I am no ecologist. Granted, I am grateful for my surroundings and respect those surroundings.
But I never worry about what car exhaust fumes do to the atmosphere or that the sun is getting too close to the earth. While some may accuse me of being party to the abuse of the ecology, I counter that I am more concerned with the abuse of my fellow human being. Recently, both issues surfaced, when a local Oil Company received the go ahead to run a pipeline dangerously close to an Indian reservation near Cannon Ball North Dakota, despite protests from the Sioux tribe whose people live on that reservation. Below is a memo that in my wildest fantasy I would like to send to David Archambault III, chairman of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe:
Although we have never met, consider this memo to be from the heart. My formative years were spent in a Canadian province bordering the Peace Garden Staten (North Dakota). Aboriginal Canadians (mishpocha of yours to the north) are no strangers to me and I still see them on a regular basis during my trips to Manitoba (named for Manitou, an Indian spirit/deity). As a Jew, I cannot help but cry out at the great injustices that have been done and continue to be done to the North American Indian. Accordingly, I offer you three suggestions to help put a stop to the proposed oil pipeline that will streak across your treaty lands, being constructed by Energy Transfer Partners of Texas with the blessings of both the State of North Dakota and the United States Army corps of Engineers:
Perhaps you should hire the P.R. firm used by the Palestinians. Chances are that they would advise you (at least pro forma) to adopt Arab sounding names for yourselves as well as for your lands and then claim that you are really Palestinians. Take up the mantra that you are humiliated by the way you have been mistreated and that you are the victims of apartheid. As a result, I cannot help but feel that within days, full page ads will be taken out in support of you in leading newspapers across this country by bleeding heart rabbis calling for boycotts against the State of North Dakota. After years of taking up the cause for oppressed Palestinians, these rabbis have it down to a science!
Forget about sit-ins, deliberation and prayer. Based on your peaceful behavior, you might very well be one of our ten lost tribes! Tire burning is what you need! Aren’t there any rocks and stones in your area that you can throw at innocent and unassuming North Dakotans travelling along the highways and byways? Provided no one is injured, shattered windshields work wonders in shattering the complacency of the unaware public. Show the rest of the world the great lengths you are prepared to go to when your land is being threatened. Better yet, concoct some farfetched story that the cities of Fargo and Bismarck were built on Indian land and those two cities are located on what is now “occupied territory”. No Oil company in its right mind would even dare think about ruffling your feathers. Spout the “occupied territory” line and any Oil company will go to great lengths to appease you.
Last, but not least, elect a Jewish governor. I know that how difficult that could be with no more than 400 Jews in all of North Dakota, but realize if you will, that a state with say, Jack Drabkin as Governor is going to be far more closely scrutinized than a state with Jack Dalrymple as Governor when it comes to treating those who are humiliated, those who have been deprived of their land and those who must resort to rock throwing and tire burning. Haven’t you learned that Jews make news? When all is said and done, Jack Drabkin is a “landsman” of yours. He is a descendant of a people who knows all about discrimination first hand. No different than you, Jack Drabkin’s people had their land confiscated as well. There was a time when this country didn’t give a damn about Jack Drabkin’s people, just like this country doesn’t give a damn about your people.
I wish you well in your struggle. Remember one thing. If the suggestions in my memo fail, then rally all your people to start yelling “climate change”! If concerns about climate change shut down the construction of the Keystone Pipeline, concerns about climate change may do the same for the Dakota Access Pipeline. Then again, in all probability, given our government’s concern for your people, any concern about climate change will most likely evaporate when juxtaposed to concern for the North Dakota Sioux.