Israeli student confronts anti-Israel MP Galloway at Oxford student union

Student references an incident in February in which the MP for Bradford West stormed out of a debate with a student after learning he was Israeli.

George Galloway with Syria flag (photo credit: REUTERS/Bassam Khabieh)
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 institution.
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 racist.
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 was Israeli.
Galloway was widely criticized and accused of racism after he told the student: “I don’t debate with Israelis,” before storming out of the room.
On Monday, speaking first in Hebrew, Hunter described his family background and identified himself as Israeli.
Galloway said he felt threatened.
Asking Hunter to back off, he said he was “causing a lot of harm.”
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.”
Hunter questioned why such a respected institution had invited Galloway to speak at all.
“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 rape.
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.