Galloway announces convoy to ‘end the siege’
Jonny Paul, JPost, Jun 13 2010
Veteran anti-Israel activist and former MP George Galloway is planning a land and sea convoy in September, which will attempt to end the blockade of Gaza. The recently deposed MP, who lost his seat in last month’s general election, told demonstrators at an anti-Israel demonstration in London last Saturday that the decision to send the convoys followed negotiations he had in Turkey, where he attended the funerals of the Turkish activists killed in the Gaza flotilla incident. With Hizbullah and Turkish flags waving in the background, Galloway claimed that the convoy will be the “mightiest breach” of the siege that has ever been. He added that the UNSC and the Arab league would be unable to end the siege. He also said that the flotilla incident will mark the beginning of the end of Israel. Pointing in the direction of the Israeli Embassy, he accused Israel of being murderers and terrorists. He told the crowd, to rapturous applause:
Those nest of criminals in the Israeli Embassy, we don’t want these murderers, these terrorists in the heart of London. We don’t want our police protecting them, the police should be protecting us from them. Following our negotiations in Istanbul, I can announce to you that the day after Ramadan [Sep 10], two mighty convoys, one by sea and one by land, will begin. The land convoy will leave from London, will travel though Europe, Turkey, Syria and Jordan, and it will sail from Aqaba to Sinai and enter the gates of Rafah, and I ask the Egyptian government, in the name of millions of people, open those gates and let the convoy through. The sea convoy will simultaneously leave on the same day, sail from country to country around the Mediterranean. We will arrive off Gaza together. We will enter together with the mightiest breach of the siege there has ever been, and we will end this siege that day. This siege in now shaking, the wall is now tottering, we have to break it down ourselves. Just as Soweto began the countdown to the end of the racist apartheid State of South Africa, so the killing of our martyrs on Monday began the numbering of the days of the Zionist apartheid State of Israel, be sure about that. There can be no peace between truth and falsehood, there can be no peace between justice and oppression, there can be no peace between the occupier and the occupied, there can only be eternal struggle between them. There can only be eternal struggle until justice has prevailed and freedom has been won. Viva, viva Palestina.
Also speaking at the demonstration were two activists from the flotilla deported by Israel, Palestine Solidarity Campaign member Sarah Colborne and Ismail Patel from the Friends of al-Aqsa, and Sally Hunt, secretary-general of the University College Union, the union that last week voted at its annual conference to support the ‘boycott, divestment and sanctions’ campaign against Israel and cut ties with the Histadrut. Two parliament members also spoke, newly elected Green MP Caroline Lucas and veteran pro-Palestinian campaigner and Labor MP Jeremy Corbyn. Around 2,000 demonstrators took part in the demonstration, which marched from Downing Street to the Israeli Embassy on Saturday to protest against Israel’s response to the flotilla incident. In January Galloway led a convoy to Gaza but violence broke out in El-Arish and Rafah between members of the convoy and Egyptian police after Egypt barred part of the group from entering Gaza. Galloway was eventually deported and declared persona non grata by Cairo. The Egyptian Foreign Ministry in a statement at the time:
George Galloway is considered persona non grata and will not be allowed to enter into Egypt again.