Earlier this week, the Guardian ran a friendly piece on Viva Palestina’s difficulties, which arise from Galloway’s decision to work with the murderous Syrian regime in bringing the convoy through Syria. Following a certain amount of outrage in the comments section, the editor of the Guardian’s The Northerner blog, Martin Wainwright, intervened to say:
Appreciating how strongly people feel, may I just appeal for as much recognition of opponents’ bona fides as possible and for the calm style which actually is much more persuasive to the uncertain than entrenched positions. Sorry if I sound a bit schoolmasterly, but reader involvement is the glory of modern journalism and we are particularly aware of that, and proud of it, on the N.
Among those who have, erm, reservations about Viva Palestina are the Hamas supporters of the Jordanian Lifeline Committee Chairman, who have organised their own Ansar II convoy leaving from Jordan to Gaza on the 18th May. Over to its spokesman, Wael As-Sakka:
Yes Viva Palestina did approach us but only last week asking if they could join the Ansar convoy. As we explained to Mr Kevin Ovenden we have already arranged the logistics of our convoy which included sending detailed information to the Jordanian and Egyptian authorities so this unfortunately will not be possible.
In addition, events in Syria is a very important matter on the public agenda in Jordan and the convoy travelling through Syria would be regarded by the majority of the Jordanian population as cooperation with the Syrian regime, legitimising crimes committed against its people.
This situation would complicate cooperation with any convoy that might be regarded as helping or being close to the Syrian regime. This is particularly important for the Jordanian Lifeline Committee that aims to break the siege on Gaza and support the resistance of the Palestinian people and so do not wish to be involved in any political conflicts in the region in any form.
I’m assuming that the money on offer from the Assad family is just too good to turn down.
Still, we should all recognise Galloway’s “bona fides”, right?