Awaiting ‘Generation C’
Nearly three weeks has passed, marking an unprecedented day in the battle against global injustice. This particular victory, slight yet all the same substantial; a stepping stone for the Indigenous populations who habitat a region so focal and divine to the Abrahamic faiths, in their strive for self-determination and justice, not to mention the simple humane necessities- efficient sanitation and opportunity. This region is known as “Filistine,” or in plain English, “Palestine.”
For the diligent Palestinian schoolgirl, who knows all too well the sounds of bombs and sirens, may not know so well what the UN General Assemblies 138 yes’s explicitly entails—enhancing Palestine from a “political entity” to a “non-member observer state.” Moreover, she may not know that Palestinian state representatives are now capable of attempting to put an end to the ruthless economic sanctions, military invasions and blockade through the International Criminal Courts. This all in contrast to futile negotiations of the past, where the mediator was also that of the opposition and past representatives were that of self-interested puppets of the opposition. Yet, what she does know in view of the joyful celebrations that crowd her streets is a heightened value of certainty of a positive outcome from all her hard work and diligence.
And for the Canadian schoolboy, whom all too well realizes the almost guaranteed certainty of long term positive outcome as a result of his hard work and diligence; does not realize so well, the rationale behind his fathers infuriating undertones while muttering the morning news of Canada’s decision to align with the eight other outcasts over breakfast. This ‘no’ vote alongside Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird’s speech criticizing the UN General Assembly, only further elucidated Canada’s stance in the Palestine vs. Israel/U.S.A. conflict within the international global political sphere.
Resultantly, these frustrations and embarrassments echoed throughout Canada, from breakfast tables to social media sites, university newspapers and leftist press. Articles titled, “UN Vote: One Small Step for Palestine, Another Giant Embarrassment for Canada” and “The Death to Canadian Neutrality,” expressed anger, embarrassment and overall discontent regarding Canada’s decision.
Evidently, Canada was presented as a nation-state traditionally reflecting high moral ground that has since made the transition from principle and neutrality as illustrated by particular historical Canadian international politics: i.e. Lester B. Pearson’s neutral stance in the 1957 Suez Canal Crisis; Pierre Trudeau’s kinship with Fidel Castro during throughout the Cold War; Jean Chretien’s neglecting stance in the 2003 U.S. led invasion of Iraq.
The editorials, op-eds, posts—though disappointed—appeared to resonate intense fervors of patriotism, how “red they bled,” in complete anonymity for all the blood shed upon the ‘Red man’—the ‘Aboriginal man.‘
Hence, this begs puzzling questions: why all the commotion? Why the placement of Canada on such a humanitarian pedestal?
If anything, Israel can view Canada as a mentor. Having successfully illegally occupied territory belonging to an advanced civilization, significantly diminishing their populations through war and disease while being more than efficacious at relocating the majority to ghettos. One may argue that this is simply Canada’s ‘European settler’ aged history, a time where ethnic discrimination was pervasive. Surely, this is Canada’s aged history, yet undeniably it is Canada’s centuries long continuous historical saga right up to this present moment.
More recent history further illustrates Canada’s agenda with Aboriginals, predicated upon ethnic cleansing as clarified by Canada’s beloved socialist Prime Minister Trudeau’s statements, “We’ll keep them in the ghetto as long as they want,” in response to Aboriginal counter proposals comprising of self-determination. The genocide has once again intensified under the Harper administration with all-round attacks to Aboriginal history, deity, and well-being, through the obscuration of Reform school mass graves; threatening the survival of the spirit ‘white’ bear through the possibility of a spill from a planned pipeline; the cut of funding to the National Aboriginal Health Organization.
In desperation, Aboriginal leaders have reached out to Iranian and Chinese media outlets in prospect of awareness and pressure to the Canadian government. An Aboriginal leader Terry Nelson was explicatory on Iranian Press TV, describing how the Canadian genocide has evolved, “In the past the policy and legislation was the gun, and alcohol and drugs was the bullet.”
Retrospectively, an alternative expectation of Canada’s vote in the UN is absolutely preposterous. Why wouldn’t Canada support Israel/U.S.—its ideological counterparts? One may also argue that Canada could still have taken a neutral position from the U.S. in comparison to New Zealand’s ‘yes’ and Australia’s decision to abstain from the vote. Certainly, they all share comparable histories upon their Indigenous populations, albeit the fact that New Zealand and Australia have appropriated particular measures such as policing initiatives, in order to focus on relations between Indigenous people and the Justice system; in contrast to Canada and the U.S.’s “stand-alone” police services- clearly reflecting their dissimilar agendas.
Likewise, for the Sekani schoolchild on Reserve, may he/she not only have certainty of a positive outcome from hard work, but an opportunity to be able to even work hard. Such success is profoundly dependent on us all. Creating awareness, dispelling illusions; enlightening a mindfulness, which in turn shall generate a conscious succeeding generation, where such intolerance will have no place. I am not saying for us to boycott hockey or maple syrup. Nor am I saying that we work to clean up our own backyards, prior to moving on overseas. But, collectively, coherently; regardless of which oppression, exploitation, and marginalization we identify more with; it is our social responsibility to resist the injustices; as is articulated by the anonymous Subcommander Marcos, “by making the power and the good consciences of those in power uncomfortable.”
- The author has an MA in ‘Near and Middle Eastern’ Studies from the School of Oriental and African Studies- University of London. Currently pursuing a career as an arts critic and novelist in Montreal.