Posts Tagged ‘MP George Galloway’

Galloway: A double betrayal

January 16, 2010
Morning Star Online,  January 15, 2010
George Galloway

I have been in a few dangerous places in my life. In the mid-1980s, I was bombed along with an ITN news crew by the Ethiopian air force.

With my face pressing into the dirt and no cover at all around me, I saw the shrapnel tear and kill small children, and watched others die on a wooden table in a grass hut after the bombers had gone.

I have been bombed by Israel in Beirut and held with an Israeli machine gun at my chest in Nablus during the first Iraq war.

I’ve never however been in a more dangerous situation than two weeks ago in the tiny Sinai port of Al-Arish to which the Egyptian dictatorship had insisted we bring the Viva Palestina convoy. Five hundred foreigners from 17 different nationalities with their 200 vehicles were crammed into a locked compound without water, food or toilet facilities.

They included no less than 10 Turkish MPs, one of whom was the chairman of Turkey’s foreign relations committee, there at the express wish of Turkey’s prime minister.

We captured on film from a third floor office the thugs of the Mukhabarat (intelligence) piling up stones and sharpening their sticks behind the backs of several ranks of riot police with helmets, batons and shields.

Then there was mayhem. We may have complaints about our own police, but I tell you when you see policemen hurling half-bricks into a crowd of women and men who’d only come to deliver medicine to desperate people under siege, you thank your lucky stars we don’t live in such a state. Fifty-five of our 500 were wounded and, but for the shocking effect on Arab public opinion – our own media didn’t give a damn – of the live footage (all on Youtube now), we might still be there now.

The morning after our siege was over and the dictatorship wanted us on our way. We refused to leave without our wounded comrades and the seven who had been taken prisoner. After another stand-off, our demands were met and we proceeded to a tumultuous welcome in Gaza, our numbers complete.

Then the word came to me from inside the Egyptian tyranny that I was to be arrested when we came out. Had that happened while I was surrounded by 500 pumped-up convoy members there would have been serious trouble, and I mean trouble.

So I sent them the message that I would come out in the dead of the night before and face the music alone but for my old friend Scots journalist Ron McKay.

We emerged into the hands of a grim phalanx of mainly plainclothed secret policemen, none of whom could speak English, who bundled us into an unmarked van.

An Egyptian gumshoe journalist from the Daily News tried to interview us but was battered away. We were then driven off at speed.

I knew we were not going to be killed as we were able to call the Press Association, which makes all the difference in these situations.

We also made the formal call to the British Foreign Office, but it wasn’t worth the money. During the five-hour car journey to Cairo – in which a British MP of 23 years standing and a senior British journalist were hurtling, surrounded by three other vehicles and at least 25 security men – the British diplomats did nothing but tell us to co-operate.

But co-operation was difficult as our captors could speak no English and were saying nothing.

Britain used to run much of the world but now our diplomatic service couldn’t run a menage.

The chinless wonders of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office – whose shameful silence in the run-up to the Iraq war is seeping out at the Chilcot Inquiry – are just about the last people with whom one would go tiger shooting.

They are very good at lying for their country’s rulers abroad, but incapable of doing much else – such as helping travellers who are in trouble, especially if they’re largely British Muslims who’ve just broken the siege of Gaza and incurred the wrath of the tin-pot dictatorship in Cairo as a result.

News came to us from London that Nile News, a mouthpiece of the dictatorship, was reporting that the seven convoy prisoners who had been released at Al-Arish were to be re-arrested on emerging from Gaza. Thus the bloodbath we had sought to avoid now looked inevitable.

We demanded to turn around and return to the Gaza-Egypt border but were refused. Security-force goons pushed us physically into the airport building and gave close quarter attention to both of us, even in the toilet.

The British embassy, having provided zero support for the hundreds of British citizens with Viva Palestina caught up in the battle of Al-Arish, now failed to send even an inky-fingered clerk to the Gaza border when the convoy was coming out and there were legitimate fears that there would be further arrests and another bloody battle.

I would complain to their boss, Foreign Secretary David Miliband, but what’s the point?

He met the Egyptian foreign minister the day before my arrest and deportation and gave the Egyptians the green light to go ahead.

