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Why I Confronted George Galloway

Galloway refuses to recognise my national and civic identity. He denies my cultural existence.
Israeli Oxford student Jonathan Hunter makes a dramatic exit after telling off British MK George Galloway for being a racist

Israeli Oxford student Jonathan Hunter makes a dramatic exit after telling off British MK George Galloway for being a racist
Photo Credit: Oxford Union video screen capture

This opinion piece appeared first in Great Britain’s “Trending Central

I was one among dozens in February who packed the auditorium of Christ Church College, Oxford University to hear that circus act of a man, the Member of Parliament for Bradford West, George Galloway, debate the evils of ‘Zionist apartheid.’ His speech – littered with such witty remarks as ‘Israel is not kosher, it’s not even halal’ – was mostly met with laughter. After all, the man is a joke. But some jokes are offensive – others, racist.

Like many, I was left stunned by Galloway’s disgraceful actions. In walking out on my friend Eylon Aslan-Levy, Galloway confirmed what we had all thought about him for a very long time. As Eylon put it: “to refuse to talk to someone just because of their nationality is pure racism.”

The moment Hunter confronted Galloway

The moment Hunter confronted Galloway

Galloway is a man who gives speeches toHezbollah rallies in Beirut, who has interviewedMahmoud Ahmadinejad for Press TV – and of course, has rather disturbingly implied support for Bashar al-Assad. Yet he will refuse to have a constructive dialogue with a PPE undergraduate solely due to an accident of birth. Because he happens to hold a specific passport. Because his parents are different.

Galloway refuses to recognise my national and civic identity. He denies my cultural existence. In effect, like Hamas, he seeks the destruction of the State of Israel. This to me and many others is racism of the worst kind. I couldn’t just allow him to return to Oxford and pretend as if nothing happened last time – after all, he is notorious for denying some of his more outrageous statements (thank goodness for the internet).

By looking him in the eye and speaking to him in Hebrew, I wanted to show my fellow students that Galloway’s continuing behaviour is completely inexcusable.

And how does Galloway reply? By implying that I am a fascist, of course. By equating my holding of the flag of my homeland with English Defence League (EDL) thugs. By comparing Israel to apartheid South Africa. By comparing Zionism to Nazism. The usual rubbish. The standard anti-Zionist spiel.

So I’m a fascist? But George, you’re the one who addresses the fascists of Hezbollah at their anti-Semitic rallies. You’re the one who openly admired Saddam Hussein’s ‘courage.’ And don’t get me started on the Nazi comparison. Comparing the Jewish people to the perpetrators of their attempted destruction is a classic and recognised anti-Semitic trope.

It’s funny that Galloway almost soiled himself when I approached him – thinking there was a weapon under my sweater. His hands were visibly trembling. I don’t believe in violence against individuals – but it can be argued that those whom Galloway could count as fans most certainly do.

Galloway looks close to "losing it"

Galloway looks close to “losing it”

I need not elaborate that Israel is the only liberal democracy in the Middle East. I don’t need to remind anyone of the steps Israel has taken for peace in the last twenty years: Oslo, Camp David, unilateral withdrawals from Lebanon and Gaza, a settlement freeze. Above all, it is unnecessary to stress how Israelis (like me) continuously yearn for peace. I would have rather debated that with Galloway. He did not bother to hear what Eylon had to say last time. In a speech far better than anything that ‘hapless’ Member of Parliament could spout from his big mouth, Eylon magnificently argued the case for the establishment of a Palestinian state as part of a negotiated final-status agreement. That is the official policy of the current Israeli government – and nearly all governments preceding it since Oslo.

It is truly perverse that for its first event this term, a debating chamber internationally renowned for its respect for free speech invited a man who denies that right to others on the basis of their nationality. Galloway epitomises everything the Oxford Union stands against. It is disgraceful that he was invited. It is even more disgraceful that he was sycophantically advertised as being one of the ‘most impressive debaters in Britain.’ I don’t know any ‘impressive’ debaters who walk out on their opponents. And I wouldn’t dream of hosting him as a ‘guest of honour,’ especially in light of the offence he caused to the Oxford student community when he last visited.

