Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Bank Accounts Frozen, Summons Threatened: George Galloway Blows A Gasket

(UPDATE: Martin Levin is a good man. To my knowledge, apart from Christopher Hitchens - see the note at the bottom of Hitchens' Slate column, here - Martin is the only big-media journalist to publicly allow that there was something of a hoax to what in another universe I might call the "hegemonic narrative" that held big-media journalists in its thrall during what I like to call the Great Galloway Hoax of 2009. By his correction, Martin redeems an important trust that must exist between newspaper journalists and their readers in order for journalism to work properly, and he did so in a gracious and honest way. Which is to say, Martin Levin can be trusted, and he is a good man.)

Upon his return to Britain from "traveling abroad on high profile political business," Stoppist windbag George Galloway found something rather less welcoming than a red carpet waiting for him over the weekend.

Galloway's unopened mail included a warning from officials with the compliance investigations unit of the UK Charity Commission, advising him that they'd lost their patience with him and unless he showed up right quick and ready to answer their questions he'd be hauled before a High Court judge.

Galloway's 'Viva Palestina' Appeal bank accounts have also been frozen.

In predictable fashion, Galloway has responded with a long-winded and vitriolic soliloquy containing wild allegations of dark conspiracies, complaints that the Zionists get all the breaks, and an accusation that the Charity Commission is really motivated by an "obvious prejudice against the Palestinian cause and against Britain's two million-strong Muslim community."

The trouble with all that is the Charity Commission had already been patiently asking Galloway and his crowd to explain their peculiar fundraising activity for several weeks before it first issued notice, way back on March 23, that it was opening an inquiry under the Charities Act. This was just after Galloway had set off for his speaking engagements in the United States. In launching the inquiry, Commission officials explained that they were forced to do so after having become exasperated in repeatedly trying to get straight answers about whether the 'Viva Palestina' funds were really being held for charitable purposes.

In predictable fashion, Galloway responded back then by muttering insinuations about ulterior motives, and he alluded to the Commission's previous failures to pin anything on him, even during his "campaign against sanctions on Iraq." A fair point, in a way, since even the British Parliament gave Galloway at least a minor suspension after parliamentary sleaze police found him guilty of failing to disclose his "charity" links with Saddam Hussein's regime. Galloway then uttered some more dark warnings about strange coincidences. But Galloway's story didn't exactly stand up very well.

His stories rarely do, but in this case, only a couple of weeks before the March 23 inquiry launch, Galloway had given away the game all by himself. In a flight of hubris, while "traveling abroad on high profile political business," in the course of delivering roughly $2 million (Cdn.) in booty to Hamas boss Ismail Haniyeh, Galloway publicly taunted British and European authorities. He dared them to charge him. While handing over the cash to Haniyeh, Galloway said: "Here is the money. This is not charity. This is politics." The UK Terrorism Act explicitly prohibits fundraising for proscribed terrorist organizations. In the UK, Hamas is a proscribed terrorist organization.

Around the time of the March 23 inquiry launch, someone in Galloway's parliamentary staff was in conversation with a Canadian High Commission official in London. It was about Galloway's chances of being able to make the speaking engagements he'd arranged in Canada, in light of everything Galloway had been up to. The High Commission's Immigration Program Manager, Robert J. Orr, followed up the conversation with a polite letter suggesting that Galloway's chances didn't look too good. In Canada, like the UK, it is illegal to raise funds for terrorist organizations, and in Canada, like the UK, Hamas is a proscribed terrorist organization. The Immigration and Refugee Protection Act contains admissibility requirements for visitors that set a rather high bar for Hamas bagmen.

In predictable fashion, Galloway responded by conjuring up another great conspiracy: Canadian politicians were "seeking to ban" him from the country. After failing to get assurances that he would be put above Canadian law and given an advance exemption from Canada's admissibility requirements, he combined with his Canadian fan base to circulate a fanciful story that he had been singled out and barred from entering Canada because of a secret federal plot to silence critics of Canada’s engagements in Afghanistan. It was an outrage against free-speech, and the culprits behind it all? Starts with 'J.'

By and large, because of the gullibility, political illiteracy and in some cases stark-raving idiocy abroad in certain sections of Canada's national press, the conspiracy theory went viral.

But the facts remain. The evidence remains, and it looks like the curtains are starting to come down. That's why George Galloway is blowing another gasket.

This is not about charity. This is about politics.

22 Comments:

Blogger IceClass said...

I hope someone's warming up the handcuffs as we speak. There's a bruiser in the local scrubs in need of a new girlfriend.

6:44 AM  
Blogger Peter said...

ah yes, threats of rape...classy!

still waiting for this blog to address the return of Sharia law under Karzai, but I guess George Galloway is more important...

9:32 AM  
Blogger Terry Glavin said...

Peter:

http://tinyurl.com/c9gzo6

http://tinyurl.com/ck3fpa

Then go choke on this:

http://tinyurl.com/crzeht

9:59 AM  
Blogger IceClass said...

