Press Release

“This is our Eretz Yisrael [Land of Israel],” explains Mohawk Indian in Cornell University Law Journal, referring to North and South America

Akwesasne, Mohawk Territory, May 21, 2008 [New York-Canadian border]

In a recently published paper in the Cornell Journal of Law and Public Policy, Native American author Tekahnawiiaks tackles issues surrounding the pollution of New York’s Lake Onondaga, stating that North and South America is “our Eretz Yisrael.”

The Eretz Yisrael reference was inspired by a feature-length documentary film, “Cowjews and Indians,” currently in post-production, that presents analogies between Jews and Native Americans.

Tekahnawiiaks, a self-described “Mohawk Nation nationalist” also known as Joyce King, writes in “The Value of Water and the Meaning of Water Law for the Native Americans Known as the Haudenosaunee [popularly known as Iroquois]” published this May,

“For the Haudenosaunee, not only is this land our homeland, but the Creator has assigned the land to us. For most people, this is a new idea. The English would die defending England, but they do not believe their Creator gave them England.

“But Jews, for example, believe that their Creator gave them Eretz Yisrael -the Land of Israel.The traditional Native American will tell you that the Creator gave them Turtle Island—North (and South) America. For the Haudenosaunee, we are the rightful owners, for example, of Ithaca NY, the home of Cornell University. Our original territory in New York, Pennsylvania and Ohio, as well as southern Canada, if I may use a Jewish analogy, is our Eretz Yisrael.”

Tekahnawiiaks acknowledges in a footnote that the source of the Native American Eretz Yisrael analogy was, the production company for Cowjews and Indians.

Marc Halberstadt, Chief Analogist of the service explained how Tekahnawiiaks came upon the Eretz Yisrael analogy.

” Tekahnawiiaks participated in Cowjews and Indians, a feature-length documentary film that draws analogies between Jews and Native Americans. Traditional people of both groups claim divine right to territorial sovereignty, and historically both groups have experienced loss of that sovereignty.

“In one of the scenes in the film, the Native American Eretz Yisrael analogy is presented. Long afterwards, when the film was in postproduction, I heard that Tekahnawiiaks was writing this article for Cornell University. I encouraged her to carry the analogy over from the film to the paper. I was happy to see the Cornell paper, with my own indirect assistance, scoop me—beat me to the punch—with my own punch!” ”

On his website, Halberstadt writes, “So the question is, if the Jews do not appreciate the Native American moral claim to North and South America, who will?”

The full text of Tekahnawiiaks paper, published in the May 2008 Cornell Journal of Law and Public Policy, may be found at For more information on CowJews and Indians, visit