But as an important disclaimer, I must stress that I don’t deny Galloway’s right to free speech. I stand for constructive dialogue with others. My mocking imitation of Galloway’s behaviour was a statement to all, that on the political issues which divide us most, both sides must be heard. One opinion must not silence another. This is what debate means – and the Oxford Union’s invitation to Galloway is a slap in the face for all those who believe in that principle.

Jonathan Hunter is a student at Oxford University and is now internationally renowned for giving George Galloway MP an earful

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17 Responses to “Why I Confronted George Galloway”

  1. Dan Silagi says:

    I am proud of you. I would have done the same.

  2. ChaimSzmidt says:

    Galloway, has long been a political laughing stock. He seeks publicity by being a sensationalist, he was expelled from Labor and had to start his own party which caters to the dregs of British society. It is a pity the press takes him seriously.

  3. Vardit Feldman says:

    You confronted the Hitler like character of 2013 Good for you!

  4. BashaKline says:

    Be proud Jonathan Hunter – be the Harry Potter in the Chamber of Secrets – unfortunately there is always a slime-ball to be party against Jews and we need people like you with defensive diatribe – keep up the good work!

  5. BashaKline says:

    ChaimSzmidt It is not the matter of the press taking galloway seriously, but the media considers hatred of Jews overrides rationale!

  6. Isadore says:

    Galloway, Galloway Galloway; what are you doing sitting on a chair in Oxford. You should be sitting on the loo; permanently because that’s what you’re full of.

  7. Michael Wilkinson says:

    by the way, what cultural existence are you talking about exactly? Your name is as English as it could be. Were your parents ashamed of being Jewish?

  8. You're as disgusting as Galloway! If you'd like Israel to disappear really quickly, start by boycotting facebook that In Bought an Israel-Based Data Analytics Startup. If your doctor ever suggest a pillcam as a diagnostic procedure, turn it down because it was developed in Israel. Lastly, you had better remove the Intel microchip from your computer because it was developed by four Israelis. Voila! Israel has now disappeared just for you. Bu-bye!

  9. You're as disgusting as Galloway! If you'd like Israel to disappear really quickly, start by boycotting facebook that In Bought an Israel-Based Data Analytics Startup. If your doctor ever suggest a pillcam as a diagnostic procedure, turn it down because it was developed in Israel. Lastly, you had better remove the Intel microchip from your computer because it was developed by four Israelis. Voila! Israel has now disappeared just for you. Bu-bye!

  10. Galloway's time shall surely come … when he has to stand (cringe?) in front of The Almighty – and with nowhere to run to.

  11. Naomi Geffen Goss says:

    I salute you, Jonthan Hunter, for your acumen and your courage. Thank you.

  12. He's debated plenty of Jews before. He does not reject your 'identity', just your views.

  13. You made a fool of yourself son. Pure and simple…..

  14. Abe Bird says:

    No, he just made fool of Gal-Oy-Vey. Clear and sharp …..

  15. Abe Bird says:

    No, Gal-Haw-Haw-way doesn't speak to Israel in principle…. He his Islamist and racist !

  16. Abe Bird says:

    You're just a typical pathetically neglected character, rather thinks himself as a freedom and justice fihgter, while you practically supporting Islamic racism against all non-Islamic peoples. Well, let alone well-known Islamic terrorists’ enthusiastic Galloway who embraces them, but what about poor wacko as you?
    Britain will dismantle before Israel, that for sure. You Muslims will sink Britan with your Mosques and Madrasas all over the Island. You’ll paint Britain in deep black and the English people will dismantle, shrunk, escape and slaughtered. This is your virtue, My Deer Muzlim !!!!

  17. Abe Bird , both claims are untrue and the second is libelous, withdraw it!

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Israeli Oxford student Jonathan Hunter makes a dramatic exit after telling off British MK George Galloway for being a racist

Galloway refuses to recognise my national and civic identity. He denies my cultural existence.

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