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December 29, 2009 Special Dispatch No. 2720

Al-Jazeera, Hamas TV Interview Former British MP George Galloway; Viva Palestina's 'Lifeline 3' Convoy Meets with Hamas Rep and Rally Calling for Jihad - As U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee Chairman Calls For Investigating Viva Palestina's Finances

December 29, 2009
Palestine | Special Dispatch No. 2720

Viva Palestina was founded in January 2009 by a group that included British MP George Galloway, and it has branches in both the U.S. and the U.K. From late March through early July, Galloway toured multiple U.S. cities and college campuses in order to raise money and promote Viva Palestina’s July Gaza convoy. Galloway also attempted to take the tour into Canada, but was denied entrance.[1]

On December 1, 2009, Chairman of the House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee's Subcommittee on Terrorism, Nonproliferation, and Trade, Rep. Brad Sherman, sent a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder asking the Department of Justice to investigate whether Viva Palestina funds were being funneled to Hamas.

Following are excerpts from various television reports on Viva Palestina's "Lifeline 3" convoy to Gaza, as well as from interviews with George Galloway from the Middle East. The reports and interviews aired on Al-Aqsa TV and Al-Jazeera TV over the past week.

Al-Jazeera TV, 12/22/2009

Former British MP George Galloway: "I believe that Hizbullah is a resistance movement, and that Nasrallah and all the resistance forces in the Palestinian revolution are a source of pride to all the Arabs, from Marrakesh to Bahrain. Indeed, people have pride in them, even when they do not have pride in their own governments. The children of the Intifada, the young men of the Iraqi resistance, the young men of the Lebanese resistance – and the women, for that matter – are a source of pride for all the freedom-loving people in the world.

[...]

"For 25 years, I used to pass the parliament room in which Sykes and Picot sat down to draw these maps to keep the Arabs divided and weak, the better to steal their wealth. Even Sykes and Picot could not have dreamt that almost 100 years later, the scheme, which they made over a cup of tea, would still be in existence, that these borders would have become sacred, that people would fight over these borders, and that the Arabs would remain divided and weak, the better for the others to steal their resources.

[...]

"Two of the Arab world's beautiful daughters, Baghdad and Jerusalem, are in the hands of foreigners, to do with as they will. By Allah, the Arabs are in a very bad shape. They have everything: Oil, gas, water, all this land, 300 million people, one language, one religion, one God, one culture. The Arabs should be a superpower in the world. Nobody should be able to ignore the Arabs. Everyone should be saluting the Arabs in respect. But look what we have instead."[...]

Al-Aqsa TV, 12/22/2009

Former British MP George Galloway: "Allah willing, one day, we will be together. To victory, to victory, to Jerusalem. Viva Palestina."

[...]

Hamas Deputy Leader Musa Abu Marzouk: "In this convoy, there are people of more than 17 nationalities, who have joined it on its way to Gaza. We salute Dr. Manayas, the deputy of Mahathir Mohamad from Malaysia, and we salute the Viva Palestine organization in the U.S., the Viva Palestine organization in Malaysia, and another Viva Palestine organization that will be established, Allah willing, in South Africa."[...]

Al-Jazeera TV, 12/21/2009

Hamas Representative in Lebanon Osama Hamdan: "At other stops on your way, you might face pressure and attempts to prevent the convoy from moving on. You should draw strength to continue from here, where you are welcome." [...]

Al-Aqsa TV, 12/27/2009

A welcoming rally for the convoy in Aqaba, Jordan

Speaker: "Allah is our goal."

Crowds: "Allah is our goal."

Speaker: "The Prophet Muhammad is our leader."

Crowds: "The Prophet Muhammad is our leader."

Speaker: "The Koran is our constitution."

Crowds: "The Koran is our constitution."

Speaker: "Jihad is our path."

Crowds: "Jihad is our path."

Speaker: "Death for the sake of Allah is our most exalted desire."

Crowds: "Death for the sake of Allah is our most exalted desire."

[...]

Speaker: "Oh Gaza of Haniyah and Al-Zahhar, oh Gaza of Mash'al, turn the land under their feet to fire, and make the oceans burn around them."

"Oh Gaza of Hamas, all the people bear witness on your behalf, and have elevated you above their heads. If those close to you have denied your rights, foreigners from afar have borne witness on your behalf. They have become a part of us, and we consider them to be of our own. We have a debt of gratitude to them.

[...]

"Our brothers in Gaza, oh the apple of our eyes, you are a light that has spread to all corners of the universe, and has shown the path of resistance to all the mujahideen. Oh disciples of Abdallah Azzam..."

Announcer: "Say 'Allah Akbar.'"

Crowds: "Allah Akbar."

Announcer: "Say 'Allah Akbar.'"

Crowds: "Allah Akbar."

Announcer: "Say 'Allah Akbar.'"

Crowds: "Allah Akbar."

Announcer: "Say 'Allah Akbar.'"

Crowds: "Allah Akbar."

Speaker: "Oh disciples of Abdallah Azzam, oh soldiers of the Al-Qassam [Brigades], oh brothers of Al-Rantisi and Yassin, oh brothers of Sallah Shehada and Yahya 'Ayyash, today we are all with you, on the first anniversary of your victory, and your steadfastness in the Furqan War. We ask Allah to let us gather in the years to come to mark new events, new battles, which will fill us with the spirit of the Yarmouk, Hittin, and 'Ein Jalout [battles].

"Our beloved in the Lifeline 3 convoy – we are grateful to you."


Endnote:

[1] According to a March 20, 2009 report in The Guardian, Galloway was "deemed inadmissible on national security grounds and would not be allowed into the country." http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2009/mar/20/george-galloway-banned-canada.

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