Saturday, May 15, 2010

Palestine: Powerful American Jewish lobby protests visit of former British MP Galloway

AJC expressed serious concern at the arrival in the United States of George Galloway, the recently-defeated British parliamentarian who has raised funds for Hamas, and supported Hezbollah and other terrorist organizations. He is slated to speak at events hosted by American Muslims for Palestine and the Muslim Legal Fund of America in a number of locations, beginning in northern California on May 16.

"Only a few days after voters ousted George Galloway from the British Parliament, has he returned to our country to seek additional funds for Hamas, which the U.S. government has designated a terrorist organization?" asked AJC Executive Director David Harris. "We trust the authorities will scrutinize Galloway's activities while here, since any money raised for and transferred to terrorist groups is a violation of U.S. law."

Galloway has long stood with radical forces in the Middle East. For example, though he now seeks to deny it, earlier Galloway had been a supporter of Saddam Hussein, and a strong foe of Western sanctions against a regime that ranked second to none in its record of human rights abuse. In 1994, during one of his visits to Baghdad, Galloway said to Hussein, "Sir, I salute your courage, your strength, your indefatigability."

In 2005, Galloway called for a Muslim-Progressive coalition. "Not only do I think it is possible, but I think it is widely necessary," he said. "It is possible because the progressive movement around the world and the Muslims have the same grievances. Their grievances are the Zionist occupation, American occupation, British occupation of poor countries, mainly Muslim countries."

Galloway has regularly boasted of his material support for Hamas. He has made several pilgrimages to Hamas in Gaza, as well as to Hezbollah in Lebanon. During a visit to Gaza in March 2009, he appeared on television handing over cash and vehicles to Hamas leaders, announcing that he was intentionally breaking sanctions against what he dubbed "the elected government of Palestine."

SOURCE American Jewish Committee

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