Why is Galloway in the US?

This is a guest post by Ben Cohen of Z Word

To my knowledge, no independent sightings have been confirmed, but according to his website, the pro-Hamas British MP George Galloway is currently on a speaking tour here in the US.

Back in March, Galloway was advised that he might be inadmissible to Canada because of “his self-confessed financing of Hamas, which, according to Canadian law, is very much a terrorist group.” And here is the text of that confession, delivered in Gaza on March 8th, when Galloway was heading what purported to be an aid convoy (he is now tussling – not for the first time – with the UK’s Charity Commission:)

We are giving you now 100 vehicles and all of the contents, and we make no apology for what I am about to say: We are giving them to the elected government of Palestine. Just in case the British government or the European Union want to face me in any court, let me tell them live on television: I personally am about to break the sanctions on the elected government of Palestine. Many of my friends have to give their cash to charities. By Allah, we carried a lot of cash here. You thought we were all fat. We are not fat. This is money that we have around our waists. And we have to give this… Some of my friends have to give this money to charities, and they will do this in private later this evening, because they need receipts and it’s not practical to do it here.

But I, now, here, on behalf of myself, my sister Yvonne Ridley, and the two Respect councillors – Muhammad Ishtiaq and Naim Khan – are giving three cars and 25,000 pounds in cash to Prime Minister Ismail Haniya. Here is the money. This is not charity. This is politics. The government of Palestine is the best people where this money is needed. We are giving this money now to the government of Palestine. If I could, I would give them 10 times, 100 times more. We are against this siege. We are opposing this siege. We are breaking this siege. We are breaking this siege.

Galloway’s remarks, delivered as he stood alongside Ismail Haniyeh, the Hamas premier of Gaza, confirmed his status as Europe’s leading parliamentary apologist for a regime which has brutally stifled internal Palestinian dissent with the same zeal that it has attacked Israel and rejected agreements signed with the Palestinian Authority. Given this extraordinary speech, I’m wondering whether there are grounds to question Galloway’s apparent presence in the US this week. Two questions come immediately to mind.

  • In official parlance, Hamas is designated by the US government as a “Foreign Terrorist Organization.” The US has adopted a wide range of measures to combat terrorism financing. Are foreign nationals who have provided money and material support to organizations which appear on the above list permitted to enter the US?
  • Foreign nationals who enter the US under the visa waiver scheme, which includes the UK, have to fill out Form I-94W. Assuming Galloway filled out this form, which box did he tick on question ‘C’, which asks about involvement with terrorist activities?

I’m just asking.