George Galloway does debate with some Israelis

Respect MP George Galloway walked out of a debate at Christ Church college at Oxford University last night after being asked a question by an Israeli citizen. Galloway's response before walking out was "I don't debate Israelis".

Given that George Galloway has been trending today on Twitter, I gather many of you will have seen the video from last night of the MP for Bradford West refusing to debate a student, one Eylon Aslan-Levy, because he is an Israeli citizen.

Galloway stated very clearly: “I don’t debate with Israelis. I have been misled, sorry … I don’t recognise Israel and I don’t debate with Israelis.”

This morning he tweeted this:

[blackbirdpie url=”″]

But has Galloway always felt this way towards Israeli citizens?

Take Sheikh Raed Salah, for example. In 2012 Salah visited the UK to attend and host a number of pro-Palestine events. He was permitted to stay in the UK for six months and as an Israeli citizen did not need a passport to do so.

However the Home Secretary Theresa May saw fit to detain Salah in his hotel in London and then in an immigration centre for 21 days.

Later he won his application to be released on bail, no doubt causing embarrassment to May and her colleagues.

Before being arrested he was scheduled to “participate in a speaking tour with Jordanian Muslim Brotherhood figure Ahmed Nofal, Viva Palestina leader George Galloway and other radicals [as well as] speak at a meeting at the UK Parliament alongside British MPs.”

Despite having common ground, did Galloway gasp a sigh of relief for not having to share a platform with an Israeli citizen? No, he broadcast an interview with Salah’s lawyer, Farouq Bajwa, on his show for PressTV, where at he calls Salah “one of the more important figures in the entire Muslim world”.

Amazingly, Galloway demonstrates knowledge that Israel allows Salah to speak freely in universities across the country. He asks: “Why is the Sheikh able to speak freely in his own country, but not here in Britain?”

To which Bajwa replies:

“It’s a very good question and I’m afraid I don’t know the answer to that one, I can only speculate that the British government in this instance is trying to be more careful about Israel’s interests than Israel is itself.”

There is no confusion here, Galloway knows this is an Israeli citizen he is talking about here. Indeed George, clarifying what the nature of why Salah has been detained, says:

“And is this just for things that he has said? He hasn’t done anything wrong; he’s free to speak publicly in what they call Israel any day of the week.”

It should also be noted that Galloway sits on the advisory board with Salah for the Global March to Jerusalem. Respect, Galloway’s party, also called for urgent action after the arrest of Salah accusing the “ConDem government [of] hypocrisy of the worst kind”.

Finally, and as an aside, the Northern Islamic Movement in Israel, which Salah is head of, put out a statement after the death of bin Laden that said (via Google Translate):

“We in the Islamic Movement condemn the assassination operation against the sheikh, the martyr Osama Bin Laden, if [reports are] true, at the hands of the American security arms.

“The assassination, if true, proves collusion of mercenaries who have sold their consciences to cursed Satan.”

I make no judgement here about Palestine, Israel, or the arrest of Salah, nor on Galloway’s politics.

I point these things out to show how Galloway feels about other citizens of Israel who he agrees with, hopefully to shed light on why it is he felt it necessary to abandon a legitimate debate in Oxford last night.

Like this article? Left Foot Forward relies on support from readers to sustain our progressive journalism. Can you become a supporter for £5 a month?

15 Responses to “George Galloway does debate with some Israelis”

  1. Mick

    Antisemitism is startlingly common among the new radical Left, noticeable as they join forces with flavour-of-the-month ‘oppressed minority’ Muslims to attack both Israel and America. regardless, almost, that Obama’s in charge.

    Funny how so many in the peace and love left, especially on campus, can be so hateful and so blind to jihad.


    Left Wing Antisemitism Isn’t news:

    Labour MEPs antisemitic:

    Muslim Antisemitism and Israel:

    ‘Nazi Kikes Out Of Lebanon’:

  2. Mick

    ‘Before being arrested he was scheduled to “participate in a speaking tour with Jordanian Muslim Brotherhood figure Ahmed Nofal, Viva Palestina leader George Galloway and other radicals [as well as] speak at a meeting at the UK Parliament alongside British MPs.”’

