palestine. We acknowledge the parallels between both of these struggles, and the rights of all Indigenous populations to thrive on their own land without fear or intimidation.
In that spirit, we reject the false choice between Israeli safety and Palestinian freedom. True peace and justice will only come through unity, compassion, and mutual recognition of one another’s shared humanity.
We call on Hamas to release all remaining hostages. We call on Israel to free prisoners held without trial. We call for an end to Israel's siege on Gaza. We call for an end of dehumanizing media campaigns by representative organizations of both Palestine and Israel. We call for an immediate, permanent, bilateral ceasefire and good faith efforts to work towards lasting peace, dignity, justice, and equality for all. We recognize that none of this is likely possible unless our elected officials stop spending taxpayer money on weapons and munitions for a foreign government's assault on a civilian population.
We believe that this call for peace and diplomacy is the bare minimum that we as candidates can do, and we ask our fellow Montanans to stand with us in promoting democracy, inclusion, and compassion — not just with our words when the stakes are low, but with our actions when we have something to lose.

And now this statement was written by Lance FourStar: 

As “Maka Yuchanch,” “Shakes the Ground,” Lance FourStar of the Red Bottom Clan of the Assiniboine Nation in Northeastern Montana, speaking on behalf of a tribe which faces similar struggles against political and economic manipulation and suppression perpetrated by occupying forces, we recognize and stand in compassionate solidarity with the Palestinian people.
We acknowledge that the United States government's deliberate actions to prevent Indigenous tribes from exercising their right to self-determination, dissent, and cultural healing mirror the oppression faced by Palestinians. We acknowledge that just as our Assiniboine tribe experienced starvation at the hands of an occupying force, so do Palestinian civilians suffer under siege tactics aimed at exerting unearned authority over indigenous populations previously thriving on their own land.
We urgently appeal to the federal government to fully restore autonomy and the right to self-determination to Indigenous tribes, to honor the treaties that have been abandoned, to return rightful control over ancestral lands and provide meaningful support to tribes whose territories have been occupied for centuries, to end the cycle of exploitation and suppression, and urge an effort to embrace a new tradition of genuine partnership and respect for Indigenous sovereignty.
Likewise and in complete solidarity with a similarly oppressed Indigenous people, we call for a bilateral ceasefire in Gaza and an end to the siege, the blockade, and all actions against the civilian population of Palestine that prevent its Indigenous population from thriving. We call on Hamas to release all remaining hostages, and on Israel to release all prisoners currently held without trial.
Make no mistake, it does not escape us that so many of the dead and wounded children in Gaza look like they could be our siblings, our children, our grandchildren. It does not escape us that the Assiniboine people can look out our windows and see the graves of victims of intentional starvation by our own colonizers, just as the Palestinian people can see mass graves holding the bodies of their similarly martyred loved ones. It does not escape us, and we will not forget.

FOREVER WARS wouldn't necessarily put everything the way they have. You can read our editorial position in this edition from Oct. 10. But it seemed significant that the Montana Bund and a leader of the Assiniboine assembled a statement on Gaza expressing Jewish-Indigineous solidarity and a demand for a ceasefire, and got most of the local Democratic congressional candidates to sign on to it. 

CALLING ALL FOREVER WARS ARABIC-SPEAKERS ON LONG ISLAND! A friend of mine brings to my attention the case of 11-year old Sherin, who lives in Rafah and lost her leg in a bombing. Sherin will soon arrive on Long Island, along with her 19-year old sister, to get the medical treatment necessary to walk again. They will need help with housing, getting to Sherin's appointments, and other humanitarian assistance. Arabic speakers in the local community who are interested and able to help should email

CALLING ALL FOREVER WARS MASSHOLES! I'll be speaking on a wide-ranging March 29 panel at Hampshire College in Amherst about "U.S. Foreign Policy and the 2024 Elections." I'm excited to say that joining me on this panel will be my friend Van Jackson, whose newsletter you really should read, and who is making a rare U.S. appearance now that he lives in New Zealand. We'll be speaking at 5:30pm on Friday the 29th at what the website says is "FPH Building, Main Lecture Hall." Stop by and say hi! 

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