The Jewish community in Belfast, Northern Ireland is bracing for violent backlash as the city prepares for an appearance by radical British MP George Galloway on Saturday night.
Last month, Palestinian supporters smashed windows twice at the Belfast Hebrew Congregation following a pro-Palestinian demonstration in the city. Now, representatives for Galloway say the 1,000-seat Ulster Hall is sold out for the MP’s appearance, part of a nationwide speaking tour titled Just Say Naw.
The evening, which sounds more like a stand-up comedy show than a serious address about national politics, is ostensibly about Scotland’s referendum next month but the firebrand Galloway is certain to repeat his support for Hamas and critize Israel.
Galloway, who is currently under police investigation violating Britain’s racial vilification laws for declaring his region Bradford an “Israel-free zone,” routinely accuses Israel of “genocide” against the Palestinians and calls for “Palestine, Palestine to be free, from the river to the sea.”
At a meeting of Respect Party members earlier this month, Galloway said he has “declared Bradford an Israel-free zone.” “We don’t want any Israeli goods; we don’t want any Israeli services; we don’t want any Israeli academics coming to the university or the college.
“We don’t even want any Israeli tourists to come to Bradford even if any of them had thought of doing so.
“We reject this illegal, barbarous, savage state that calls itself Israel – and you have to do the same,” he said. Earlier, in July, Galloway told a rally outside the Israeli embassy in London that “it is torture for all of us to watch what is going (in Palestine),” and added that any ceasefire between Israel and the Palestinians is “not a ceasefire, but merely a pause in the (Israeli) killing (of Palestinians).
“The killing started long before (Operation Protective Edge), and will not stop until Palestine is free from the river to the sea,” Galloway told supporters.
It is not clear whether Galloway has instructed local hospitals to boycott Israeli medical devices, local pharmacies to boycott low-cost medicines produced in Israel or residents of Bradford to trash the Intel computer chips developed in Israel. There is no word on whether Galloway has thrown his mobile phone, with it’s Israeli-developed technology, in the rubbish.