ANNA . a man not known for sitting on the fence. He passionately opposed the invasion of Iraq and now he feels that Hizbollah is justified in attacking Israel. The “Respect” M.P. for Bethnal Green is in our Central London studios. A very good eveninggood morning rather to you Mr Galloway.
Anna: How can you justify your support for Hizbollah and its leader Sheikh Hassen Nasrullah?
Galloway: What a preposterous way to introduce an item! What a preposterous first question! Twenty-four years ago, on the day my daughter was born and I have just celebrated her 24th birthday, I had to dash at the maternity to see giving birth, from a mass demonstration in London against the Israeli invasion and occupation of Lebanon. Israel has been invading and occupying Lebanon all of my 24 years of my daughter’s life. The Hezbollah are a prt of the Lebanese Resistance who are trying to drive, having successfully driven most Israelis from their land in 2000. Israel from the rest of their land and to get back those thousands Lebanese prisoners who are kidnapped by Israel under the term of their illegal occupation of Lebanon. It’s Israel that is invading Lebanon! It’s Israel that is attacking Lebanon, not Lebanon that’s attacking Israel! You’ve just been carrying a report “Ten Israeli Soldiers on the border getting ready to invade Lebanon, and you ask us to mourn that operation as if there were some kind of war crime! Israel is invading Lebanon and has killed 30 times
Anna: . (Interruption by Anna)
(Galloway does not stop) more Lebanese civilians than have died in Israel. So, it’s you who should be justifying the evident bias, which is written on every line of your face and is in every nuance of your voice and is loaded in every question that you ask.
Anna: Rightthe..you put your finger on the button, didn’t you when you said that the Hezbollah was set up back in the 1980s in order to remove every Israeli soldiers from Lebanese soil as YOU said had achieved that in 2000. This is a set back.
Galloway: No, they didn’t! This is a key point you are concealing from your viewers! Israel was forced out of MOST of South Lebanon in 2000! It still occupies a part of Lebanon since 2000
Anna: (Interruption by Anna).subject to this latest UN draft resolutions
(Galloway does not stop) Thousandsthousands of Lebanese prisoners have been kidnapped by Israel. Hezbollah
(Interruption by Anna who speaks at the same time as Mr. Galloway)I spoke a moment ago to the Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman who said that the three Lebanese (Galloway does not stop and speaks at the same time as the Broadcaster) and the Lebanese government want them to be released.
(Anna continues) who have beencaptured
(Galloway proceeds) No, no! Not those! These are not the prisoners!
(Anna keeps on talking) perhaps you would like to use that word
Galloway: No, oh, please! Have a slightly longer memory than 4 weeks. I’m talking about the thousands of prisoners taken during the Israeli occupation, illegal occupation of South Lebanon. These are the prisoners that have to be released in exchange of the Israeli soldiers that were captured in the beginning of this wave of the crisis.
Anna: Can I ask you about a report that is in today’s Sunday Telegraph, which says that Iran has given Hezbollah long range missiles capable of targeting any part of Israel. Iran, according to this Iranian MP who helped found Hezbollah has also said that Iran has given the organization, authorization rather, to target Tel Aviv. Can you blame Israel for wanting to destroy these missiles?
Galloway: America has given Israel missiles that can target not just every city in Lebanon, but every city in the Arab and Muslim world including Iran! Why should America be allowed to give long range missiles to Israel including hundreds of nuclear missiles, but
(Anna interrupts) Because it’s given it to a terrorist organization!
Galloway: But, they are not a terrorist organization! Only in the mind of Rupert Murdoch’s Sky and The Times and the .
(Anna interrupts) I wont, come on! I want to stop you there, Mr Galloway! Prescribed terrorist organization.
Galloway: They are not a terrorist organization! It’s Israel who is the terrorist
(Anna continues talking at the same time) One man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter. We know that perfectly well.
Galloway: (speaking at the same time) Precisely. Precisley.
Anna: (speaking at the same time) In most people’s eyes they are deemed to be
(Galloway keeps on talking) No, they are not! They are not!
(Anna continues her interruption) They had a choice, let’s understand thisthey have a choicelike the IRAto take politics!
Galloway: (speaking at the same time) No, no, no, they have nothing to do with the IRA! Listen Anna!
Anna: (not listening) I’m saying they have a choice to absorb the idea of politics. They have two Hezbollah Cabinet Ministers.
