The Jewish Meaning of Columbus Day

And who can forget all the dispossessed Gaels who found themselves on the front lines, fighting for the colonists as this continent was invaded. We too bear a grave responsibility to see this monster undone.

Unsettling America

Image from www.transformcolumbusday.org www.colorado-aim.blogspot.com Image from http://www.transformcolumbusday.org http://www.colorado-aim.blogspot.com

A Jewish American reflects on Columbus Day, the legacy of settler-colonialism, and what it means for people of Jewish heritage

By Jordan Engel

In recent years, Columbus Day has become a day for many non-native Americans (let’s call them settlers) to reflect on their colonial legacy. As settlers in the Americas, we must bare some of the burden of decolonizing these lands, because the guilty parties in the genocide of American Indians over the past five centuries are not just the direct descendants of Indian-killers like Cortez, Custer, and Columbus. Decolonization is the responsibility of everyone alive today who lives on stolen lands, and as Jewish-Americans, we are not exempt.

Our people have a long and complicated history with this continent. We often fail to acknowledge, for example, that most of the Jews in the world, about 54 percent, live in North and South America –…

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