And anyway, he’s busy sheathing his banana after yet another failed assassination attempt on Gordon Brown

The security goons finally ushered us up to the entrance of the BA plane and the first English speaker of the night stepped forward to declare me persona non grata in Egypt. I had been banned from Egypt apparently because I was “a trouble-maker.”

I made my own declaration to him which was that he and his fellow torturers would one day face the wrath of the Egyptian people, who incidentally had queued up at the airport in full view of the goons to shake hands with us. Mr Mubarak, a tin-pot tyrant who gets 99.99 per cent of the vote in elections, ain’t seen nothing yet.

George Galloway is Respect MP for Bethnal Green and Bow.

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What Next, Viva Palestina?

January 14, 2010

by Stuart Littlewood, Dissident Voice,  January 12, 2010

Mere words cannot express my admiration for Viva Palestina and those who devote their efforts to it. I love the way they shamed – and not for the first time – the great powers and their gutless leaders.

And for his pains the British MP George Galloway has been declared ‘persona non grata’ in Egypt. How heartbreaking for him.

Given past disagreements, and the stubborn refusal of this latest convoy to be derailed, it was never going to end in hugs and kisses from President Mubarak’s henchmen, or fond messages of “Come ye back soon, George.”

What really matters is that they delivered the life-saving goods when the armies and navies of the so-called Free World wouldn’t even think about it. And they did it with style in the face of Egypt’s tantrums.

The nervous Egyptian authorities allowed exhausted convoy members only 30 hours inside Gaza to say hello, distribute their aid and take a rest. Sad and wobbly regimes simply cannot handle a few hundred humanitarians so they accuse them of “incitement” and “hostile acts”, and throw them out.

Now we hear grumbles from some activists that criticising Egypt diverts attention from the real culprit. But Israel’s evil machinations would find little success without the Egyptian government’s co-operation. There should of course be free movement of goods and people through the Gaza/Egypt border. Instead, Mubarak signed up to the US-Israel-EU conspiracy to keep the 1.5 million Palestinians in the Gaza Strip bottled up and helpless to resist what many are calling a slow genocide. In so doing, Egypt joined the worst offenders against international law, the UN Charter and the codes of decent conduct. It is time the spotlight fell on Cairo even if it means momentarily taking it off Tel Aviv and Washington.

Mubarak has slithered even further into the Middle East swamp of iniquity by constructing an iron Death Wall designed to create a hermetic border seal and inflict even more misery on his Muslim bothers and sisters, and the Christian community.

The Egyptian president is certainly not part of any solution. He has become a problem.

As for Mr Galloway, when can we expect to see him receive an official pat on the back for doing what the British government’s poseurs were too cowardly to do: bringing humanitarian aid to trampled people Britain still has a residual responsibility for?

Mr Galloway speaks of more convoys setting out for Gaza from Venezuela, Malaysia and South Africa. But Egypt has just announced that convoys, regardless of their origin, are no longer welcome. Instead, it is introducing a new “mechanism” whereby all aid for Gaza must in future be handed over to the Egyptian Red Crescent as soon as it arrives at the port of El-Arish. It will then be processed and passed on (if you can believe that) to the Palestinian Red Crescent.

Nobody trusts the Egyptian authorities to do this in an honest and transparent way. Besides, donors and fund-raisers often have direct links with charitable organisations inside Gaza and the West Bank. They would not wish to see the fruits of their labour and other people’s generosity disappear into some distribution ‘black hole’.

Britain still blames Hamas for Gaza’s suffering

And what says the British government, which never seems able to get anything right these days?

The Foreign Office’s “clear advice” is against all travel to Gaza. Why, when they should be facilitating travel to Gaza and applying sanctions against anyone who hinders it?

“The suffering of Gazan people is compounded by the violent and irresponsible actions of Hamas,” says the Foreign Office. “We are concerned by the recent upsurge in incidents of Hamas confiscating aid and obstructing the efforts of international aid organisations in Gaza.” We keep hearing these accusations but never proof. Gaza is on a war footing, under crippling blockade and in continual crisis. Hamas, the de facto government, runs the health service and is almost certainly best placed to know where medical supplies are needed most. Obviously they’ll step in when aid arrives.

