George Galloway: Windbag or Terrorist?

My favourite English MP has fallen victim to the Harper government’s habit of suppressing public discourse that does not promote their agenda.  According to Alykhan Velshi, Director of Communications for Conservative MP Jason Kenney (Calgary SE), providing material support for Palestinians who are still struggling under the Israeli embargo imposed in 2007 after their election of Hamas, makes you  a “terrorist”.  “Terrorists” are of course inadmissible to Canada, even (perhaps especially) when they are sitting British MPs who are consistent, unrepentant, passionate and media-savvy peace activists.

Sounds reasonable enough – after all, Muslims in general and Palestinians in particular are terrorists.  Every god-fearing neo-con knows that.  Bringing material comfort to struggling Palestinians is therefore an act of terrorism.  This is Velshi’s logic, and since the PM’s office gave the thumbs up to this appalling decision in writing we can safely assume it is our Prime Minister’s logic as well.

Velshi is a disciple of the American free market propaganda mill the American Enterprise Institute and the pro-Israeli Foundation for Defense of Democracies and, as is clear from emails to immigration officials, harbours a rather hysterical personal loathing of Galloway, not for his material support of Hamas, but for his political views.

Velshi personally kicks off the banning process by claiming to have received a “media call” questioning why “we’re letting in [Galloway] even though he’s called for money to go to a banned terrorist entity in Canada (Hamas)”.  He follows up by claiming he can back up this assertion by sending a link to a news article.  (He doesn’t).

Credit for the original “media call” has been taken by the paranoid, militant lunatics of the Jewish Defense League – a group which is referred to in a Department of Homeland Security resource as a “terrorist organization” for numerous ideologically inspired acts of violence and assassination plots since its inception.  The JDL claims to have sent a letter to Kenney’s office requesting that Galloway be banned.

The email exchange between Kenney’s office and Citizenship and Immigration Canada has been graciously leaked and is available for viewing at rabble.ca.  Put very simply, events appear to have unfolded as follows:

1. A Jewish special interest group of questionable integrity learns that a prominent critic of Israel’s conduct in Palestine is booked to speak in Canada and requests that a Conservative MP intervene to ensure Galloway be refused admission.

2. The Communications Director for Jason Kenney writes to the public servants in charge of immigration requesting that Galloway be banned.

3. The public servants appease the MP’s office by digging up a provision that can be used to justify the ban for reasons other Galloway’s criticism of Israel – here the accusation of “terrorism” comes into play.

4. The immigration officials proceed with the ban while Kenney’s representative panics about the possibility Galloway might be allowed in by a careless border guard, and flails about trying to identify which crossing he will use.

5. The Canadian Immigration office in the UK is advised of the ban and writes a very alarmed and thorough email warning of the irregularity of the banning and the likelihood of widespread press coverage and damaged relations between Canada and the UK.

6. An officer of the Prime Minister’s Office is brought into the loop and affirms they do not have a problem with the ban or its consequences.

And let us not forget the icing on the cake, so characteristic of the Conservative Party:

7: Jason Kenney denies that any of the above ever occurred, despite the widespread publication of evidence to the contrary.

So, in sum, it appears that suppressing criticism of Israel within Canada is more important to Harper and his cronies than our diplomatic relations with the UK or our international credibility as a country that affirms the right to freedom of speech and association.

Galloway’s challenge of the decision will be heard in the Federal Court of Canada in Toronto on April 26th.  According to rabble.ca, “the hearing is open to the public and is due to begin at 9:30 AM.  There will be a rally preceding the hearing, starting at 8:30 a.m., and solidarity rallies at federal court buildings in Ottawa, Montreal, Vancouver, Winnipeg, Edmonton and elsewhere.” Click here for more information.

I’ll leave you with some classic Galloway windbaggery:

And if you’re in Calgary SE and believe Canada’s immigration officials are not paid to do the bidding of marginalized, extremist, violent Jewish special interest groups, please stop voting for this guy:

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9 Responses to “George Galloway: Windbag or Terrorist?”

