Various left-wing media are reporting that British parliamentarian George Galloway has returned to the United States in organize a convoy intended to travel from Cairo to Gaza with hundreds of American citizens and $10 million in medical supplies. According to one report:
We were all moved to tears of grief and anger when Israel launched its murderous bombardment against the people of Gaza in December and January. Millions of us took to the streets in unprecedented protests around the globe. Each and every one of us has asked ourselves what more we can do to help stop the suffering. The inspirational anti-war and pro-Palestinian British MP, George Galloway, decided that while it is necessary to speak out — in his case with great force and eloquence — it is actions that speak louder than words. While the bombs were still showering down on what has been called the largest open-air prison in history, Galloway decided to organize a humanitarian convoy that would start in Britain, drive through France and Spain, and across North Africa to arrive in Gaza with aid, even as all borders to the devastated region were under complete blockade. In just five short weeks, he pulled together 107 vehicles — including ambulances and a fire engine — 255 people and $2 million of aid, which set off from London on February 14. Some 23 days and 5,500 miles later it arrived in Gaza to tumultuous acclaim. The fact that so many people come from Britain whose government had, along with George W Bush, backed the Israeli aggression had an enormous impact on the besieged people of Gaza. Now, Galloway is heading a second convoy — this time from the USA. The Vietnam War veteran, Ron Kovic, whose experiences in the war led him to become a life-long advocate of a more just US foreign policy, has readily agreed to be co-leader of the convoy. The convoy’s aim is to take hundreds of US citizens in 500 vehicles, bearing $10 million in medical aid from Cairo to Gaza. Convoy participants will leave from JFK airport on July 4, bearing the simple yet powerful message that Palestinian independence is as precious as US independence. The group will organize the convoy in Cairo and proceed to Gaza the following weekend, proudly waving US and Palestinian flags, as well as banners declaring thousands of supporting organizations and institutions. This is set to be the biggest single aid effort for Palestine ever to leave US shores. It will be a source of great strength and hope for the Palestinian people. It will also have a major impact here in the United States, helping to stir US public opinion about the conflict in the Middle East and to bring about a permanent shift in government policy. The US has a chance right now to step into a more progressive role in the world. But Viva Palestina USA needs your help to make this venture successful and to get this aid through the siege that has been strangling the people of Gaza for three years.
The report goes on to say that the effort is being coordinated by a Chicago-based organization known as Viva Palestina. Another report indicates fundraising for the convoy is being carried out by a coalition which includes the Muslim American Society (MAS), a part of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood which is close to the Egyptian organization. An earlier post from late March discussed a Northern Virginia fund-raising event in which Galloway and Muslim American Society Freedom Foundation Executive Director Mahdi Bray were scheduled to appear.
Galloway is a far-left British M.P. who was expelled from the Labor Party over incendiary comments made at time of the 2003 Iraq War. He subsequently formed the Respect Coalition which prior to a 2007 split included the Socialist Workers Party and members of the Muslim Association of Britain and Muslim Council of Britain, essentially the Muslim Brotherhood in Britain. The Respect coalition was the sponsor of the February 2003 anti-Iraq war demonstration in London, reported by police to have been the largest demonstration ever held in the U.K. A previous post discussed the 2007 falling out between Galloway and the Socialist Workers Party and the speculation that the difficulties stemmed from Galloway’s desire to focus more on developing a Muslim constituency. At that time, Galloway launched a new movement called Respect Renewal which helped to elect Mr Galloway as a Respect MP. Galloway has been a long-time supporter of Palestinian causes and another previous post discussed his participation in a fund-raising event for a Bahraini charity that is part of the Union of Good, a worldwide coalition of charities headed by global Muslim Brotherhood leader Youssef Qaradawi and which has been designated by the U.S. in connection with its funding of Hamas.Galloway was recently banned from entry into Canada on the same grounds.