Viva Palestina are at least as well informed about the situation in Gaza as the Foreign Office. Would convoy activists really go to so much trouble if Hamas was seizing everything they delivered?

Britain, while eagerly offering the services of the Royal Navy to help Israel stop “smuggling” into Gaza, won’t use its ships to spare the Gazans a slow death from starvation and prevent a public health catastrophe.

It is time our servants Brown and Miliband explained, carefully and logically, exactly what their problem is with Gaza and its democratically elected rulers so that the rest of us can try to understand – if indeed there is anything beneath the layers of pro-Israel ‘crapaganda’ worth understanding.

Go by sea

Events now seem to be prodding Viva Palestina to change tack. Perhaps it Is too simplistic to suppose that Gaza needs to be sea-fed like any other coastal community. But should humanitarian relief teams continue to seek access by land crossings that are controlled by militarised thugs bent on destroying Gaza’s population and halting any convoy in its tracks?

Deal direct. Surely that must be the aim. And do it in the name of God. A large armada of boats led by a multi-faith alliance demanding freedom of the seas and the right to an armed escort, could be the best vehicle. The United Nations should provide the necessary security arrangements to check the cargoes as they are landed in Gaza.

It would require considerable courage. Whether religious leaders have the balls for it is doubtful, even when the highest moral purpose is being served, but they might surprise us. A sprinkling of politicians could be relied on but the higher echelons know which side their bread is buttered.

Israel, Egypt, the US and the UK might wish to airbrush Mr Galloway out of the picture, but that’s unthinkable. He’ll be nominated for the next Nobel Peace Prize and seen as a million times more deserving than the fraud in the White House.

Yes, the REAL international community – that’s ordinary folk like you and me and Viva Palestina and everyone and his dog around the globe – are finally beginning to assert themselves against the corrupt power freaks that strut the world stage.

Stuart Littlewood is author of the book Radio Free Palestine, which tells the plight of the Palestinians under occupation. Read other articles by Stuart, or visit Stuart’s website.

Egyptian police, activists clash over Gaza relief

January 6, 2010
Middle East Online, First Published 2010-01-06


British MP George Galloway


55 people injured as activists try to get relief convoy into Israeli-besieged Gaza via Egypt.

EL-ARISH, Egypt – About 55 people were injured late Tuesday in clashes between Egyptian police and pro-Palestinian activists trying to get a relief convoy into the Israeli-besieged Gaza Strip, medics said.

Some 520 activists belonging to the convoy — led by charismatic and outspoken British MP George Galloway — broke down the gate at the port in El-Arish to protest an Egyptian decision to ship some of the goods through Israel.

They blocked the two entrances to the Sinai port with vehicles, and clashed with police. Forty activists were injured, a source close to them said, while medical sources said 15 policemen were also hurt.

The protests were sparked by an Egyptian decision to allow 139 vehicles to enter Gaza through the Rafah bordering crossing, about 45 kilometres (30 miles) from El-Arish, but requiring a remaining 59 vehicles to pass via Israel.

Talks in which Galloway and a delegation of Turkish MPs sought to change the Egyptian’s minds proved unsuccessful.

Early Wednesday the activists were entrenched in the port surrounded by hundreds of police, one media correspondent said.

The convoy of nearly 200 vehicles arrived in the Mediterranean town on Monday after a dispute with Cairo on the route.

But the convoy’s arrival came after a bitter dispute between its organisers and the government, which banned the convoy from entering Egypt’s Sinai from Jordan by ferry, forcing it to drive north to the Syrian port of Lattakia.

Cairo accused the convoy organisers of trying to embarrass Egypt, which has refused to permanently open its Rafah border crossing with Gaza, due to US-Israeli pressure.

According to international law, Gaza is still under illegal Israeli occupation.

