Photo courtesy of FT

The math is simple. There are fifteen members

of the UN Security Council. Five are permanent,

the rest elected for two year terms. Together


they represent the enforcement wing of the world

body, carriers of the imperative to act, to intervene,

to stop conflict. On December 8, sixty one days


after Hamas attacks, and Israel responds, we

have stats: about 18,000 Palestinians dead,

seventy percent of them women and children,


1,200 Israelis dead, and more than a hundred

hostages still in Hamas hands, and several

thousand Palestinians, some uncharged,


beaten up, in Israeli jails. Meanwhile,

on the West Bank more than two hundred

Palestinians have been killed since October


by marauding settlers, usually young, late

at night, who enter Palestinian compounds,

break solar panels, gut water tanks, chase


away farm animals, and then give ultimatums

to the family. You have twenty four hours

to leave Or we will come back to kill you….


The math is simple: 15 Security Council

members, 13 voted for an immediate ceasefire,

one abstained, and one nation under God


vetoed the initiative. To that nation I pledged

allegiance, giving up citizenship of a country

where some of my people lay slaughtered


in their homes and on the streets. I became a

diplomat for my new country, honored

to represent the Stars and Stripes everywhere


the government sent me to build bridges

between American culture and the cultures

of the host. I have retired from diplomacy.


I left just in time. If I was on the payroll

now I would have been compelled by

ethics, morals, the spirit, to resign. Who


cares about one more resignation

or retirement? I care, and this poem

is about caring, about calling


the adoptive father out for miscreant,

shocking behavior, one veto in an echo

chamber, everyone repeating, whispering,


shouting, you and your Lady, your

huddled masses, deny the Palestinian

life, liberty and the pursuit of joy?


Really? Am I really writing these

words in the United States of

Criminal Association? Of Aid


and Abet? Of an Interested Party

to the Crime? Or is all of this

just a bad dream, a mistake,


that we are living still in America,

land of the free, of the brave, of

the pledge I would so like to affirm?