June 23, 2021

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Israel’s Jewish Indigenous Land Rights: A Conversation with Nan Greer, Part 1 (Judean Rose)

The curriculum vitae of Nan Marie Greer, Ph.D. at eight pages long, is as long your arm (or more probably, your legs). It seems there’s nothing she can’t do, and she does it all extremely well. Currently, an adjunct lecturer at the University of Redlands in California, Greer teaches cultural and environmental anthropology in addition to indigenous land rights.

Nan reached out to me and my husband a few years back, introducing herself. She wanted help exploring the indigenous rights of the Jewish people, which she felt needed to be—deserved to be—enshrined in law. Impressed with her sincerity and her knowledge, we promised to do whatever we could to help her.

This two-part interview lays out Nan Greer’s vision for the people of Israel. That vision points to a resolution to territorial disputes between Arabs and Jews, the protection of both Jewish and Arab rights, and the rights of indigenous peoples everywhere. Of course it all sounds far-fetched until you read what Nan Greer has to say. And then it all makes perfect sense.
Judean Rose: What does it mean to be an indigenous people? Are the Jews an indigenous people?
Dr. Nan Marie Greer, Ph.D.

Nan Greer: The ILO Convention 169and the U.N. working definition are the most utilized and notable documents referring to indigenous people, with the U.N.D.R.I.P.established to identify rights of indigenous people under international law. ILO Convention 169, finalized in 1989 has not been revised to contain the U.N. definition of indigenous, listed on their websites and formal documents.  However, ILO Convention 169 states: “Article 1: This convention applies to…”, it DOES NOT state, this convention “DEFINES” indigenous.

All but one organization of the U.N. maintains the definition developed by Martinez Coboas published in U.N. documents and websites. UNESCO is NOT consistent with other U.N. organizations, and fails to utilize the U.N. working definition of indigenous.

For the purposes of international litigation, a working definition of indigenous people was established and published in U.N. policy documents and websites deriving from José Martinez Cobo’s definition:

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