One Year After Israeli Invasion of Gaza, World Leaders Fail to Act but Global Citizens Step Forward

December 28, 2009

by Medea Benjamin, CommonDreams.org, Dec 27, 2009

One year ago, the brutal Israeli 22-day invasion of the Gaza Strip shocked the world, leaving some 1,400 people dead, thousands more wounded, as well as hospitals, schools, prisons, UN facilities, factories, agricultural processing plants and some 20,000 homes damaged or destroyed.  As we mark the one-year anniversary of the invasion, the plight of the people of Gaza continues unabated:

  • Despite pledges of money for reconstruction, Israel refuses to allow in the machinery necessary to clear the rubble or the materials needed to rebuild–banning cement, gravel, wood, pipes, glass, steel bars, aluminum and tar. Many who were made homeless during the bombing are still living in tents amidst the onset of another cold winter. Desperate, some are reverting to the ancient techniques of building homes made of mud.
  • Trade depends on an elaborate system of illicit and dangerous tunnels between Egypt and Gaza. The goods brought in are expensive, but they are the lifeline for the 1.5 million people who live under siege. The Israelis periodically bomb the tunnels, the Egyptians inject them with gas, and now, with U.S. technology and funds, Egypt is building a wall descending 70 feet into the ground to seal up the only trade route the inhabitants of Gaza have with the outside world.
  • Recent restrictions on the transfer of gas resources into Gaza have left many without adequate means to cook or provide heating as winter deepens.The Ministry of Health says that several hospitals lack the gas supplies to provide adequate hygiene for their patients. Similar restrictions on the movement of industrial fuel into the Strip have forced Gaza’s sole power plant to drastically limit the amount of electricity.
  • Water and sewage infrastructure has reached a crisis point, with tons of raw sewage pumped daily into the Mediterranean.Amnesty International recently deemed that 90 to 95 person of the water available to Gaza’s inhabitants was unfit for human consumption, and 60 per cent of the Gaza Strip’s residents have only irregular access to water. Repairs to Gaza’s overburdened sewage and water networks are largely prevented by the blockade.
  • The once-steady flow abroad of many hundreds of students a year, often to pursue postgraduate studies in Western universities, has slowed to a trickle. Israel is not even allowing students from Gaza to study in the West Bank.
  • Attempts at hold Israel accountable for crimes committed during the invasion have been thwarted. The September 2009 Goldstone Report recommended that if Israel and Hamas did not investigate and prosecute those who committed war crimes, the case should be referred to the International Criminal Court. But US Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice, and the U.S. Congress, condemned the report, assuring that it will not be brought before the U.N. Security Council.

In a report released on December 22 called Failing Gaza: No rebuilding, no recovery, no more excuses, a group of 16 humanitarian organizations detailed the ongoing suffering of Gaza’s 1.5 million people from Israel’s invasion and ongoing siege.  “It is not only Israel that has failed the people of Gaza with a blockade that punishes everybody living there for the acts of a few,” said Jeremy Hobbs, Oxfam International Executive Director. “World powers have also failed and even betrayed Gaza’s ordinary citizens.”

While international governments and UN institutions have failed their obligations, global citizens and civil society organizations have stepped forward. The past year has seen the mushrooming of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign aimed at Israel. South African dockworkers refused to offload an Israeli ZIM Lines ship in February; the British bank BlackRock divested from Lev Leviev settlement projects on the occupied Palestinian territory; the Norwegian government pension fund withdrew its investments in the Israeli military contractor Elbit Systems; following the lead of South African, Irish and Scottish trade union federations, Britain’s 6.5-million member labor federation, the Trades Union Congress (TUC), called for a consumer-led boycott and sanctions campaign against Israel, specifically targeting settlement products; and Hampshire College decided to divest from several companies profiting from the Occupation.

Another group making waves is Free Gaza, which has broken the siege by bringing shipments of aid by boat. Sometimes their boats have miraculously managed to sail from Cyprus to Gaza without Israeli interference. On their last effort, however, their boat was illegally intercepted on the high seas by the Israeli Navy.

Viva Palestina, a group led by British MP George Galloway, organized a massive convoy of material aid to Gaza in a month after the attack, using public pressure to force the Egyptian government to let the convoy pass through the Rafah crossing. They sent another caravan of aid in July, and to mark the one year anniversary, Viva Palestina is bringing 210 trucks and 450 activists laden with massive quantities of humanitarian aid. It is unclear whether or not the Egyptian government will let them in.

