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The Truth behind Viva Palestina

The Truth behind Viva Palestina

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Published by Maldiniroso
Investigation Paper
Investigation Paper

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Categories:Types, Research, History
Published by: Maldiniroso on Dec 29, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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11/29/2012

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VIVA PALESTINA
An IPT Investigative Report
Contents
Overview .............................................................................................................................................. 2Financial Arrangement ...................................................................................................................... 6Viva Palestina Fundraisers & Events ................................................................................................ 7Coalitions with Other Organizations ............................................................................................ 14July 2009 Convoy: 24 Hours in Gaza ............................................................................................. 17New York City Involvement ............................................................................................................ 17Major Viva Palestina Players .......................................................................................................... 19Viva Palestina Members & Former Members .............................................................................. 22Convoy Difficulty ............................................................................................................................. 25More Convoys to Come? ................................................................................................................. 26Appendix ........................................................................................................................................... 30
 
 
The Investigative Project on Terrorism
Page | 2
Overview
Viva Palestina and its American affiliate, Viva Palestina USA, claim to be involved in providinghumanitarian donations to the Palestinian people. The operations of these two connectedorganizations, however, are clearly political in nature and have provided material andpropaganda support to Hamas, a designated Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO). Theleadership of the organizations, several of whom “cross-serve” as officials for both groups, haveacknowledged their political focus.“This is not charity,” head of Viva Palestina, and British MP George Galloway said in February,2009, as he held up a bag full of cash. “This is politics.” Galloway boasted that he was about to“break the sanctions on the elected government of Palestine” and “give the money to HamasPrime Minister Ismail Haniyeh.”
1
 Galloway says this does not make him a supporter of Hamas.
2
 Viva Palestina USA is best described as a fundraising project. The Illinois Coalition for Justice,Peace and the Environment (ICJPE) (an organization of which Viva Palestina is a member), in anundated 2009 posting, described Viva Palestina USA in this way: “Viva Palestina USA is not yetan organization, but is instead a project fundraising to collect medicine and medical supplies,vehicles and volunteers, and drive them into Gaza, Palestine in mid-July, 2009.”
3
 Viva Palestina originated in the United Kingdom in January 2009, with the stated purpose of sending a humanitarian convoy to Gaza. Viva Palestina USA was launched a few months later,in April.
4
Both versions carry the tag name, ‘A Lifeline From Britain (or USA) to Gaza.’ Bothare now under the umbrella of the original websitehttp://www.vivapalestina.org/ , and the U.S.branch also has its own website of http://www.vivapalestina-us.org.There are local offshoots as well, such ashttp://www.vivapalestina-us.org/californiaandhttp://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=86693806100.The vivapalestina-us website (http://www.vivapalestina-us.org
 
) was registered in May 2009 toFatima Mohammadi.The original Viva Palestina (UK) sent a convoy on February 14,
 
2009, traveling from the UnitedKingdom to Gaza. The convoy from the United States to Gaza departed on July 4th,
 
2009, withmost members returning around July 26
th
. A third joint, “international” convoy plans to leave
1
Video, George Galloway speech in Gaza, March 10, 2009, translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute(MEMRI),http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IYFGIbaabTU(accessed September 23, 2009) .
2
During a July 2, 2009 fundraiser in Overland Park, Kansas, Galloway said “I have never been a supporter of Hamas. I was with Arafat from the age of 23 and I was present in the hospital in Paris when he passed away. And Iremain loyal to his message until this day.”
3
Coalition for Justice, Peace and the Environment, undated 2009 posting,http://icjpe.org/organizations/?org-id=1326(accessed September 23, 2009).
4
Hector Carreon, “Viva Palestina USA aid convoy to Gaza announced,” April 8, 2009, La Voz de Aztlan,http://www.aztlan.net/viva_palestina_usa.htm(accessed September 23, 2009).

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