23 November '10
Former Respect Party MP and veteran Israel-basher George Galloway has a flair for a phrase. Years ago, he provoked a great deal of amusement and derision back in Blighty when, on a visit to Baghdad, he reportedly said to that old rogue Saddam Hussein “Sir, I salute your courage, your strength, your indefatigability."
More recently, on Ahmadinejad’s satellite propaganda channel Press TV Mr Galloway (pictured, pretty in pink on a reality “fly-on-the-wall” British television show in which, catlike, he lapped milk from a pretend saucer formed by the cupped hands of comely actress Rula Lenska) described Israel as “a terrorist gangster state” and a “miscreant, law-breaking rogue, war-launching, occupying state”. Of last May's flotilla incident he observed: “Israel went into international waters to give a message to Iran and Turkey they can do whatever they want because of US support”.
Now, following complaints, the broadcasting standards watchdog and media regulator Ofcom has ruled that Galloway, presenter of the weekly phone-in hour-long “Comment” show, repeatedly breached impartiality with remarks of that kind, that "could be interpreted as being pro-Palestinian and highly critical of the actions of the Israeli government and its military forces". Ofcom found that Galloway’s show did not adequately provide the Israeli viewpoint on the flotilla incident, since when opposing views were included the material was used only "to give the opportunity for the programme to further criticise the Israeli government".
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