Thursday, January 7, 2010

The Cost of Viva Palestina

Gary Fouse

George Galloway in "triumph"

And the cost.

Now that British parliamentarian George Galloway and his motley Viva Palestina convoy crew have finally entered Gaza with their supplies of who knows what for the Hamas, the dust appears to be settling (no pun intended) and perhaps we can analyze the costs of this mission.

Right now, Galloway, the pugnacious little banty rooster, is basking in the glory of the adulation of the people in Gaza, who seem to think that this absurd convoy will turn around their miserable existance. (That won't change until they reject the leadership of Hamas and stop shooting rockets into Israeli schoolyards.) I'll be willing to wager that many if not all of those trucks and ambulances that were delivered will be used by Hamas for terrorist purposes, perhaps to be rigged up with bombs to kill Israelis. We really don't know how much cash was handed over to Hamas to further their terrorist designs against Israel or if possibly, there were any weapons or bomb making equipment inside those convoys. We'll just have to trust Mr Galloway's word on that.

As for the convoy itself, it was a farcical joke worthy of Phileas Fogg as they were turned away by Egyptian authorities and forced to travel in a big circle through Jordan, Syria, then put the vehicles on a boat at Syria for a 20 hour voyage back to Egypt. Then came the stand-off at El Arish with VP members and Egyptian riot police first shoveling dust on each other then engaging in an all-out rock fight.

Meanwhile, shortly before the convoy was finally allowed to leave, Gazans and Egyptian police engaged in a similar battle at the Rafah border crossing. It turned deadly when an Egyptian guard was shot to death in the watch tower where he was situated.

If there is any justice in the world, there will be severe repercussions for this farce that turned into tragedy. While Galloway and his comrades celebrate, somewhere, an Egyptian family must bury its dead. I would be shocked if Egypt did not file a diplomatic protest with the UK over this entire episode.

Think about it. Here we have a British member of Parliament leading a rag-tag convoy to Gaza. Along the way, it engages in confrontations and a riot with Egyptian authorities resulting in arrests and injuries. Meanwhile, VP is tweeting their website back home and urging all their supporters to call Egyptian embassies and consulates worldwide to protest and demand that the convoy be allowed into Gaza. Finally, Galloway's waiting allies in Gaza engage in a similar battle with Egyptian border guards and a guard is shot to death from the Gazan side.

Folks, that is what they call a full-fledged diplomatic incident that should cause serious damage to the British-Egyptian relations. All because of George Galloway, member of British Parliament and his oversized ego.

And while they are at it, the Egyptians might file a diplomatic note to Washington that they are not too happy with President Obama's friends, Bill Ayres and Bernadine Dohrn, who days earlier, were leading protests in Cairo over Egypt's handling of the Gaza border issue.

But Ayres and Dohrn are small potatoes, two washed up ex-revolutionaries, now living in the cozy cocoon of academia as they attempt to recapture some of their past "glory". As for Galloway, he can enjoy his temporary glory now. Surely, a few dozen radicals will greet him as a conquering hero when he returns to Britain. I sense, however, that Galloway is transforming himself into a man without a country-unless he plans to retire to Gaza someday, which may eventually be his only option. One might naively hope, however, that he would stop to reflect on the cost of this latest fiasco.

George Galloway has blood on his hands.

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