Outspoken anti-war advocate, former British MP and fervent Palestine supporter George Galloway will finish up his pan-Canada speaking tour when he shares his ideas with an audience in Ottawa this afternoon. His hour or so long speech covers several topics, including free speech, ending the occupation in Afghanistan, and ending Zionist Apartheid in Israel.
Now, if you listen to his critics, like those who had him labeled a terrorist and barred from speaking, you would expect his speech to be full of hatred and racist diatribes spurring his listeners to violence. But, having seen him speak last night, most of what he delivers are rational arguments that present alternative viewpoints on the issues. (Full video to be uploaded soon)
One reason Galloway is not well liked in certain Canadian circles is his stance against the occupation of Afghanistan. He calls the efforts “doomed” and a “waste” of lives and treasure. The terms of withdrawal that we will eventually make, says Galloway, will be the same whether we leave right now, four years from now, or had we left five years ago, meaning we are not gaining anything by staying. In fact, Galloway iterates a point to which many agree, that we are only adding to the “swamp” of discontent in the Muslim world that fuels extremism, so the results of the occupation are having the opposite effect of the intended goals.
Perhaps the biggest threat Galloway’s speech poses is his contradiction to Zionist Israel’s PR campaign which paints Israel as the victim and Palestine as the terrorists, when the opposite more accurately represents the reality. The Palestinian people have been brutalized, subjugated and murdered for decades by religious extremists, and anyone who acknowledges this gets labeled an Anti-Semite.
Mr. Galloway is an excellent orator. Eloquent and well-informed. Having only seen him in clips, it was a great pleasure to see him speak in person. Many thanks to the Canadian Peace Alliance, Peace Alliance Winnipeg, and all for organizing this tour.