Another creative initiative is the Gaza Freedom March. Conceived in the spirit of Mahatma Gandhi and Nelson Mandela, the Gaza Freedom March was designed to mark the one-year anniversary with a massive march to the Israeli border. Some 1,350 international participants from 43 countries are setting out for Gaza via Egypt to join with thousands of local people for the march. On the Israeli side of the border, Israelis and Palestinians will gather to join the call for an end to the siege. While the Egyptian government is refusing give permission for the international delegation to enter Gaza, the group is challenging that decision with thousands of phone calls to Egyptian embassies worldwide. They are also organizing solidarity actions in cities all over the world.

The Special Rapporteur for the Occupied Palestinian Territories, Richard Falk, noting the world community’s failure to help the people of Gaza, cited the Gaza Freedom March and the global Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) campaign as “the only meaningful current challenge to Israel’s violations of its obligations as the Occupying Power of the Gaza Strip under the Geneva Conventions and the United Nations Charter.”

As the year-end brings horrifying memories to the Palestinians in Gaza, we hope they recognize that grassroots groups the world over are not only thinking of them, but actively organizing to lift the siege that makes their lives so difficult.

Medea Benjamin (medea@globalexchange.org) is cofounder of CODEPINK and Global Exchange.

Thousands in London call for troops home now

October 26, 2009
Morning Star Online, Sunday 25 October 2009
Lizzie Cocker in Trafalgar Square
UNITED: Trafalgar Square packed with protesters

A soldier facing two years in jail for refusing to return to Afghanistan defied the army on Saturday to lead thousands of anti-war marchers through the streets of London.

Lance Corporal Joe Glenton, along with former soldiers and military families, stood shoulder to shoulder with demonstrators who branded Gordon Brown and the US president – who plan to pour over 20,000 more troops into Afghanistan – terrorists.

Speaking from the platform later to anti-war activists packed into Trafalgar Square, L/Cpl Glenton said: “I’m here today to make a stand beside you because I believe great wrongs have been perpetrated in Afghanistan.”

As children, students, trade unionists, pensioners and dedicated peace campaigners from across the country braved the threatening weather to demand the return of troops, a poll was released showing that over half the British public supported them.

Continues >>

Galloway: Delivering a message to Obama

July 19, 2009
Morning Star Online, Friday 17 July 2009

George Galloway

I have just returned from Gaza with the Viva Palestina US Lifeline 2 convoy. Our aim was partly about delivering aid, but it was also partly about delivering a message. Having raised the funds for the convoy and gathered the volunteers, we set off on US Independence Day, July 4, from John F Kennedy airport in New York to Cairo, where we purchased desperately needed vehicles and medical supplies to drive down to the Egypt-Palestine border.

We then ran into a series of bureaucratic obstacles from the Egyptian authorities, but the convoy members showed incredible resilience and patience. After a considerable amount of delicate negotiation, we finally received the go-ahead.

The convoy was supported by Vietnam war veteran Ron Kovic, whose life story formed the basis for Oliver Stone’s Born On The Fourth Of July, along with many others.

And accompanying me through the Rafah crossing on Wednesday were presidential candidate and former congresswoman Cynthia McKinney and New York council member Charles Barron, alongside over 200 other US citizens.

Continued >>

George Galloway tours U.S. for Palestine

April 30, 2009

By Aaron Moore and Jacqueline Moore | Socialist Worker, April 28, 2009

GARDEN GROVE, Calif.–“With controversy comes interest, and with interest comes more support.” These are words that British MP George Galloway must be intimately familiar with. His support of the Palestinian cause is not the only brush with controversy that Galloway was referring to at an Al Awda event drawing some 1,000 people on April 7.

Galloway is well-known as an unflinching supporter of social justice causes that are often considered to be politically unpalatable to his colleagues. He has also challenged the government’s policies on Iraq, arguing that “Iraq is not separate from the question of Palestine,” and has written a biographical portrait of Fidel Castro.

What you can do

For more information on Viva Palestina and to read about the tour, visit their Web site.

Banned from scheduled speaking events in Canada due to “national security concerns,” this was Galloway’s last speaking appearance on his latest tour of North America. After an introduction by Al Awda co-founder Zahi Damuni, Galloway started his lecture with a description of how he became active in the Palestinian cause in the 1970s, and the events that took place along the route of his Viva Palestina project.

