“Gorgeous George” Galloway has taken his overblown ego on another trip to Gaza. Press TV on 24th December referred to him as a “British lawmaker” and made much of his appeal to the Egyptian government to help the latest Viva Palestina convoy to break the “months-long Israeli siege on Gaza.”
Viva Palestina’s own web page bemoans the fact that the Egyptian government will not let the convey enter Egypt and has given them the following choices:
- that they hand all the vehicles and aid over to UNRA [sic]
- that they drive 500 miles back to Syria, and take a 24 hour ferry through the Suez Canal
- that they have to ask Israel for permission to cross from Egypt to Gaza
All the conditions were rejected because they want to cross into Gaza and hand over the aid to the Palestinians themselves.
But is this the true reason for George’s rejection of all the above options? Could his pig-headedness have something to do with what happened when he met Khaled Meshaal in March 2009 with the monetary fruits of Viva Palestina’s labours then? We actually witness Galloway giving funds to Hamas terrorists, which is against British law and yet no legal action has been taken against him. Perhaps he plans to do the same again (he’d do almost anything for a photo opportunity) which is why he is somewhat nervous about negotiating with Israel. Some law maker!
Viva Palestina and Galloway evidently care nothing for the Palestinians they allege are in urgent need of their aid. No, this is about their being much more willing to cut off their own noses to spite Palestinian faces, and, given George’s previous performance, probably handing a hefty wedge of cash to Hamas, than negotiating directly with Israel or meeting Egypt’s demands. Compare, for example, their ridiculous posturing about what they say they would do to aid Palestinians with what is actually being done .
All of which goes to show that with Galloway for a friend the Palestinians don’t need enemies.
UPDATES: 27 December 2009 – More than 400 members of the convoy declared a hunger strike in protest against not being allowed into Egypt. Although the article in Ha’aretz on 28 December 2009 named Gorgeous George as the leader of the convoy it did not make clear whether Galloway is leading them in the hunger strike too.
28 December 2009 – According to Viva Palestina’s home page, organisers of Viva Palestina aid convoy, which is trying to reach the Gaza Strip, have now agreed to go via Syria en route for Egypt. The agreement came after a Turkish mediator reached a deal with the Egyptian consul in Jordan’s Red Sea port of Aqaba.
6th January 2010 – George Galloway is reported to have been involved in scuffles with the Egyptian authorities. The protests started after Egyptian authorities at El Arish ordered some lorries to use the Israeli-controlled checkpoint and the activists stamped their collective foot and insisted that the goods to be transported via Egypt’s Rafah crossing.
Gorgeous George, in an unusual display of his powers of ESP, said Israel was likely to prevent convoy lorries entering Gaza (author’s note – How could he know? I wonder what the convoy has to hide? True the Israelis would go over the trucks with a fine tooth comb – and particularly since the convoy was headed up by someone who had given money to their enemies – but if they contain only food and other aid, they will go through although Gorgeous George himself may not be allowed to. No, this is more about Gorgeous’ superordinate pride and the perceived insult to it by his not being allowed to get his own way, and of course we are dealing with a master of the autorhinectomy, except that he is willing to cut off Palestinian noses to spite his face).
He is reported to have told Sky News: “It is completely unconscionable that 25% of our convoy should go to Israel and never arrive in Gaza.” (Again, how could he know that it would not arrive and what makes it “completely unconscionable?”)?
And this is what may well have led to the ruckus – earlier in the week there were “noisy protests” from the convoy members when the Egyptian police took away their passports and delayed handing them back. Note the lack of connect between cause of the police’s behaviour (the convoy’s display of foreclosed adolescence) and its effect (the Egyptian authorities’ insistence that the aid go through Israel) for these graceless chumps. Add to this their obliviousness to, if not ignorance of, the social mores of the country in which they find themselves and the obvious fact that one can achieve much by co-operation and compromise rather than confrontation, and it’s little wonder that they find themselves in trouble. No-one condones police violence but certain things might try the patience of saints.
6th January 2010 – Question: What’s the difference between a three year old in a tantrum and Palestinian supporters of the Viva Palestina activists at the Egyptian border with Gaza? Answer: very little, but the three year old may well be more mature.
In a staggeringly ill-thought-out gesture of solidarity, even for it, Hamas decided that it would rally Palestinians for a demonstration against what it saw as Egypt’s intransigence in the delay in allowing through Gorgeous George’s convoy. Of course the Palestinian protesters could not be content with hurling verbal abuse at the Egyptians, rather they resorted to type and hurled stones instead. The Egyptians, of course, reacted by opening fire at the protesters. In the ensuing melee, during which (according to the BBC) Hamas fired into the air to disperse the demonstration which had rapidly got out of hand, an Egyptian soldier was apparently killed by gunfire from the Gazan side. Amazing in the BBC’s account (the BBC being the BBC) is the acknowledgement that Egypt too has closed its borders with Gaza.
This could run and run. The Viva Palestina convoy seems to have identified very closely with the objects of their charity, even to the extent of adopting their toddler-like behaviour whenever they are thwarted.
Stay tuned for more progress reports or, knowing Gorgeous and his merry men, reports of more cock-ups.