Commentary | Unless it examines Arab role, NGO not very good

Re: Palestinian prisoners’ advocate speaks at McGill | News | November 8

Last week, The Daily covered a visit by Ala Jaradat from ADDAMEER, an NGO fighting for human rights and prisoner support for Palestinian prisoners. According to its website, it strives to build a “free and democratic Palestinian society” and believes in the “respect of human dignity as a priority.” ADDAMEER’s stated adjectives are honourable and I would like to support them in achieving these goals.

Whether it is the Middle East or Canada, the high principles of supporting human rights, right to free speech, political activity, and civil liberties are ones that every society should provide to its citizens. In light of these objectives, it’s interesting that ADDAMEER fails to recognize the degradation of Palestinian prisoners in Arab countries. Since 1948, Palestinians have been treated as inhuman subjects of Arab populations, rather than embraced by their so-called brother states. They have few political freedoms or civil liberties in these Arab states that have done nothing but attempt to quiet their demands for a Palestinian state. The leader of the pan-Arab nation, who promised the Palestinians a homeland, leader of Egypt, Gamal Abdel Nasser, signed a peace treaty with Israel without any consideration for the fate of the Palestinians. Jordan later followed suit – a country that took the most moderate position in the Arab-Israeli conflict out of fear that Palestinians might actually demand something from their government.

If ADDAMEER works toward revealing these inequalities, I’m happy to support them. If they are just another NGO that ignores the role Arab states have played in the degradation of Palestinians, then I must believe that their motives are not honest.

Vicky Tobianah
U3 Political Science and English Literature (Joint Honours)
McGill Daily news writer
McGill Tribune columnist