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Indigenous Coalition for Israel opening embassy in Jerusalem

"This is the right time to stand with Israel in her struggle against forces that seek her annihilation," embassy co-founder Dr. Sheree Trotter said.

A Māori "hui," or gathering, in New Zealand in support of Israel and the Jewish people, Oct. 16, 2023. Credit: Indigenous Coalition for Israel.
A Māori "hui," or gathering, in New Zealand in support of Israel and the Jewish people, Oct. 16, 2023. Credit: Indigenous Coalition for Israel.

A group of indigenous leaders from around the world is opening an embassy in Jerusalem to recognize Jews as indigenous to Israel and counter rising antisemitism in the aftermath of the Oct. 7 massacre.

The Indigenous Coalition for Israel (ICFI)’s embassy will be housed within the Friends of Zion Museum in the historic Nahalat Shiva neighborhood of downtown Jerusalem. The museum is dedicated to showcasing Christian Zionism and its contributions to Israel.

“I congratulate ICFI on the decision to open an embassy in Jerusalem and thank them,” Dr. Mike Evans, an evangelical leader and the museum’s founder, said in a statement announcing the embassy opening, which will take place on the evening of Feb. 1 in the presence of Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz.

“We are grateful to the ICFI leadership for pursuing this initiative, especially during a time of war. The Jewish people are the indigenous people of Israel, and so we are thrilled with the support of the global First Peoples community,” said Jerusalem Deputy Mayor Fleur Hassan-Nahoum, who spearheaded the initiative with ICFI.

According to the statement, the embassy will open with strong expressions of support from indigenous leaders worldwide, including from American Samoa, Australia, Cook Islands, Fiji, Hawaii, New Caledonia, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Singapore, Solomon Islands, Tahiti, Taiwan and Tonga, as well as Native American chiefs and paramount chiefs from Southern Africa.

The statement notes, however, that the embassy will not officially represent any government.

“Antisemitism has seen a disturbing and unprecedented rise in the weeks since 7 October. The indigenous peoples recognize the Jewish people as indigenous to the land of Israel. Further, many view Israel as a truly inspirational expression of self-determination in ancestral
homelands,” said Dr. Sheree Trotter, a Māori from New Zealand.

The academic researcher and writer co-founded and will co-direct the embassy along with Alfred Ngaro, a former member of the New Zealand House of Representatives who was the first Cook Islander elected to Parliament in New Zealand.

“We believe this is the right time to launch the embassy in order to send a strong message of solidarity from indigenous peoples around the world, that we recognize the Jews as indigenous to Israel and stand with her in her struggle against forces that seek her annihilation,” Trotter said.

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