George Galloway with Syria flag.
(photo credit: REUTERS/Bassam Khabieh)
LONDON – Anti-Israel MP George Galloway was accused of racism by a student
waving an Israeli flag at an event at Oxford University on Monday night, as the
controversial MP endured yet another turbulent night at the
During question time, following a speech Galloway delivered
at the university’s Student Union, Jonathan Hunter, 19, a second-year history
student at Brasenose College, confronted Galloway, accusing him of being a
The student was referencing an incident in February in which the
MP for Bradford West stormed out of a debate with a student after learning he
Galloway was widely criticized and accused of racism after
he told the student: “I don’t debate with Israelis,” before storming out of the
On Monday, speaking first in Hebrew, Hunter described his family
background and identified himself as Israeli.
Galloway said he felt
Asking Hunter to back off, he said he was “causing a lot of
Hunter pulled an Israeli flag from his shirt and turned to the MP
saying, “I think you did a lot of harm by not speaking to my friend Eylon
[Aslan-Levy, the student who had debated with Galloway in February] and not
having a constructive dialogue with him” before saying he did not have a
question for him “because I don’t debate with racists.”
Speaking to The
Jerusalem Post on Tuesday, Hunter said that while he recognizes Galloway’s right
to free speech and supports constructive dialogue, the MP denies his very
existence and is racist to the core.
“Mr. Galloway refuses to recognize
my national and civic identity, he denies my cultural existence,” Hunter said.
“In essence, like his pals in Hamas, he seeks the destruction of the State of
Israel. He is a vile racist of the worst kind.
I couldn’t just allow him
to return to Oxford and pretend as if nothing happened last time. By looking him
in the eye, and speaking to him in Hebrew, I wanted to show my fellow students
that Galloway’s continuing behavior is completely inexcusable.”
questioned why such a respected institution had invited Galloway to speak at
“It is truly perverse that for its first event this term, a debating
chamber internationally renowned for its love of free speech, invites a man who
denies that right to others on the basis of their nationality. Not only is
Galloway a racist, but he epitomizes everything the Oxford Union stands
against,” he said.
Galloway declined to comment or respond to the
accusation of racism.
In a visit to the Oxford Union last year, Galloway
was confronted by feminist protestors following his comments that the charges
brought against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in Sweden do not amount to
Galloway, who famously met with Saddam Hussein in 1994, was
expelled from the Labor Party in 2003 for calling former UK prime minister Tony
Blair a liar. He has paid homage to Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah and “the
resistance,” supported Syrian President Bashar Assad and donated money and
vehicles to Hamas.