Friday, April 3, 2009

George Galloway vs. Ottawa

Well quel suprise, the Stephen Harper Thought Police are at it again. There's a Scottish politician, George Galloway, who was supposed to speak in Canada this week about war prevention and the Gaza bombardment. However, he has been banned from entering this country by the federal government, because he gave medical supplies, food, and clothing to the Palestinian people, via Hamas. As I'm sure you know, Hamas is the legitimately elected government of Palestine, but it's also an official terrorist group, according to many countries. Because of this, Mr. Galloway has been branded a terrorist sympathizer, despite the fact that he has no criminal record. The problem with this view, is that it bears no resemblance to reality.

First of all, it's completely out of step with the attitudes that the rest of the world is having about Hamas, these days. So many governments around the world are supporting peace talks with Hamas, including certain elements within Israel, and the U.S. Government -- which has previously been Pro-Israel at all costs. Further, Galloway's views are hardly new -- he was thrown out of the British Labour Party because of his opposition to the Iraq invasion -- but even in the most tyrannical days of George W. Bush's rule he was allowed to spread his views in America. In fact, Mr. Galloway's current speaking tour includes the U.S. Presumably they would have arrested him if they thought his humanitarian acts were really sympathizing with terrorists, yet he is still a free man. Gee, I wonder what that means?

The second issue is one of fairness and honesty, in regards to the Gaza Strip. As I've said before, I freely admit that Hamas isn't exactly a group of angels, but realistically they just aren't that much of a threat to Israel. I've never heard of them firing anything larger than a couple of small rockets, whereas during the Gaza skirmish alone Israel bombed them with pretty much anything they could get their hands on -- including illegal chemical weapons. Some of Israel's front line soldiers have recently revealed a chilling willingness on the military's part to shoot unarmed civilians for no reason, and ransack their homes. There are even prominent members of Israel's government who have said that it would be a good idea to fire a nuclear bomb into Palestine -- the majority of which wants peace, I might add. So if Hamas is considered a terrorist body, then why not the government and military of Israel, which is clearly capable of doing much more damage?

Further, an Ontario union leader recently got heat for proposing a boycott on Israeli scientists and academics speaking in our universities, unless they denounce Israel's actions -- this was called Anti-Semitic by many Pro-Israel groups, and thus was dropped. So why isn't blocking Mr. Galloway considered Anti-Palestine? Also, why does the government ostracize Hamas, yet tolerate the Jewish Defense League, a terrorist group operating in Canada, known to stage bombings and assassinations -- and a group that is quite glad to see Galloway silenced, I might add.

Typically, the Conservative government and its supporters deny that this is an attack on free speech, but as you can see I strongly disagree. I'm also not at all surprised, because this has been typical business for Emperor Harper from the beginning: bully, vilify, and ultimately silence anyone who disagrees with you, no matter what. Not only that, but this is yet another example of the Harper cabinet completely ignoring what the rest of the world is doing, and just continuing with policies that have failed several times over. Mr. Harper: there is a big difference between marching to your own drum, and walking off of a cliff that everyone else has the good sense to avoid. That's it for me.

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