British lawmaker barred from Canada

TORONTO (JTA)  – A controversial British lawmaker will not be allowed into Canada to deliver a series of anti-war speeches.

The Federal Court in Canada, ruling Monday on the upcoming visit by George Galloway, sided with the Canada Border Services Agency, which earlier this month deemed the outspoken parliamentarian inadmissible. The agency said Galloway was guilty of providing material support for terrorism. The court had considered an injunction from Galloway’s lawyers to allow him in the country.

The government’s allegation appeared to stem from the fact that Galloway made a $45,000 donation to the Hamas government in Gaza and helped deliver humanitarian goods to the coastal strip after Israel’s recent military offensive in the region.

Immigration Minister Jason Kenney refused to override the border agency’s finding.

Canada’s Jewish advocacy groups, which called Galloway a terrorist sympathizer for his support of Hamas and the Taliban, applauded the court ruling.

Galloway, who is in the United States on a speaking tour, was scheduled to speak Monday night in Toronto and later in three other Canadian cities. Organizers now say he will still speak at the events through video feeds.

The Canadian wing of the Jewish Defense League, which took credit for the initial decision to bar Galloway, has alleged his talks were not just a speaking junket but a fund-raising tour that would have benefited Hamas, which Canada bans as a terrorist organization.

The JDL cited a news release from Solidarity for Palestinian Human Rights, one of Galloway’s hosts, that said a Montreal event on Wednesday "will aim to raise additional funds for Galloway’s Gaza aid caravan."
 

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