Thursday, January 18, 2007

'Peel'ing Back History

One of the most dynamic streets in Montreal, my adopted home is Peel Street. It's full of great restaurants, chic shopping and a beautiful park. As a Palestinian I have always felt uneasy with the name 'Peel' (See: Peel Commmission) but in the desire for knowledge I have done some research and discovered some very interesting things about Peel Street.

The street was actually named after a former British Prime Minister The Right Honorable Sir Robert Peel, 2nd Baronet. He was the British PM before Canada was even established as a country, from 1834 to 1835 and then again from 1841 to 1846. With my uneasy feeling suppressed I decided to dig further on who was the guy the Peel Commission was named after and discovered that indeed Lord Peel (William Wellesley Peel) was the Grandson of Robert Peel. His Dad was Arthur Wellesley Peel also a very prominent politician most notable the Speaker of the British House of Commons 1884 to 1895. All of this to say that long before the Peel Commission made it's "decision" vis-a-vis Palestine, there was a long history of elitism.

You've got to think with THAT kind of political pedigree it's no wonder W. W. Peel got it wrong.
"Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly, and applying the wrong remedies." -Groucho Marx

The British should have helped the European immigrants assimilate themselves into Palestinian society while helping the Palestinians to understand Jews came to Palestine to create a new life for themselves and not to steal land and jobs from them. Then before the British left Palestine they should have set them working shoulder-to-shoulder to build a liberated Palestine they could all be proud of...they didn't...

If you're interested here's a live webcam looking down on St. Catherine and Peel Streets.

1 comment:

Asad Ramallah said...

the first picture is so nice,
i wish that ramallah would look like that!
is that where you live?

have a nice week Abu Issa,
asad al nimr.