I want to say that I am sorry about the UN disaster. Actually, I am so, so sorry about so many things. I should have spoke up a lot sooner. I don’t know with the Americans if it the guilt or the knowledge that they failed to do too little, too late or is it our own Canadian wish to play with the big boys that led us down this road. At the end of the day, it came down to you, the United States and us, along with a few States that can be barely defined as nations, against the world. My heart reached out to you, even full well knowing that it is a misery you created for yourself. At some point in time, one has to stop pointing fingers at everyone else, and start looking inward. A little reflection is good for the soul and perhaps some serious soul searching is in order. With that said, we all do share the blame for we led you down the road to hell which is always paved with good intentions.
When you were created, we easily forgave what were viewed as slight flaws in your character. Mighty big shoes were left for you to fill. We understood you were in a new environ, unfamiliar with the landscape. We understood the fear you must have felt and admired your chutzpah. We forgave your mishaps, believing that you would learn as you get older and wiser. We cajoled you when you were angry, we dried your tears when you cried and we continued to give you, your heart’s desire. We believed that gentle guiding rather than the rod would develop your character, failing to realize that we gave you no example to follow.
We failed to tell you that your birth came at the expense of another people, that lived, loved, laughed, cried for centuries on that same plot of land we awarded to you to make up for our failings, not yours, but ours. It eased our conscience. We failed to tell you that they would be angry, unhappy, rightfully so. We failed to tell you how incredibly difficult it would be to overcome the anger and hate you would face. The wounds of what happened to you and your people were still fresh and raw, we didn’t want to make it worse. We were shamed that we didn’t act sooner, braver and stopped the horrors you were subject to. even when we privately hung our heads in shame.
As you grew, there were times we had to correct your path, we would admonish you, but it never lasted long. We weren’t very consistent; we gave into your demands. We attributed your tantrums to growing pains, to teenage angst, we looked the other way. We clung to the hope that you would one day you would grow into your long pants and become the state you were destined to be. We told stories about you thickly laced with superlatives, expounding on your fairness, decency and strong moral compass. We rightfully so, bragged to the neighbours about medical development, progressive thinking, technological advancement you were bringing to the world. We heard rumblings of what others were saying under their breath. They never quite met our eyes when they politely inquired about you and we filled their ears with our pride in your accomplishments in such a short time. We dismissed their behavior satisfying ourselves in the secret pleasure that they were jealous, as green as the olives grown in the orchards. If they dared to question our shining monologue of such great accomplishment, we would react with such scorn and contempt, they never dared to question your superiority again.
There were times you made us so very proud. Against your own instinctive response, you reached your hand and took a chance to make a peace that has lasted for over three decades. We know how hard and difficult it was to do this, the uncertainty and fear you must have overcome to reach across the abyss and take a chance on peace. We know how you suffered for it, at the hands of your own people, but the sacrifice made by blood saved countless of innocent lives. We were so proud, overwhelmed by your true efforts at achieving peace, making the world a better place.
We don’t know quite what happened after that. We would have understood that if you had gambled and lost, you would have been hesitant in building the bridges between yourself and other nations. The courageous risk you made for peace though paid off better than ever expected. What made you stop abruptly in your tracks becoming an opportunist, benefiting from the pain and suffering of others? Demanding what was not yours, raising the bar a little higher for them to reach, yet failing to meet the same bar.
As you continued to careen drunkenly around, subverting any chance for peace, it became harder and harder for the friends that loved you to stay and watch. You became isolated, alone in the world, your stature eroding with each and every escapade. Occasionally, you seemed to approach the situation with new found resolve, with an exceptional insight into the situation. Was it fear or was it cowardice which made you turn away?
You became mean and then hurtful, joyful in the pain and horrors you inflicted on another. You made their lives a living hell, denied their basic, fundamental rights, maimed, killed, all the while playing the perpetual victim. After decades of misery, they dared to fight back, to defend themselves and you squashed them like the cockroaches you believed them to be. You interpreted their resistance, their self-defense as a “direct threat” to your security and safety, rather than a response to your actions. It never occurred to you that your behavior, your use of unacceptable disproportionate force was the catalyst to which they responded to, not the other way around. If anyone dared question your motives, your cruelty, they were met with such a violent response, they no longer dared to speak.
Gaza, poor, poor Gaza and what you have done to them. We stayed silent fearing your wrath. The horrors you inflicted upon a defenseless civilian population, we witnessed, we knew, we said nothing. In 2008 and early 2009, your justifications and denials no longer no longer held water, the sheer arrogance and brutal disdain you demonstrated made us feel criminal. You killed 9 human rights activists participating in the flotilla to break your inhumane siege on Gaza claiming them to be terrorists, silence. You killed an American non violent protestor, silence. You spat in the face of the United States, so filled with self-righteousness that people wondered what nation they were dealing with and yet we remained silent.
The final recent assault on Gaza has now led us to this very spot we stand, You, the United States, Canada, Panama, Nauru, Palau, Micronesia, the Czech Republic and the Marshall Island against the rest of the world. The people who truly were your friends, fled long ago. The countries that abstained in yesterday’s UN debacle showed true friendship, the error of your ways. They could no longer support your destructive aggression. They realized that friends do not watch and allow other friends to drive off a cliff recklessly. Their message to you is clear, take this last chance, this last opportunity which may never arise again and take the olive branch which is being offered, sit down at the table and negotiate not from what you feel you deserve, but what you are actually legally entitled to. Remember that no matter what race we all descend from, we are all the same, we are all human beings wanting the same simple things from life, to be safe, to be respected, to have food on our table, warmth in our hearth, a better life for our children and to be loved.