As the Viva Palestina convoy makes its inexorable way towards Gaza no-one who feels the distress and sufferings of Gazans can object to any aid being sent by any organisation. 

But this convoy is political propaganda dressed up as humanitarian aid. No doubt most of those who have contributed are genuine in their concerns and cannot be criticised.
However, the three main political supporters of this convoy are none other than Yvonne Ridley, George Galloway and Tony Benn.
Let’s look at their views on the Israel/Palestine issue and what they have said about this convoy:

Yvonne Ridley


A Muslim convert, she currently works for Press TV and Iranian English language news channel and is a leading member of Free Gaza. She was given a passport by Ismael Haniyah and described as an ambassador for Palestine. In 2006 she expressed views which she described as “pretty much in line with that of Hamas” and described Israel as “that disgusting little watchdog of America that is festering in the Middle East”. She has also described the Respect Party, of which she is a prominent member, as a Zionist-free zone.
She has made such outrageous comments about the police that even George Galloway has distanced himself from them. She is openly supportive of terrorists around the globe such as the now dead Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and Chechen terrorists. 
In 2006 at the Al Quds rally she said it was “great to see the flags of Hizbollah flying outside this (US) embassy” in London. She endorses boycotts against Marks and Spencer in the belief that this somehow pays for Israeli bullets used against Palestinian innocents. She has similar views on Starbucks, thus revealing her anti-Jewish rather than anti-Zionist credentials. Presumably any company owned or run by Jews who may disagree with her own views should be boycotted.
Ridley clearly believes that any action against Israel is justified whilst any action taken by Israel in defence against such actions is not.

George Galloway


Trotskyite, alleged fan of Saddam Hussein and his regime (which he strenuously denied), Respect Party MP, Celebrity Big Brother contestant, demagogue – he would be entertaining if he wasn’t so dangerous. He is a strong supporter of Hizbollah and Sheik Nasrallah who he denies being terrorists, on the contrary, he considers Israel to be a terrorist state.  Thus he supports an openly anti-Semitic, Holocaust-denying organisation of the vilest kind whilst at the same time being on record as stating that the Holocaust was the greatest crime in history. Meanwhile he throws the word Zionist around as if it is cognate with terrorist. Galloway is viewed by many as being a clever manipulator of facts but like so many anti-Zionists, ignorant of history.
Galloway is combative and bullying in interviews. His technique is to belittle or patronise the interviewer and cover his tracks with bluster and demagoguery. His skills as a debater cannot be doubted. Pity he doesn’t use them for more worthy causes.

Tony Benn


Hardly needs an introduction as the doyen of the extreme left. Called in to give his blessing to the convoy he made his customary nasty views abundantly clear: He congratulated George Galloway and Yvonne Ridley as if they were the saviours of Gaza. He described Israel’s actions in Gaza as a “War of Aggression” carefully avoiding the fact that Israel sat on its hands for 3 years whilst 6000 rockets rained down on its territory and he casually accused Israel of war crimes without mentioning that Hamas is the war criminal for deliberately targeting civilians for the past 7 years – a clear and undeniable war crime whereas no incontrovertible evidence of war crimes has yet been proven against Israel.
He concluded with the ludicrous statement that if Israel tried to interfere with the convoy the British Navy, Air Force and Army should guarantee its passage! What is he on? Or has he finally gone completely ga-ga? He is now, as head of the Stop the War Coalition, proposing that Britain use military force against Israel if they deign to stop an aid convoy which is, in any case, going through Egypt.
This is the rhetoric of the demagogue at its most absurd and obscene.
It would be ironic in the extreme if the convoy tries to enter Gaza via Rafah and the Egyptians refuse entry. Maybe Hamas can smuggle it all in via their tunnels and sell it to their fellow citizens via Hamas-owned shops or come for it later and take it at gunpoint.
I hope the convoy arrives safely and that Gazans receive the aid. It will be a small welcome supplement to the aid that Israel pours in to the territory every day and which no-one ever reports. If you don’t believe it, look here :