Viva Palestina convoy

By Sonja Karkar

Just when it seemed that the Viva Palestina convoy from London to Gaza had successfully completed its mission, a new development greeted the British MP George Galloway when he returned home after announcing yet another convoy to Gaza from the US leaving on 4 July. Now it seems that the British Charity Commission has frozen £100,000 of aid money raised for the suffering Palestinians in Gaza because it claims “concerns” over Viva Palestina’s structure and the million pounds raised for Gaza when it never sought charitable status in the first place. It was always clearly stated that each of the participants would bring their own vehicles, fill them with desperately needed goods via donations and raise their own money to help the Palestinians. It is no surprise that George Galloway MP is going to fight what is obviously an orchestrated campaign to thwart any further attempts to bring aid to Gaza. He very clearly points out in his letter, the Charity Commission’s extraordinary double standards in closing its eyes to the British Zionist Federation’s call in January for Britons to send “care packages. . . to our [ie Israeli] soldiers fighting on the front line in Gaza” through the charity Operation Wheelchairs Committee. A charity which
solicits donations for a foreign army that is attacking a defenceless people is reprehensible. One can only imagine the outrage if a Muslim charity had asked for care packages for our [ie Palestinian] fighters on the front line. More importantly, people everywhere should be asking questions about why any organisation – in this instance, the Charity Commission, but earlier the BBC for refusing to air an advert on aid for Gaza – would seek to interfere in transparent efforts that might bring relief to a people under siege?
(submitted by Ingrid B. Mork)

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