It’s high time growing numbers of critics speak out forthrightly.
Israeli high crimes against peace are too egregious to ignore.
It’s essential to maintain a steady drumbeat of truth. It’s crucial to enlist growing numbers to demand accountability.
Israel’s 20% Arab population is effectively disenfranchised. Their fundamental rights are systematically denied.
Their few Knesset members are treated like potted plants. Like enemies of the state.
They’re scorned. They’re denounced. They’re persecuted. They’re treated like fifth column threats.
Occupied Palestinians face daily state terror. Gaza’s blockade remains despite repeated Israeli promises to ease things.
It’s invaded, bombed and shelled preemptively at Israel’s discretion.
Palestinians are wrongfully blamed for Israeli high crimes against peace. West Bank communities face multiple daily incursions.
Homes are ransacked. Property is damaged, destroyed or stolen. Families are terrorized. Children are traumatized. Dozens of lawless arrests are made.
Gazan fishermen are attacked at sea. Israel does so despite its Operation Protective Edge ceasefire agreement pledge not to do so.
Israeli promises aren’t worth the paper they’re written on. They’re systematically spurned. It works the same way every time. Rogue states operate this way.
Farmers are shot in their fields. Israeli border guards shoot Palestinian children for target practice.
Peaceful protesters are attacked with tear gas, stun grenades, batons, rubber-coated steel bullets and live fire.
Steven Salaita refused to be silent. He acted responsibly. Doing so cost him his tenured University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign American Indian Studies professorship.
His Twitter comments pulled no punches. They touched vital nerves.
He called Israel “a great example of how colonization impairs ethics and compels people to support shameful deeds in the name of atavistic ideals.”
He said “Hamas is the biggest red herring in American political discourse since Saddam’s ‘weapons of mass destruction.’ ”
Claiming “Hamas makes us do it…isn’t new,” he explained. “American settlers used (similar logic) in slaughtering and displacing Natives.”
“Forget biting the hand,” he said. “Israel just devoured Obama’s arm to the shoulder blade.”
It’s the only nation mass “murder(ing) (hundreds of Palestinian children) and insisting it is the victim.”
It’s gets away with murder and mass destruction. It does so because Western leaders able to make a difference do nothing.
They don’t intervene. They don’t give a damn about doing the right thing.
They support Israeli lawlessness. They back its genocidal high crimes. They ignore Palestinian rights. Israeli ones alone matter.
Few outspoken people anywhere match George Galloway. He’s a British politician/broadcaster/writer. He’s a Respect Party Bradford West MP.
He gained prominence in Scottish politics. In 1983, he became London-based War on Want charity general secretary.
He won a Labor party parliamentary seat the same year. He represented Glasgow Hillhead. He later represented its successor Glasgow Kelvin constituency.
He retained the seat until 2005. In October 2003, he was expelled from Labor for opposing Bush/Blair’s naked aggression on Iraq.
Shameless Labor leaders said he brought disrepute to Britain’s Labor party. At the time, he said he’d stand as an independent MP.
He “consider(ed) his position…” He “consult(ed) (anti-war) movement” members.
“I will definitely defend my position in parliament,” he said. “I am not leaving politics.”
He called his expulsion “a travesty of justice, a politically motivated kangaroo court. The verdict was written in advance.”
“It is clear now that Mr. Blair intends to go after” like-minded anti-war advocates. “His response to the disaster is to attack those who opposed” it.
In April, he said if he was “sacked,” what message will (British people) take about the nature of Mr. Blair’s regime from that?”
“If necessary I will defend the new Glasgow Central constituency on a platform of real Labor values, and I believe I shall win.”
In a 50-page deposition, he argued he was wrongfully singled out for punishment. He voiced legitimate criticisms.
Other Labor party members shared them. They included former cabinet members Robin Cook and Clare Short.
At the opening of proceedings against him, he called them a “political show trial.” He said it was more like how Saddam ran things than modern-day Britain.
Former Labor MP Tony Benn defended him. He said Blair described peace protesters disgracefully. He stressed they had “blood on their hands.”
“Serious things were said on both sides,” he added. Labor has no internal appeal process against expulsion.
Galloway was with Labor from age 13. He was saddened to leave party ranks. Labor would “rue the day” it expelled him, he said.
National constitutional committee panel chair Rose Burley issued a statement, saying:
“Following the case brought by the national executive committee of the Labour party to the national constitutional committee and after a two day hearing the unanimous decision of the panel of the national constitutional committee found four of the five charges brought against Mr Galloway proven and the decision of the panel was that Mr Galloway be expelled from membership of the Labour party forthwith.”
Stop The War coalition leaders called his expulsion an “absolute disgrace.”
Coalition convenor Lindsey German said he “told the truth before, during and after the war with Iraq, whereas Tony Blair has told nothing but lies.”
“It is disgraceful that the Labour party is penalizing (him) and giving Blair a standing ovation because that does not reflect the British people’s views.”
London Unison convenor George Martin said:
“This will drive more people away from the Labour party and will make it more difficult to maintain the link between the party and trade unions.”
Labor MP socialist campaign group members called for an emergency NEC meeting. They urged overturning “this contemptible decision and reinstat(ing) Galloway with immediate effect.”
Waging war on Iraq was illegal, Galloway stressed. He urged British troops to disobey “illegal orders.” He asked:
“Why don’t Arabs do something for the Iraqis? Where are the Arab armies? We wonder when the Arab leaders wake up? When are they going to stand by the Iraqi people?”
Galloway remains passionately anti-war. He’s unapologetic about where he stands.
