I have to declare myself somewhat surprised and rather buoyed by the news that United Nations voted this week, and by a considerable margin, to promote Palestine to the status of a non-member observer state. It seems the long-awaited emergence of the other country created by the UN in 1948 onto the world stage at last, if only as an understudy.
It comes, at last, as the world saying to Israel that it is sick of the ceaseless encroachment on borders that were already beyond the pale when they were "settled" in 1967. That it's tired of seeing Israel content to treat the Palestinians as we are constantly reminded the Germans were content to treat the inhabitants of the Krakow and Warsaw ghettos prior to 1943. That's it's had enough of the hypocrisy of the slogan "never again" when it should apply to everyone but in practice is clearly meant to apply only to one nation, one tradition, and one people; the rest be damned.
I hold no truck with the idea that the objections or even the militancy of Palestinians gives Israelis any such right to treat them this way. Let us remember most of the Jews living in what was till 1948 the mandate of Palestine have chosen to move there, and that in doing so, they were displacing people who had lived there, as a people, back into antiquity as ancient as their own. Can anyone with even in inkling of conscience deny that Palestinians are as prone as anyone else to object to that kind of treatment, particularly when it's done on the basis of "scriptures" that are not their own, but someone else's?
I'm truly glad that the world has finally said the time to back off and let the two parties work it out is past, and that principle demands some justice for the Palestinians that will not be forthcoming without the kind of demands it once brought to bear on South Africa, Indonesia, and, yes, perhaps even Serbia. And I'm truly disappointed that the Tory government of my country, elected by 2/5 of its people, has rendered Canada one of the bare handful of countries to vote against the measure, and mark us down forever in history on the wrong side of the issue as the champion the strong against the weak, and the remorseless over those they have disposed. It is a truly black mark on the reputation of this government and the country it has the privilege to speak for in the world.