    The Muslim Brotherhood is a well known terror organisation. Despite the Left’s pet black Obama employing many MB operatives in places like the White House and Homeland Security, their constitution promotes a global Islamic caliphate run only by Muslims under Sharia Law. And their dictatorships in places like Egypt are brutal.

    May was right in her actions and Galloway’s nothing but a treasonous Red … so-and-so.

  3. Richard Gadsden

    “the Left’s pet black” – that should be sufficient for this post to be recognised as racist.

  4. Mick

    And out come the names. It’s well known that during his campaign to get to office the first time, much was made by the left of his ethnicity.

  5. Mick

    …Oh, and given that Obama wrote crap like he felt a sense of ‘grievance’ against his mother’s race in his books, amongst other twaddle for which he’s been applauded by leftists, perhaps it doesn’t even matter what he’s referred to.

  6. Matthew Blott

    I agree, what a dick-headed thing to say.

  7. Matthew Blott

    Actually it does matter what he’s referred to. Unless you’re the sort of moron who thinks there’s nothing wrong with calling black people niggers – which, from the tone of your comments, you probably are.

  8. Newsbot9

    “Red”. Keep trying to link things which are disconnected. He’s a mild left winger on some issues, but as ever you smear the entire left with Respect’s terror-loving when they’re FAR from universally popular among the left.

  9. Mick

    And out come the playground hate. Typical of the Left, who also have no plans to combat any racism on Obama’s part.

    Or tackle the actual issues, it has to be said. But come on then Reds, let’s get the venom out the way….

  10. Mick

    Though if left wing pricks, to get an insult in myself, were to disengage mouth and re-engage brains, they would see that was an insult against them rather than Obama.

    Many leftists do indeed treat him as a kind of race crusader-type person.

  11. ugo17


  12. SimonD

    Despite what Mick Claims antisemitism is very rare on the left, and Galloway and his small organisation stand out as the exception, not the rule. Anti Zionism is a different thing altogether, even though many pro Zionists try to claim it is the same thing.

  13. Mick

    There is indeed much left wing antisemitism and I’ve heard much of it. It’s on the rise in Europe and following the rhetoric of the old blood libels about Jews doing nasty things to everyone else. Palestinian babies and things this time.

    It was the Right. Now…. “By the 21st century, labor-left anti-Semitism remained the primary conduit and motivator for antisemitic expressions in Europe.”

    …Not forgetting Islam I’d add.

  14. Mick

    …And for my brief on the Islam element, see my comment in here:

  15. Yossi,London

    As for george Runaway,I honestly think the man hasn’t got enough knowledge of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,he said that Israel is an apartheid state,is it really true ?
    Of course not,as the Israeli-Muslims have full & equal rights as the Israeli-jews,they vote,work and have equal rights as all citizens.
    Also Mr.Runaway said that Jews & Israelis are NOT the same,he also said he has no problem with the jews,which he called: The people of the book.
    These people lived in biblical times in the SAME state of Israel that he doesn’t recognise !!!
    This smells distinctively like anti-semitism masked arelys the new Anti-zionism !
    Also he says: the palestinians can’t vote ! WRONG,they can vote,and had voted in the election held in the Gaza strip -which ended in Hamas winning over the PLO !
    Mr.Galloway,do you really think that’s the way an MP should behave ?
    Not recognising Israel or debate with Israelis is something that is against the international ommunity’s recognition of the state of Israel,and you represent a country who again recognises Israel,surely you can see how ludicrous this is !?!
    The Palestinians are divided into two,just to update you sir,so the address to negotiation is not only the PLO but also HAMAS !
    A little knowledge is dangerous,you said it yourself…
    May god bless us al in peace,may the Israelis & Palestinians reach secure,genuine and real peace !

Leave a Reply