“I am here to glorify the resistance, Hezbollah. I am here to glorify the leader, Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah.”
But why “glorify”? Could it be that Galloway has a cunning plan in mind? Namely, to provoke a prosecution under Section 1 the Terrorism Act 2006 for glorification of terrorism?
George loves a day in court, and this would be a no lose scenario for him – if acquitted, he can claim that a jury has vindicated his views. If found guilty, he can play the martyr to an oppressive government. Either way, he achieves apparent goal in life of hogging the media spotlight and playing to his imagined gallery of adoring fans.
This is one invitation that the authorities should decline. And, as it happens, he has probably over-estimated how easy it would be to prosecute. The legislation is sufficiently specific that it is unlikely it will ever be used to prosecute anyone, one reason it was ridiculous to introduce it in the first place.
Still, it’s worth just taking a second look at the object of Galloway’s idolisation. Hezbollah’s indiscriminate rocket attacks on Israeli cities have been widely reported.
Would he join Hezbollah in denying responsibility for the AMIA bombing – an attack on a Jewish cultural centre in Argentina in which 85 civilians were killed – despite the contrary opinion of Argentine and international law enforcement agencies?
In similar vein, Hezbollah’s TV station Al-Manar recently broadcast the old staple of fascist propaganda, the Protocols of the Elders of Zion and started the rumour that Jewish workers stayed away from the World Trade Centre on 9/11.
And what of the man Galloway is “here to glorify”, Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah? Consider his statement to the Lebanon Daily Star that: “If the Jews all gather in Israel, it will save us the trouble of going after them worldwide.”
Or that he said of a nail bomb attack in a Tel Aviv restaurant, which killed 11 civilians and horrifically wounded 60 more, “I cannot condemn this type of operation in occupied Palestine.” Meaning, of course, the entirety of Israel.
Inevitably, he is also a Holocaust denier. This is who George Galloway is “here to glorify”.
The actions of the Israeli government have rightly been condemned across the UK left. But the opposite of a bad Israeli war is not fascism. It is a just peace.
Galloway should bear in mind that there is another criminal offence that can be committed by those who keep this kind of company, and one that he would find considerably less palatable than the one he might have hoped for.