The Viva Palestina project succeeded in bringing over £1 million in aid to Gaza in February, after making stops throughout Europe and Africa. One theme of his talk was that common citizens are generally in support of the Palestinian cause once they hear the truth about the illegal Israeli occupation. He explained how he became involved in the issue after listening to a Palestinian activist.

Galloway noted the turning tide of public opinion toward a desire to end the occupation and reach peace. “There’s a new atmosphere in the U.S. over Palestine,” he said. “The phenomenal response to this tour demonstrates that.”

He argued that activists shouldn’t settle for a two-state peace solution, but should instead demand a one-state solution where people of all ethnicities and religions can dwell together in peace with equal rights for all.

He argued that Israel has “spent its entire bank of public support” during its recent 22-day assault and ongoing siege on Gaza. Galloway condemned Israel for “[taking] the precautions of locking all the doors,” giving the population of Gaza nowhere to run and nowhere to hide from the violence of the assault.

Galloway emphasized the gravity of the current situation in Gaza under the siege, and condemned the lack of media attention it has been getting: “At least when they were being bombed, they were in the news. Now they suffer in silence.” He also condemned the lack of support from surrounding Arab nations, specifically Egypt, stating, “This is an Arab siege, unless Egypt is no longer a country.”

He went on to announce plans to launch Viva Palestina USA, a convoy modeled after Europe’s to cross the Egyptian border into Gaza with aid from Americans. He said it would be co-led by Vietnam veteran and long-time peace activist Ron Kovic, who was also present at the event. The convoy would leave on July 4, as a symbolic gesture to acknowledge that Gaza’s right to self-determination is as significant as America’s

Kenney can’t censor this interview: George Galloway speaks

March 31, 2009
One way or another, George Galloway will be heard in Canada — he is scheduled to speak in Toronto on Monday, Mar. 30 — despite the ban on him entering the country. On Sunday, a diverse range of groups supporting free speech will challenge his ban in a court hearing.

Even if this fails, Galloway’s speech will be broadcast live to audiences across the country; by his own estimation, the British Member of Parliament will be heard by “audiences probably a hundred times greater” than if Minister Jason Kenney had not upheld the decision to keep him out of Canada on “security grounds.” Am Johal caught up with Galloway, who is currently on a speaking tour in the United States.

Am Johal: The Harper government in Canada seems to have politicized the bureaucracy in making this highly irrational decision to ban you from Canada. It’s an unprecedented attack on free speech in Canada given you are an elected MP from Britain. What do you make of the Harper government’s motivation for doing this?

George Galloway: You know you can be more Catholic than the Pope, more discredited than George Bush but you can’t be more anti-terrorist than the U.S.A. Yet the Canadian government has managed it. I’m allowed into the United States to move freely and talk to massive audiences — swelled I’m sure by the Canadian ban — but I can’t get into your country. At least that’s the state of play now. Our court case challenging this ban is due to be heard on Sunday.

I’m a Scotsman and Canada and my country have such historical links that it’s a bit like being turned away from your own home. This is obviously a political move by an ultra-right wing government at the fag end of its term and I can only think that this is some attempt by Jason Kenney to stake out the far-right territory — so far-right they’re just a tiny angry blip in the distance for himself. What he has done is to boost the audiences for my speeches and I will be heard, either in person or by interactive video link. At the last count 20 cities wanted the feed.

The irony in this whole affair is that I have never been a supporter of Hamas. But they are the elected government of Palestine and no country can attempt to impose the kind of government they favour on another people in the way that my country, yours and the United States want to.

AJ: It is strange that you are allowed in to the U.S., but not in to Canada. This really undermines Canada’s reputation in the world as an enlightened nation. The Conservatives have proven that they are troglodytes. What message would you like to send to Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney?

GG: There’s nothing I could say to either of them that wouldn’t be coruscating and deeply insulting. But I’d only do that face-to-face, so that must remain private. I rather suspect, though, that when I do meet up with them they will be much diminished politicians — is that possible? — and in opposition.

AJ: You have remarked in your recent speeches about the right-wing turn in Israeli politics, particularly the rise of Avigdor Lieberman who openly supports the ethnic transfer of Israel’s Palestinian citizens. What are the implications of this in the region and what role can the EU play in brokering a peace process, if any?