  1. Tom Says:

    Galloway gave a lot of cash money)directly to Hamas, which siezed power in gaza by force and violence and killed members of the opposition party (some democracy). do you think any opponents of Hamas ever saw any of that aid?

    Hamas is a terrorist organization because their tactics include suicide bombings which deliberately target civilians. they always try to maximize civilian casualties. that’s why they are terrorists.

  2. apophaticattic Says:

    Hi, Tom, thanks for visiting. Your comments are welcome but not entirely relevant to the topic of my post. The issue is not whether either of us personally approve of George Galloway or Hamas.

    The issue is a Conservative MP’s direct, personal interference in the freedom of movement, speech and association of an elected UK MP whose political views he disagrees with at the behest of an extremist Jewish lobby group. (A group which, incidentally, has members currently serving time in US prisons for plotting to assassinate people.)

    So, do you think it is an appropriate use of the office of an elected representative of the Canadian people to throw himself between a public speaker and his intended audience at the request of an extremist special group? I do not.

    The provision in our immigration laws prohibiting “members of terrorist organizations” from entering this country were never intended to be used to suppress public debate, and certainly were not intended to be invoked at the explicit request of other “terrorist organizations” more palatable to the Conservative Party.

  3. Richard Says:

    Hamas were democratically elected, Tom. Yes, they do use violence, which I am against. But I am also against the violence used against them by their neighbours, Israel, such as political assassinations and the use of illegal weapons like white phosphorous. But if you or anyone wishes to donate money to Israel, which breaks international law the way I do the speed limit, then you can.

  4. Tom Says:

    I would be against banning Galloway from Canada, if not for the fact that he himself supported the ban of other politicians from his country.
    he supported banning Geert Wilders from Britain. and that *was* a freedom of speech issue alone. Wilders was not donating money to any organization which is illegal in Britain.
    so if Galloway himself is against free speech, than it’s poetic justice that he got a taste of his own medicine.
    and he’s not being banned for the same reason. it’s not just because he verbally supports groups like Hamas and the Taliban, but it’s because he actually gives them money, which is illegal to do in Canada.
    for the record even Egypt banned Galloway after his last convoy cost the life of an egyptian policeman who was killed during the chaos that Galloway’s convoy caused.

    I have no problem with Galloway giving aid to the palestinian people. my problem is that he gives it directly to Hamas. meaning that Hamas can distribute it only to its own members and followers, and not to its opponents.

    it’s a lie to say that Hamas is a democratic government.

    first of all, the elections were 6 years ago and Hamas refused to allow another election. so that alone makes them a dictatorship and not a democracy.

    secondly, they killed members of the opposition party Fatah in Gaza and siezed total control of gaza *illegaly*. they killed hundreds of palestinians, threw Fatah members off roofs, broke their legs, and so on.
    because of that even Fatah doesn’t recognize Hamas as the legitimate government.

    all of that happened after Israel ended the occupation of gaza in 2005. and there were no sanctions against gaza until Hamas siezed power in 2007 and resumed rocket attacks against Israeli cities.
    so Hamas were the agressors, and Israel was responding to their attacks.

    I see myself as a supported of the palestinians. but I think that supporting Hamas is *bad* for the palestinians.
    Hamas sells them dreams of a military victory against Israel, which is not possible. what they really need is negotiated peace. which is what Fatah is trying to do

  5. apophaticattic Says:

    There are a few factual errors in your post, Tom. First off, Galloway does not support the Taliban, only the democratically elected government of Palestine. The election in Palestine that brought Hamas to power, despite violence on all sides, was deemed credible by international observers. This satisfies the definition of “democracy”. Also, Hamas is not the only party currently holding up the elections – Abbas (of Fatah) must call them and is unwilling to do so while his party is in disarray. Israel must allow the movement of election candidates and materials within Palestine and, being Israel, is unwilling to do so. The international community, which provided extensive support in 2005 and 2006, is unwilling to assist because of general anti-Hamas sentiment. The election that gave Hamas a parliamentary majority was in 2006 – 4 years ago, not 6. (The UK’s Labour Party has dodged elections for longer than that.)

