24 March, 2009

It's Aboot Freedom!

This was thought provoking.

Apparently, this sitting member of British Parliament and noted anti-war speaker was banned from entering Canada. The reason? He "supports" Hamas. More specifically, he led a mission of volunteers into Gaza with relief material for the people there who were under 20+ days of bombardment and are now for all intents and purposes under siege and delivered those materials to whom? Oh yeah, the government that the people of Gaza elected to represent them: Hamas.

So as I gather, we now live in a world where Humanitarian Aid = Material Support for Terrorist Organizations. Did I mention that the Canadian minister who pushed for this is a big W supporter? I wonder if an ideologue who has a personal interest in all things anti-Hamas would have an ulterior motive in blocking an anti-war humanitarian who thinks we ought to work constructively in Israel/Palestine?

Now, I see why the ban held enough water with the label of "material support of a terrorist organization" and why that poses a security threat--knowing that Canada labels Hamas a terrorist group--but I still think this is silly. It's plausible that Galloway was attempting to draw out just this situation to point out the silliness of this thinking. He has said multiple times that he does not support Hamas, but that he supports the people of Gaza's right to elect their own representatives.

I think this is a great counter-point from Mr. Galloway--though perhaps a bit one-sided. So, here's a litte something about Jason Kenney.


higgy said...

Although I still think it's silly - Galloway likely could have avoided this had he distributed the aid himself (with his team), instead of giving it to Hamas. It seems like a small difference, but a highly symbolic one. This whole situation is based on 'principles' and symbolism anyway. Clearly his intent was to help the people of Gaza, not Hamas.

Cassady said...

Right, and I agree completely that he could have avoided it. He actually said in an interview something to the effect that it was infeasible to simply hand stuff out to the people who really need it and circumvent the government. I don't know that I totally buy that, but arguably the government would be the appropriate organization to go to for this kind of thing, and theoretically be best able to allocate those resources. Anyway, just thought it was an interesting standoff.