Gaza, Aid and the New Arab Convoy

British MP, Press TV regular and champion of the Palestinian cause George Galloway remembers telling a friend back in 1977 that Israel was a liability, a leech on the blood supply of the US and all countries that support it, and that one day the world would see.

Almost 35 years later and US General David Petraeus, in front of the Senate Armed Services Committee this week, used the exact same word to describe the state -- a day Galloway had long been waiting for.

Like Petraeus, Galloway believes that Israel, until the US actually uses real leverage against the Netanyahu government, will continue to work against American interests, and said as much at a press conference in central Beirut Tuesday."The realization is beginning to dawn that this Frankenstein monster of British creation called Israel is out of control," Galloway said.

"In the last two weeks the US has been embarrassed and insulted by the very people they are funding and now this has become a decisive moment for the US to make a decision on whether Israel can really act in its interest any more."

Galloway is of course referring to the latest settlement building debacle with the announcement that thousands of new houses will be built in occupied territories that coincided with the arrival of US Vice-President Biden in Tel Aviv, and the illegal use of British passports in the February Mossad hit in Dubai.

As I write this, British Foreign Secretary David Miliband is about to address the House of Commons over the reported expulsion of an Israel diplomat -- reportedly Mossad's London representative. US and UK relations with Israel haven't been quite so strained in living memory, and it seems judging by this latest inimical overture that the Middle East ally has pushed them to their limits.

Tuesday's press conference was a rallying of troops, or more precisely a rallying of Arab troops. "Who is more affected by Israel's actions than its Arab neighbors?" Galloway asked. "It is now time for you to stand up against Israel and for the Palestinian struggle.

"It's time for the Arab world to join this battle, to act as their own public opinion," Galloway said.

The British MP has launched the newest and possibly most important Gaza aid convoy to date. "Viva Palestina Arabiya," follows the lead of Viva Palestina UK, Ireland, US, Malaysia, and South Africa before it, and if it goes to plan will see tens of cargo ships setting sail from Turkey and docking at the Gaza harbor in May.

"The ships will be loaded this time not with bread or medicine, which is all that has been allowed in across the land borders, as if the Palestinians in Gaza were animals in a zoo to be fed and kept alive; this time the ships will be loaded with building materials to rebuild houses," Galloway said Tuesday.

With almost half a million Palestinians living in Lebanon and millions more across the Middle East -- none of whom are allowed to return home, many unable to gain citizenship in their host country and some of whom still unable to enjoy their basic human rights, the Arab aid convoy is more than a little overdue.