The Investigative Project has published a report titled “No Honor Among Thieves: Infighting Dooms New Hamas Convoy” which covers the criticism of George Galloway and his aides by participants in the latest Viva Palestina convoy. The report begins:
IPT News June 14, 2012 Participants in the latest convoy to deliver supplies to Hamas-controlled Gaza are lashing out at British MP George Galloway and his aides for ‘incompetence’ and ‘increasingly bizarre and dangerous decisions’ after the effort fell short of crossing into the Palestinian territory. Original plans called for the convoy to leave England in April and cross into Gaza from Egypt by May 15. That date marks the ‘Nakba,’ or the ‘catastrophe’ of Israeli independence in 1948. Instead, the sixth Viva Palestina convoy never reached its destination. Egypt refused to let the convoy pass despite weeks of effort. It clearly caught Galloway off guard. He wrote that the Arab Spring power change in Egypt erased a ban on his entry into the country and he promised to lead the convoy as it crossed the border into Gaza to deliver ’50 packed vans and lorries.’ Galloway, voted back into Parliament in March representing Bradford after being defeated in 2010, said his return to office ‘will be a boost to me in the fight for Gaza and Palestine and for all Arab and humanitarian issues. I will invest all the opportunities available to raise issues that we both believe in it.’ Representatives of several countries bailed on Viva Palestina’s ‘Right of Return Convoy’ even before it stalled in Jordan after Galloway refused to chart a course avoiding Syria, where government forces continue to massacre civilians rising against President Bashar al-Assad’s regime. The New Zealand delegation unanimously withdrew, saying it didn’t want Assad’s regime ‘making political capital from any humanitarian mission to Gaza.’ But that’s exactly what happened. Syrian officials, including military officials, feted the convoy. A governor of a major town greeted the convoy and an organizer wrote that the Syrian government ‘will provide us complete protection and security’ while in the country. Galloway has long enjoyed warm relations with the Assad government, working closely with it on past convoys. Last summer, he told Hizballah’s Al-Manar channel that Assad was drawing international criticism ‘because of the good things that he did such as supporting Palestinian and Lebanese resistance and rejecting to surrender to Israel.’ Galloway hailed Assad in a 2005 speech as ‘the last Arab ruler, and Syria is the last Arab country. It is the fortress of remaining dignity of the Arabs.’ ‘Syria,’ he said in a separate appearance that July, ‘is lucky to have Bashar Al-Assad as her president.’ Galloway and his Viva Palestina (VP) acolytes seem to be in agreement, however, that Gaza is lucky to have the terrorist group Hamas in control. From Galloway’s infamous display of a bag of cash given to a Hamas minister in 2009 to his and VP’s frequent meetings with Hamas leaders, the group works to enhance Hamas’ place as ‘the elected government of Palestine.’
Read the rest here.
Galloway has been a long-time supporter of Palestinian causes and a previous post discussed his role in Viva Palestina, a UK registered charity associated which had been under investigation by U.K. authorities. The organization has organized several convoys of humanitarian aid to Gaza including the first convoy where Galloway was reported to have handed cash and three cars to Hamas leader Ismail Haniyah and the second convoy where Galloway met again with Hamas leader Ismail Haniyah. Previous posts have discussed Galloway’s trips to the U.S. in conjunction with the convoys including a trip in March 2009 where he participated in a Northern Virginia fund-raising event in which Muslim American Society leader Mahdi Bray was also scheduled to appear.
Galloway had originally been 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. As discussed in a post from May 2007, Mr. Galloway lost his seat in the House of Commons, the only seat held by the Respect Party. However, he was recently re-elected and U.K. Daily Telegraph writer Andrew Gilligan has posted an article titled which analyzes Galloway’s victory and his appeals to Islam during the campaign.