One of the finest orators in the world today is the UK's fearless George Galloway MP. Yet, despite being in Sydney earlier this month and receiving an ecstatic reception at two packed venues, the mainstream media (apart from a 6:30am appearance on ABC Radio National* on July 4) seems to have ignored him.
Couldn't Fairfax have sent a reporter to interview him? What about ABC and SBS television? Where was his Q&A appearance? Talk about a lost opportunity!
Was it just ineptitude, or self-censorship on a grand scale? Who knows? If anyone can enlighten me on the matter, I'd be grateful.
All we have are a few, incomplete, amateur YouTube videos of Galloway's two speeches, but unfortunately no transcripts. To partially remedy this dearth of coverage, here at least is the inspiring coda to his first speech, delivered on July 3:
"Let me close with a reflection on Jerusalem. This is something sacred that too many people in this umma have forgotten. After the Gaza onslaught, Operation Cast Lead, in 2008-2009, when I was a hero breaking the siege on Gaza to some of the people who now insult me and accuse me because I've made a stand with Syria, when they were throwing flowers at me instead of stones and insults, I broke that siege on Gaza, not once, but 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 times. I broke that siege on Gaza, and I'm proud to have done so.
"In Gaza, I went to a destroyed ruin which had been absolutely eviscerated in an Israeli missile attack. Two missiles, one immediately after the other, had reduced this home literally to ash. Not even rubble, just ash. And there, in this slum which had been destroyed, I found a little girl looking like your little girls. 11-years-old, wearing a hijab. She had been staying with her grandmother and the missiles had not killed her but had killed her mother and her father and all 5 of her brothers. And there she was with her grandmother, looking through the ash, hoping to find something to keep from the family life she had had, and this is what she said to me: 'Where is this umma they teach about in school? Where is this umma they teach about in the mosque? Why did they leave us alone to face this? What did we do to deserve to be left alone to face this?' She repeated it twice, but the second time was to my back because I had no answer to her question.
"This umma, with its states and its kings and its presidents and its armies, its navies, its airforces, its trillions of dollars in gold and diamonds, couldn't lift a finger to come to the rescue of this little girl. But they have all the riches of Croesus to spend destroying Syria, destroying another Arab country while this little girl is left alone to face these trials, and they tell us how pious they are. They pray, O how they pray. They fast, though it doesn't show. They tell us how Sunni they are. They tell us how religious they are, how Muslim they are, whilst they cannot lift a finger to come to the rescue of Jerusalem, of al-Quds, of al-Aqsa, from the roof of which the Prophet himself ascended to the heavens and returned with the revelation. The Emir of Qatar goes shopping in Tel Aviv, whilst the country that's occupying al-Aqsa is preventing the faithful from praying there, is undermining the very foundation of al-Aqsa with their archaeology, desperate to find a connection to this piece of rock and so far, utterly and abysmally failing. How can it be possible for people who keep telling us how Muslim they are to even sleep at night whilst Jerusalem is in the hands of foreigners? How is it possible that they can sleep, and not just sleep, but sleep with the people who are holding Jerusalem in chains and in foreign occupation? Talk about sleeping with the enemy, they're belly-dancing for the people who are occupying Holy Jerusalem!
"Well, I know where I stand and have always stood. What I'm saying to you now, I would have said to you last year, 10 years ago, 20 years ago, 30 years ago, 40 years ago, and as long as God gives me breath I'll be saying it. The last words on my lips on this earth: God willing, we will be in Palestine. I'll never give up this struggle."
[*I'll transcribe and post this soon.]