No, no, noooo Peter; I'm merely expressing a desire for justice to be served.
Besides, it ain't rape if he consents.
And he will consent.
Bruiser needs love too.
;)

3:52 PM  
Blogger Blazing Cat Fur said...

I'm shocked, shocked!

6:20 AM  
Blogger Gert said...

Terry:"It was an outrage against free-speech, and the culprits behind it all? Starts with 'J.'"Have you already forgotten the involvement of Mr Weinstein and the JDL? How could Galloway be so stupid to think Zionists might be involved in this sorry affair, huh?

And would you please note that serious anti-Zionists carefully distinguish between Zionists and Jews? And that that distinction is real easy to make, witness the many Jewish anti-Zionist blogs all over the world? Galloway would never, ever insinuate the people involved 'started with J'. Never.

Secondly, since as Hamas are the elected representatives of the Palestinians, what do you propose we do to alleviate the humanitarian crisis in Gaza? After all, by your logic no aid should ever fall into the hands of Hamas. Do you propose we starve the Gazans to preserve your principled stance on Hamas?

I'd really like an honest answer...

2:03 PM  
Blogger Terry Glavin said...

"Do you propose we starve the Gazans to preserve your principled stance on Hamas? I'd really like an honest answer..."

Giving you the credit you don't deserve by taking that as an honest question, the honest answer is that the United States, Canada, Britain and Europe have somehow managed to pledge and spend hundreds of million of dollars in aid of the people of Gaza, without "breaking the sanctions," and millions of dollars in non-government funds have similarly gone to Gaza, without the bother of Galloway's Children's Crusade to Hamas.

Numpty.

Funny auld world.

2:49 PM  
Blogger Terry Glavin said...

Oh, Gert:

I see you've been Googling "Terry Glavin" and "neoconservative."

Numpty.

3:06 PM  
Blogger Xanthippa said...

Very true.

Thanks!

3:08 PM  
Blogger Kurt Langmann said...

I was initially chuffed at the prospect that Curious George might have to pawn his Mercedes to pay his legal team, then realized sadly that there will be those among his supporters who'll do it pro bono. Tragic.

3:38 PM  
Blogger Gert said...

"[...] without the bother of Galloway's Children's Crusade to Hamas."This morning I did search for Terry Glavin neocon (as a joke) and the first post of yours that came up was yet another tirade against Galloway. Seems to me the only Crusade going on here is yours against Galloway. Galloway's Viva Palestina initiative is more about raising awareness than anything else, see also Viva Palestina US and now apparently also Viva Palestina Venezuela.

And since as you didn't want to bother responding about Mr Weinstein, here's a Canadian Jewess who doesn't agree with the ban.

I find it flabbergasting that anyone on the Left can support a country like Israel, considering its appalling history of at least the last 40 years and the unabated expansion of settlements during that time and today, right under your very nose. Not to mention Israel's election of what must be the most rightwing (and largely anti-peace) government since Mozes. Likud thanks you!

What gives, Terry? Semitophilia?

I used to support Israel once, moderately, but no more. Without significant counter-force, Israel will build Eretz Yisrael and (there at least I agree with Olmert) into de jure Apartheid. All hope is now with Obama but given the US's track record on Israel I'm not holding my breath...

4:54 AM  
Blogger Gert said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

9:05 AM  
Blogger Terry Glavin said...

I grow tired of your graffiti, Gert.

No soup for you!

9:12 AM  
Blogger vildechaye said...

RE: I find it flabbergasting that anyone on the Left can support a country like Israel.

I find it more flabbergasting that anyone on the Left can support clerical fascism a la Hamas and Hezbollah.

And Dert: Yeah, one jewish group and one individual pips up and naturally you assume that their voices swayed the Canadian govt. Those zionists must be mighty powerful folks, even those at the JDL, a marginalized, pathetic organization with 0 influence in Canada, and barely any in the Jewish Community. But hey, you actually no a Jew who disagrees with the ban, so everything you say must be true.

11:30 AM  
Blogger Gert said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

12:44 PM  
Blogger Terry Glavin said...

Gert writes: "Watch this being deleted too."

Ad so I delete, and I do not apologize for it, but I am sorry, Vildechaye, if you wanted to debate Gert. He does have a blog, where you can do that if you like, there.

1:30 PM  
Blogger vildechaye said...

No worries Terry. Sometimes what comes out is so ridiculous it makes me want to respond, other times just puke (or, delete, if it was my blog:)

Anyway, I had my fun, and i don't think I'll be paying a visit to Dert's blog anytime soon. I did visit another blog he frequents -- Jews Without Frontiers (Frontiers should be changed to Sense or Brains), and needless to say, wasn't impressed.

5:57 PM  
Blogger Kurt Langmann said...

Todd Snider wrote this for George Bush but every time I see it I think of George Galloway. Two sides of the same coin and apropos for GG's current troubles and strife:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U5t04YUt8Z8

11:43 PM  
Blogger SnoopyTheGoon said...

Don't Zionists get all the breaks? Hmm... and I thought they does. After all, "serious anti-Zionists carefully distinguish between Zionists and Jews". He he he.

3:43 AM  
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