Long-time socialist MP George Galloway was not only a friend of Saddam Hussein’s. In fact he’s had a lot of friends at the top in the Islamic world. This is, after all, as we’ve noted, a guy whose own Respect Party – which he joined after being expelled from Labour – is, in columnist Nick Cohen’s words, an “alliance… between the Trotskyist far left and the Islamic far right.” It’s thanks to the Islamic far right that Galloway was returned repeatedly to the House of Commons from his Muslim-heavy constituencies in London and Bradford. In a private speech that came to light soon after the 2010 parliamentary election, he credited the pro-sharia Islamic Forum of Europe with playing “the decisive role” in his victory that year. Repeatedly, he’s made clear to Islamists around the world that the support and devotion is mutual.
For example, he’s hooked arms with the creeps of Hezbollah, insisting repeatedly that it isn’t and “has never been a terrorist organisation!” He’s been a reliable supporter of Hamas, one of whose leaders, Ismail Haniya, issued him his own Palestinian passport in 2009. He’s provided succor to the Assad regime in Syria, defending its occupation of Lebanon by saying that “Syrian troops in Lebanon maintain stability and protect the country from Israel.” He’s worked for Iran’s Press TV and stood up against criticism of Iran, rejecting any suggestion that it’s a dictatorship and routinely shrugged off its execution of gay people. His argument: those put to death for being gay aren’t being executed for their sexual orientation but for “rape” and other “sex crimes.” In any event, he’s maintained, Westerners are using Iran’s mistreatment of gays as a means of demonizing Iran and inviting war.
And he’s expressed eternal devotion to the Palestinians of Gaza, comparing them to the Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto – while likening their purported Israeli tormentors, of course, to the Nazis. Indeed, his denunciations of Israel have been as constant, and as passionately articulated, as his championing of oppressive Islamic regimes. In a 2014 speech, he pronounced Bradford an “Israeli-free zone”: “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…..We reject this illegal, barbarous, savage state that calls itself Israel. And you have to do the same.” Note not only the foul anti-Semitism but the outrageous assumption that, as a Member of Parliament, he had any power to make any such declaration on behalf of Britain’s fourth-largest conurbation. This is a man whose every instinct is that of a despot.
But as we’ll see tomorrow, the autocrats on Galloway’s buddy list aren’t exclusively Muslim.