In May 2005, he bested US senators on Capitol Hill. He exposed them. He embarrassed them. He made fools of them.
He gave far more than he took. He accused them of manufacturing “the mother of all smokescreens.”
He did so in refuting wrongful charges about profiting from Iraqi oil sales. He told Senate subcommittee members they conducted a “schoolboy howler” in investigating illicit oil sales.
They tried diverting attention from the aftermath of Bush/Blair’s Iraq aggression. He was powerfully defiant.
He told Republican subcommittee chairman Norm Coleman:
“I know that standards have slipped over the last few years in Washington, but for a lawyer you are remarkably cavalier with any idea of justice.”
“I am here today, but last week you already found me guilty.”
“You traduced my name around the world without ever having asked me a single question, without ever having contacted me, without ever having written to me or telephoned me, without any contact with me whatsoever.”
“And you call that justice.”
Senate subcommittee members targeted Galloway for his anti-war convictions. They had no evidence that he profited from Iraqi oil sales. None existed.
“What counts is not the names on the paper,” he said. “What counts is where’s the money, senator?”
“Who paid me money, senator? Who paid me hundreds of thousands of dollars?
“The answer to that is nobody. And if you had anybody who paid me a penny, you would have produced them here today.”
Senate subcommittee member lied. They claimed Galloway and former French interior minister Charles Pasqua got lucrative oil revenue payouts in return for demanding sanctions imposed on Iraq be loosened.
Galloway and Pasqua denied the accusation. Galloway said so-called documents used against them were “forged.” It’s a “proven fact,” he said.
Right-wing broadsheets published them. They did so to discredit Galloway.
He told Norm Coleman “(y)ou have nothing on me, senator, except my name on lists of names from Iraq, many of which have been drawn up after the installation of your puppet government in Baghdad.”
He assured senators he “never (got) a penny from an oil deal, a cake deal, a bread deal or from any other deal.”
At the same time, he attacked Bush/Blair’s naked aggression. The immorality of post-Gulf War sanctions. The unconscionable harm done to millions of Iraqis.
“Senator, in everything I said about Iraq, I turned out to be right and you turned out to be wrong,” he said.
Bush/Blair waged war based “on a pack of lies,” he stressed. He accused Congress having blood on its hands.
He opposed Saddam’s regime “when British British and American governments and businessmen were selling him guns and (poison) gas,” he said.
“I have a better record of opposition to Saddam Hussein than you do,” he stressed.
Galloway supports Palestinian rights. He’s forthrightly anti-Zionist. It’s a cancer harming Jews and non-Jews alike.
He was involved in Viva Palestina humanitarian aid missions. He’s a powerful speaker. The Spectator named him 2001 Debater of the Year.
He said Israeli products, academics and tourists aren’t welcome in his Bradford West district. He declared it an “Israeli-free zone.” Israelis aren’t wanted here, he stressed.
“We don’t want any Israeli goods. We don’t want any Israeli services. We don’t want any Israeli academics coming to the university or the college.”
“We don’t even want any Israeli tourists to come to Bradford, even if any of them had thought of doing so.”
In response to police questioning, he said:
“This is a monumental – and monumentally expensive – waste of police time set off by people who apparently find it excusable to incinerate innocent children and babies.”
“I will not suffer any attempts to have my freedom of speech curtailed and I am confident that at the end of this charade my right to speak the truth will be upheld.”
Daniel Taub is Israeli UK ambassador. Things escalated after he visited Bradford in mid-August. He held meetings with Jewish groups and prominent councillors.
He claimed Jewish community leaders and Israeli supporters invited him after Galloway said tourists weren’t welcome.
He tweeted a picture of himself holding an Israeli passport outside city hall. Another with an Israeli flag in Bradford’s Greengates area.
Bradford Council of Mosques secretary Zulfi Karim called his actions “deliberate(ly) provocati(ve).”
“For an ambassador to unfurl an Israeli flag by a Welcome to Bradford sign is a deliberate provocation and not the behaviour I would expect of an ambassador of one of the world’s most important countries,” he said.
He urged Galloway and Taub to stop “bring(ing) (their) politics to the streets of Bradford to create disharmony among our communities.”
Galloway urged Bradford’s council to table a no confidence motion against Labor leader Dave Green. He met with Taub at city hall. So did Conservative and Liberal Democrat members.
Green accused Galloway of using Israel’s Gaza war to benefit himself politically locally and internationally. In response, Galloway said:
“I think Labor’s open invitation that ‘Israelis are welcome in Bradford’ and the ambassador’s furtive visit ensured my re-election, no?”
In 2012, Galloway won Bradford West’s byelection overwhelmingly. At the time, he called his victory the “Bradford Spring.”
Separately on September 20, Labor candidate Vicky Kirby was suspended after using social media to criticize Israel. She justifiably called its regime “evil.”
She reportedly said
“(w)e invented Israel when saving them from Hitler, who now seems to be their teacher.”
“I will never forget, and I will make sure my kids teach their children how evil Israel is!”
“Apparently you can ask IS/ISIS/ISIL questions on ask.fm.”
“Anyone thought of asking them why they’re not attacking the real oppressors #Israel?”
Suspending Kirby didn’t surprise. Criticizing Israel is the third rail of Western politics. It’s a potential career ender for those who try.
Galloway is a notable exception. If enough other government representatives and aspirants followed his lead, things might change dramatically.
Israel high crimes would be highlighted. They wouldn’t fade from public attention.
Perhaps accountability would follow. Maybe long overdue justice owed Palestinians.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.” http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network. It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs.