Monday, March 30, 2009

Court Upholds Decision to Keep George Galloway Out of Canada

A Canadian Federal Court has upheld the CBSA decision to prevent British MK from entering Canada. Immigration Minister Jason Kenney was the only person with the power to overturn the decision agreed that Galloway should not be allowed into Canada.

For many Canadians this is a case of free speech and punishing a person for sending aid to the Palestinians. From this angle it appears that the government is carrying out a gross injustice in an attempt to silence it's critics. What could possibly be wrong with providing humanitarian aid?

First step is to exam how he choose to deliver aid. The aid convoy started it's 3 week journey in London, crossed through Northern Africa before arriving at the Egyptian border. The size of his convoy at the beginning was just slightly less than the amount of aid Israel was allowing into Gaza during the 3 hour ceasefires during Operation Cast Lead. Israel was letting the aid through despite the fact that Hamas did not hold by the humanitarian cease fire.

The convoy was stopped at the Egyptian/Gaza border for 4 days. Egyptian officials said the aid was not urgent and some of it would have to go through Israel. Galloway refused insisting that the entire convoy together because he "would not accept any special favour from Israel." While claiming victory he let the Red Crescent bring in some of the aid. The Red Crescent makes all of their crossings thorugh Israel.

While waiting at the border his followers did have a clash with police with a couple of injuries. The night before they finally crossed their convoy was stoned and vehicles spray painted with anti-Hamas graffiti. While he supports Palestinians right to throw stones he was unhappy about being on the receiving end of the welcome. He did decide to avoid bringing up the embarrassing incident.

While in Gaza he happily met with the leaders of Hamas giving them $45,000 in cash. He was also photographed with Hamas in front of their map of the Middle East. That would be the one that does not include Israel.

Every other country in the world sends their aid to the Palestinian people through Israel via United Nations organizations. It is the only way to guarantee that aid gets to the Palestinian people instead of being siffened off to buy weapons to attack Israel. Even then the UNRWA had problems with Hamas hijacking their trucks. Galloway choose the slowest most inefficient method for delivery the so called emergency help. The entire convoy was a huge publicity stunt in order to show his support for Hamas.

Hamas is listed as a terrorist organization in Canada. This means their assets in Canada are frozen and it is illegal for a Canadian to provide them with funding. Galloway argued that his only intention was helping the Palestinian people and that meant giving money to the legitimate government of the Palestinian people. The fact they happen to be the same party as a terrorist organization is irrelevant. It is clear he wanted to legitimize Hamas as much or more so than he was concerned where the aid would be delivered.

The second argument was making this an issue of free speech. On two occasions Galloway was on the record in full support of the British government to ban politicians from visiting England. It is hypocritical to make the free speech argument when he is on the other side of the coin.

Galloway gave cash directly to a terrorist organization. His intention of the cash transaction was to legitimize the terrorist government. These actions would be illegal if done by a Canadian. Therefore they constitute grounds for refusing his entry into Canada.

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