Galloway: Anna! You are right! Listen.
Anna: (keeps interrupting and talking at the same time)
Galloway: Are we going to shout upon each other? Anna! One man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter. You are totally wrong in saying that in most people’s eyes Hezbollah are terrorists. In most people’s eyes, Israel is a terrorist state! The fact that you cannot comprehend that fact that leads to the bias, which runs through all your reporting, and every question you’ve been asking me in that interview.
Anna: Hn hn! Can I ask you one question. I was relating to the IRA and Shin Fein who have decided to embrace politics. Hezbollah had the chance to embrace politics. They’ve already got two Cabinet ministers well respected in the South.
Galloway: They ARE the people of the South of Lebanon!
Anna: If you listen to me, I’m saying they’ve got two Cabinet Ministers already, they had a chance to do that, why did they need to capture and kill Israeli soldiers on the border.
Galloway: Because Israel occupied their country!
(Anna not listening and continues) Surelythat sets backtheir ambition to be a political inside a democratic Lebanon.
Galloway: Look, because Israel occupies their country and holds thousands of their compatriots as kidnapped hostages in their dungeons! It’s really very simple except if you think only in a clock that goes back four weeks. If you know, and you are old enough to know better that this origins of this conflict are not four weeks or four years or fourteen years but are decades all. You want people to think that the crisis started when the clock started ticking on Sky News.
Anna: I don’t, I don’t at all. I want to ask you one, I want to ask you one final question. Do you think that the the four weeks as we’ve seen that you’ve mention, the 28 days of this crisis, has set back Hezbollah’s ambitionambitions, not only on Israeli soldiers on the border
(Galloway tries to answer, but is stopped by Anna.)Hezbollah is winning the waryou’ve just reported
Let me finish! Let me finish! Would you mind let me finish, please! Not only on Israeli soldiers over the borders in sizable numbers but also there claims to be a good political organization to help a democratic Lebanese government with the Syrians who’ve also now left, an independent state. That’s also come to blows as well!
Galloway: What a silly question! What a silly person you are! Hezbolah is winning the war, you could see on the other half of the screen. Hezbollah is more populat today
Anna: (interrupts) That does not answer my question!
Galloway: Hezbollah is more popular today in Lebanon amongst Christians, amongst Sunnis, amongst Shiite, amongst all Arabs, amongst all Muslims that it has ever been! It’s Israel who’s lost the war, and Bush and Blair for politically organizing the war who’ve lost politically. This is a defeat of Bush and Blair and Israel. Everybody but you can see it!
Anna: OK. Let me separate out that question then. Is it a setback given that Hezbollah was set up in order to get Israeli soldiers off Lebanese soil, but there are now more Lebanese soldiers on Lebanese soil than there were 26 days ago?
Galloway: Well, they seem to be getting a bloody good hiding on the other side of the screen I am watching, May be you can’t see it, but I’m watching them getting a bloody good hiding! So, if that’s a success, I’m not sure what failure would look like! The reality is that this conflict would go on. The United Nations resolutions solve nothing! Gives Lebanon nothing! Gives prisoners in Israeli dungeons nothing! And as (Anne Clewd) my erstwhile colleague was just saying, Israel has just kidnapped even more Palestinian politicians, Cabinet Ministers, Members of Parliament, and thousands of others held in Israeli dungeons. This war will continue until the overall settlement is reached. That settlement must mean Israel withdrawal from all occupied territories that it currently hold since the war in 1967, the release of all political prisoners, and a state for the Palestinians with East Jerusalem as its Capital. No justice, no peace! You’re not going out as a newscaster in Jerusalem anytime soon, believe me.
Anna: Well, as usual it prompted a huge email response for and against you Mr Galloway, so we’ll leave it there. I have to say that some people might find it offensive when more families are mourning their dead to hear you say that it was a bloody good fight and so!
Galloway: You don’t give a damn! You don’t even know about the Palestinian families! You don’t even know that they exist! Tell me the name of one member of the seven members of the same family swatted on the beach in Gaza by an Israeli warship! You don’t even know their name, but you know the name of every Israeli soldier who’ve been taken prisoner in this conflict because you believe whether you know it or not that Israeli blood is more valuable than that the blood of Lebanese or Palestinian! That’s the truth! And the discerning of your viewers already know it!