Galloway says he’ll sue Canada over Hamas label

TORONTO (JTA) — Former British lawmaker George Galloway has vowed to sue the Canadian government over invasion of privacy.

Speaking Sunday at a Toronto church to several hundred supporters, Galloway claimed his privacy was violated last year after he was banned by Canada’s pro-Israel government because officials in Ottawa alerted British newspapers in March 2009 that he would be denied entry because he supports the terrorist Palestinian organization Hamas.

Canada’s Federal Court ruled last week that the approach was improper.

Branding Galloway a Hamas supporter because he once delivered an aid convoy and cash to the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip was unfairly motivated by "antipathy to his political views," the court said, and showed "a flawed and overreaching interpretation of the standards under Canadian law for labeling someone as engaging in terrorism or being a member of a terrorist organization."

The court said Ottawa acted against Galloway despite a recommendation from Canada’s spy agency that he did not constitute a threat.

Following a lengthy interview by immigration officials over the weekend, Galloway was permitted to enter Canada.

At the Toronto church, Galloway repeated his oft-aired views that Jerusalem is being "ethnically cleansed" of Christian Arabs and Muslims, and that Palestinians see their former homes being "enjoyed by foreigners."

Canada, he said, is now seen as "no more than an embassy for [Israeli Prime Minister] Benjamin Netanyahu," and "a trumpet for the most extreme Israeli politicians."

Galloway also called for a one-state solution to the Israel-Palestinian problem.

Another harsh critic of Israel, Norman Finkelstein, is planning several cross-country speaking engagements in Canada later this month.
 

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