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(photo credit: AP)
The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) urged the Justice Department Sunday to investigate whether a US-based campaign is raising funds for "the purpose of providing material support to Hamas," and voiced concern about the fund raising activities of the campaign's leader, George Galloway, a member of the British Parliament.
The campaign, Viva Palestina US, is modeled after Mr. Galloway's European initiative, which delivered a convoy of vehicles - as well as a substantial amount of cash - to representatives of Hamas in Gaza in March 2009. Mr. Galloway, who plans to lead the Viva Palestina US convoy in July, has visited the US on several occasions in recent months to promote and raise funds for the upcoming convoy.
While the campaign's organizers claim that it intends to comply with US law and will deliver the money raised to a reception committee of NGOs in Gaza, in a letter to US Attorney General Eric H. Holder, Jr., ADL said "it is not verifiable that this 'committee' will function independently of the Hamas leadership in Gaza, and Galloway - who plans to lead the American convoy - has already demonstrated his willingness to directly support Hamas."
"We believe that the Justice Department should investigate reports of fundraising by MP Galloway and Viva Palestina US for the purpose of providing material support to Hamas," said Michael Salberg, ADL's International Affairs Director.
Both the United States and the European Union have designated Hamas as a terrorist organization.
Mr. Galloway is currently on another speaking tour in the US, and plans to visit California, Illinois, New Jersey, New York, Texas and Washington, DC between now and the end of June.
In May 2009, ADL wrote to Attorney General Holder to raise concerns about Mr. Galloway, Viva Palestina US and their activities.