GG: I think that if Barack Obama cannot broker a deal between Palestine and Israel there’s no point in closing Guantanamo. Indeed he’ll have to open a hundred Guantanamos because the region will erupt.

The previous Israeli government launched the 22-day offensive on Gaza to win the election and still the Israeli people reject them for others who want even bloodier torment visited on the people. I’m deeply pessimistic. Only Obama can reign-in these blood-crazed politicians. The EU has not and never will have influence. America keeps Israel afloat financially and militarily. Winning the war for the mind of Obama is the principal task.

AJ: What do you make of Tony Blair in his role as a Mideast envoy for the Quartet?

GG: Not since Caligula made his horse pro-consul of Rome has there been such a ridiculous choice as Tony Blair, the war criminal, as Quartet envoy.

AJ: There are legal challenges moving forward and numerous campaigns to support your upcoming visit to Canada. If you are not allowed in, how do you intend to keep fighting the Harper government?

GG: I will be allowed in. If not now in the near future because I’ve visited Canada many times and I have faith in the eminent good sense of Canadian citizens. If not this time then I will broadcast by satellite link to audiences probably a hundred times greater than I would have down there. So I suppose I should be grateful to Kenney.

AJ: What do you think of Canada’s role in Afghanistan?

GG: The Canadian people with their magnificent shows of strength prevented Canada becoming embroiled in the Iraq catastrophe. I’m afraid that there is no winning in Afghanistan, not militarily certainly, many have tried and none succeeded. I’m afraid many wives, mothers and children will be grieving in the months to come. We have no right intervening in another country’s affairs and that will be my message in my speeches.

Am Johal is a Vancouver-based independent writer.

Solidarity convoy gets to Gaza Strip

March 10, 2009

Morning Star Online,

Monday 09 March 2009

DETERMINED: Respect MP George Galloway waiting at the Rafah crossing in Egypt for permission to enter Gaza.

THE Viva Palestina solidarity convoy finally crossed into Gaza on Monday.

After a tense day in which the planned crossing into Gaza was called off by organisers due to wrangling with Egyptian officials, the convoy began entering the besieged territory via the Rafah crossing at 9am local time.

The Viva Palestina volunteer crews brought the vehicles – which include a British fire engine, 12 ambulances and scores of lorries loaded with medical supplies, food, toys and clothes -from London to the occupied territory via a 9,000-mile route that passed through France, Spain, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya and Egypt.

But, with just 30 miles standing between the solidarity activists and the Rafah crossing, the convoy was attacked on Sunday night in the Egyptian town of El Arish by unidentified youths hurling stones, bricks and bottles.

Three voluteers were injured, with two of them treated in hospital for their injuries, and several vehicles were daubed with anti-Hamas graffiti.

Respect MP George Galloway was adamant that the thuggery would not detract from the convoy’s message “of hope and friendship.”

Mr Galloway, who headed the convoy, said: “Our convoy, which set out from London on St Valentine’s Day with 100 vehicles, has grown to almost 250 and the mile-long caravan stretched for more than three miles as more vehicles joined us.

“We’ll leave behind more than £1 million in Gaza, but, more than that, the legacy will be a symbolic one of hope and friendship.”

Mr Galloway emphasised that the “message of the convoy is that the majority of British people abhor the Israeli attacks on the densest packed piece of earth on the planet and the blocking of essential supplies to the Palestinian people in Gaza.”

Meanwhile, an Israeli human rights group charged in a court petition on Monday that Tel Aviv is violating international law by exploiting the West Bank’s mineral resources for its own benefit.

In the petition filed to Israel’s Supreme Court, the Yesh Din group charges that 75 per cent of the rock and gravel removed from 11 West Bank rock quarries is transferred to Israel.

George Galloway Speaks Out for Palestinians (video)

January 12, 2009
Axis of Logic, Jan 11, 2009
By George Galloway, MP
Jan 11, 2009, 20:55
Email this article Printer friendly page

, famous British MP who stands alone against U.S./British Imperialism speaks on 8th JANUARY 2009, at a meeting with the Palestine Solidarity Campaign

STOP THE WAR ISRAEL OUT OF GAZA
@ Friends Meeting House,
173 Euston Road London NW1 2 BJ

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