I hadn't posted about the kerfuffle in the UN on the upgraded status for the Palestinians, but now I think I have to because Canadian-raised Alessandra just alerted me to a news item with the pleased comment: "Did you hear that the Canadians grew some balls?" There's no way you can ignore a news item like that!
That the US and Israel voted against the UN measure is no surprise. The Czech Republic did as well, along with a handful of smaller states. Canada did ... and then proceeded to go farther. Judging from the amount of hate-filled blowback it's gotten from all over (my favorite is "Canada is more Israeli than the Israelis"), Ottawa touched a raw nerve for its uncompromising and unapologetic stand. I gotta say, I can't help but be - what's the word? - oh, I think it's "impressed."
The Canadians have a reputation for being oh-so-polite, universally likeable Boy Scouts, but they also have an underrated history of being badasses too. You'll also recall their most recent headline-making decision to break off diplomatic ties with Iran and John Baird the Canadian foreign affairs minister stating flatly this week, "This government makes no apologies for standing with the Jewish state."
So! What's up with PM Stephen Harper and the gentle Canadians now taking a more robust stance on the Middle East? Maybe the Canadians are now more American than the Americans ... eh?
(For the record, let me say three things: (1) The UN is a bad joke in general. (2) Opposing the resolution does not mean that one hates Palestinians. That resolution is going to be forgotten soon enough, but in the meanwhile it's going to be an impediment to actual attempts at the peace process. (3) I am also not buying the argument of "Well, Hamas has been getting bigger and badder and stronger, and we don't like those guys, so we better do something to prop up Abbas and give him this resolution.")