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George Galloway, in alarm, says: "What's that up your jumper?" As a proud Israeli Oxford student unfurls the Israeli flag.

Never one to leave a small disaster without turning it into a larger one, Galloway responded to Hunter’s display by telling the room that the Israeli flag has become the icon for England’s fascist front, after stating the last time he saw an Israeli flag was at a demonstration by the highly controversial English Defense League, on Saturday.

“When I learned Galloway was coming back to Oxford,” Hunter, a second year history student of Brasenose College, Oxford University, told The Jewish Press the day after the event, “I knew he should not get a clean ride after what happened last time.”

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Hunter and other pro-Israel Oxford students discussed what should be done.  Some wanted to interrupt Galloway’s speech, but Hunter said that would only diminish the message he was hoping to send.

“I unfurled the Israeli flag to show I exist, to proudly display my national identity,” Hunter explained.

Although Hunter was born in England, his mother is Israeli, and therefore he has Israeli citizenship..  She was born in Beer Sheva.  And although Hunter’s father is not Israeli, the rest of his father’s family has moved to Israel.

In an email from England, Eylon Aslan-Levy, the Oxford student who inspired Hunter’s dramatic – yet dignified – display of nationalism, responded to our request for comment with this: “I’m tremendously proud of Jonathan for having the courage to stand up to that odious racist, especially when other students gave him an undeservedly warm welcome back to Oxford.”

Jonathan Hunter was told that Galloway referred to the Israeli flag as a fascist icon after his own walkout.  When asked for his response, Hunter said, “I know, he was essentially saying that all Israelis are fascists. He equates Zionism with Fascism.”

“You know, there is a part of Galloway’s speech that was not captured on video,” Hunter confided to The Jewish Press, “it was later, after I left. Galloway described the Israeli presence beyond the 1949 Armistice Line as equivalent to a Nazi occupation of Great Britain.”

Oh, and in other news from Monday night’s event, the news Galloway surely hoped would be the big takeaway: Galloway announced he is running for mayor of London in 2016, according to the Oxford Student Liveblog of the event.

Maybe that’s Galloway’s real beef with Israel.  It isn’t that the Israelis have “stolen” anyone’s land, it’s that the Israelis keep stealing Galloway’s headlines.  Well, here’s one more.

Again, according to the Oxford Student Liveblog, after Galloway threw in his hat for the London mayor’s race during his talk, Eylon Aslan-Levy (@Eylon_AL) tweeted a response to the announcement: “In which case, I’m considering a run too, if only to knock him out of the mayoral debates.”

Gotta love those proud Zionist Oxford men! But shame on those Oxford students for applauding Galloway’s description of the Israeli flag as a fascist symbol.

UPDATEAfter a call for correction to the Oxford Union was made by The Jewish Press, the president of the Oxford debating society agreed to correct the inaccurate description provided for the posted YouTube video of Israeli student Jonathan Hunter’s exchange with Galloway.  The description falsely states that “George Galloway is accused of being a racist as an Israeli student interrupts his speech.” In fact, as The Jewish Press pointed out on the site,

The description of this video is INCORRECT. Why did the Oxford Union claim the Israeli student interrupted Galloway’s speech? Surely they knew, as did everyone in the room, that Galloway had finished speaking and the Israeli student, Jonathan Hunter, made his statement during the Question and Answer portion.

We’ll have to check to see if the description of the video is corrected, as promised, on Wednesday morning, October 17.

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Lori Lowenthal Marcus is a contributor to the JewishPress.com. A graduate of Harvard Law School, she previously practiced First Amendment law and taught in Philadelphia-area graduate and law schools. You can reach her by email: Lori@JewishPressOnline.com

34 COMMENTS

  1. I am so proud of this young man: Zionism is NOT RACISM: MR GALLOWAY IS A RACIST ANTISEMITE: I support Israel as I am Jewish and that’s not going to change: ever.  I have been threatened, followed, only because I am Jewish and some think an easy target as a woman: bullies are cowards, afraid of truth and any difference of opinion.  Israel stands alone among enemies: this is not paranoia, this is reality of daily threats, violence and unjust hate-mongering.

  2. The majority of the Brits don’t like Galloway. They know he’s an idiot so he goes to the ones who’ll accept his diatribe…..the Muslims. Galloway cries out to be accepted and they hear him.

  3. The British joke about Jews is: "One should not hate Jews …… more than necessary." Let's face it folks, the British are (yes, with exceptions) some of the biggest anti-Semites on the planet. Don't believe it? Consider their actions over the last century. They reneged on the Balfour Declaration by giving 70% of Palestine to create Jordan – but refusing to give any land to the Jews to create a Jewish state, then issued White Papers to prevent Jews from immigrating to Palestine despite Hitler's threats against the Jewish people, refused to bomb rail lines or death camps during the Holocaust, then shamefully put survivors in DP camps after the war, then embargoed and confiscated weapons needed by Jews to defend themselves from the Arab states arrayed to annihilate Israel and drive the Jews into the sea, allowed active duty British Generals to serve as the senior commanders of the Jordanian Army when the Arabs attacked Israel in 1948 (yes, it's true, you can look it up), was one of only 2 countries in the world to recognize Jordan's annexation of the West Bank, and have continued their proud tradition of hatred towards Jews in the persona of such leading British citizens like Galloway, Catherine Ashton, Roger Waters, etc., who are embraced by such esteemed British institutions as Oxford. As far as I'm concerned, Israel and Jews in general should publically call the Brits (like this young man) every time they engage in anti-Semetic behavior.

  4. Sadly, antisemitism is rampant in Great Britain. We need to open our mouths and encourage our friends to join us in boycotting ignorants such as Roger Waters, Stephen Hawkings (who refuses to return the Intel chip that runs his chair to Israel, where it was invented) and the likes of Galloway. Only then, when they are discredited from their professions, will we get our point across.

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