Society

Jewish Groups Voice Support For Standing Rock Protest

| by Brendan Kelly

Multiple Jewish groups have announced their support of the protest of the oil pipeline near the Standing Rock Indian Reservation in North and South Dakota.

According to The Times Of Israel, several rabbis have been arrested in the Native American-led protest at Standing Rock.

Energy Transfer Patterns, a privately owned company, is attempting to build a $3.7 billion oil pipeline which would stretch over 1,100 miles from the Bakken oil field in North Dakota to a Chicago-area refinery. The pipeline would threaten Native American lands and contaminate the water supply in areas primarily made up of Native Americans.

Thousands of protesters have set up camp in North Dakota to peacefully protest the construction of the pipeline. The protests have been met with a militarized police force, using extreme tactics such as tear gas, rubber bullets, and mace. There have also been more than 400 arrests so far, according to Forward.

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Two students and one rabbi from the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College traveled to Standing Rock to join the protest of the pipeline, as well as Conservative Rabbi Francine Roston of Montana. A board member of T'ruah also traveled to participate in the protest, The Times Of Israel reports.

"The movement for Indigenous sovereignty in this country is centuries old, and seen wherever in the world colonizing nations believe they have the right to take over communities and land, disregarding culture, customs, religion, and laws," Reconstructionist Rabbi Linda Holtzman said in a statement. "It is our obligation to stand with the Indigenous people of Standing Rock."

The Central Conference of American Rabbis also joined other Jewish groups in voicing their support for the protests and standing with the Native American people.

"Reform rabbis have called for climate justice repeatedly over the decades, most recently in 2015, and have long supported the rights of Native American Indians and particularly expressed sensitivity for their burial sites," a statement by the CCAR reads.

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On Nov. 3, another statement was published, signed by 200 rabbis of varying denominations.

"The pipeline is desecrating their graves, threatening to poison the water of the Missouri River, and endangering the entire web of life of Mother Earth by increasing the burning of fossil fuels," the statement reads.

Sources: The Times Of IsraelForward / Photo credit: Mike Mccleary/The Bismarck Tribune via The Times Of Israel

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