    And on, and on, and on. But let’s just look past the falsehoods supporting your argument and into the substance of your position: 1. George Galloway should be banned from Canada because he supported banning some other windbag from the UK.

    Well, now, an eye for an eye. How quaint. Personally, I expect a bit more ethical sophistication from my elected representatives.

    2. George Galloway should be banned because providing humanitarian aid to the people of Palestine via their elected representatives during a major humanitarian crisis satisfies Canada’s definition of “terrorism” as far as you are concerned.

    I have to say that is a more substantive argument. I suppose I will withhold judgment on whether or not this is the case until after the court hearing on Monday.

    I can’t help noticing, however, you’ve completely dodged the question of whether Jason Kenney should be jumping when a violent Jewish extremist organization says jump.

  6. Tom Says:

    violence on both sides huh?
    Hamas attacked Fatah and took full control of Gaza by force of arms, killing hundreds of people in the process.

    how is that a democracy?
    Hamas did get 60% of the votes but that doesn’t mean they have the right to kill and get rid of the smaller party.

    Abbas did call Hamas to agree to new elections, and it’s Hamas that had refused it.
    according to palestinian laws the term must be 4 years. it’s been almost 5 years.
    do you really think Hamas will agree to new elections?
    I think that Hamas knows that in any new elections they’ll loose big time because the palestinian people now know that Hamas only brought them more misery.

    I say again I have no problem with Galloway delivering the aid to the palestinians. the problem is that he himself said “this is not charity, this is politics” as he handed money to a Hamas minister.
    it’s obvious that he’s doing this for propaganda purposes to help Hamas.

    when he was in Egypt, Egypt wanted to send part of the convoy through Israel and Galloway refused. because that would ruin the whole propaganda compaign. he said that nothing from israel ever goes to Gaza but that is a lie because the Red Cross, Unrwa and other aid organizations all operate through Israel, not through Egypt.
    also Israel sends dozens of food trucks into Gaza every day, and supplies water electricity and fuel to Gaza.
    they give Gaza a lot more every day than what Galloway brings once a year.

    so Galloway refused to send part of the convoy through Israel, and as a result those vehicles stayed in Egypt and never reached Gaza. just because Galloway didn’t want them to come through Israel.
    so his whole pretence of saving all of gaza with his convoy is just a big joke.
    he keeps saying people are starving there, but he’s willing to let them starve some more just to promote his propaganda against israel.
    and there is no real starvation in Gaza. if he really wants to help starving people why doesn’t he sent aid to places that really need it, like Haiti for example.

    it’s obvious he’s doing this for propaganda and nothing more. and he really cared about the palestinians than he would want Hamas replaced by moderates and this way all the sanctions on Gaza would be lifted.
    as long as Hamas stays in power the peace process will be impossible because Hamas will oppose it, and hostilities will continue.

    but it seems to me that it’s more imporant to Galloway that Hamas stays in power and keep fighting Israel.
    his hate for israel is blinding him from the fact that it will just make things worse for the palestinians.
    he is a traitor to his own cause even if he doesn’t realize it.

    countries like Syria and Iran who supply Hamas with weapons don’t really care about the palestinians. they’re only doing this to try to give Israel a bloody nose, not because they think it would help the palestinians.
    they’re just using the palestinians for their own agenda.
    the sooner the palestinians realize this the better off they’ll be.

  7. robert hawke Says:

    Like him or not, Galloway has a right to free speech in Britain, Canada and elsewhere. Like them or not, Hamas was elected in a democratic election monitored and deemed fair and legitimate by the Carter Institute.
    Protect all free speech from a government determined to suppress it. If not, they may come after your right to speak freely.

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