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George Galloway, Purim and the Legacy of Amalek

Friday, February 22nd, 2013

It’s all over my Facebook news feed and has invaded YouTube like a plague. People posting the same one minute video over and over again. Unabashed and unrepentant anti-Semite, lover of all anti-American and anti-Israel tyrants, in George Galloway walking out of what was supposed to be a debate at Oxford University with a Jewish student who was originally from Israel. Galloway was not informed that the student, who had an unmistakably British accent, was originally from Israel but he did know that the student was Jewish. The fact that Galloway agreed to debate a Jew to begin with should have been the shocking part.

Throughout his career as a British MP, Galloway has gone out of his way, whether intentionally or not, to further the case that anti-Zionism is just a thinly veiled formed of anti-Semitism. That the old and tired line of “I’m not against Jews…I’m against Zionism and the apartheid state of Israel” just doesn’t fly. It’s either the sentiment of a complete ignoramus at best or a Jew-hater at worst. More often than not, it ends up being the latter.

Since were on the topic of his ‘outlandish behavior’, Galloway has done everything from: praising Hezbollah and Hamas—even requesting Palestinian citizenship from Hamas—to openly supporting Saddam Hussein during both Gulf Wars. From suggesting that Tony Blair be put in front of the International Criminal Court at the Hague and being especially supportive when Saddam was lobbing rockets at Tel Aviv, to being an ardent supporter of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in Iran and the Assad regime in Syria.

But he has never uttered these words…at least not with a video camera present: “I will not debate an Israeli”.

So while George Galloway’s sentiments shouldn’t come as a surprise to us, one thing we as Jews should be taking note of is that this happened right before the holiday of Purim. Purim is the story of how a man by the name of Haman wanted nothing more than to wipe out the Jewish people from existence, and yet was undone by the very plot he was attempting to hatch. This Haman was a direct descendant of Amalek.

Amalek is the eternal and perpetual enemy of the Jewish people. He hates us for no other reason than our very being. And it’s not merely on this planet. If all 14 million of us got on a spaceship and moved to the Moon, he’d follow us there and accuse us of occupying the moon, right before he attempts to wipe us out. We exist; therefore he hates us. We have survived; therefore he still plots against us. We have fought him at various points on the space-time continuum; therefore his mere essence continues to haunt us. While one of the Ten Commandments instructs us not to kill another human being…there is also a strict and direct commandment, out of our 613, to remember and wipe-out Amalek wherever and whenever we come across him.

Unfortunately, these days it’s hard to identify who Amalek is. For example, many great rabbis of the 20th century identified the Nazis to be Amalek. Stalin, who actually died on Purim, was thought to be Amalek. But besides being a group of people or one man, it can be an idea, an abstract entity, a movement, all of the above…and lastly, ourselves—the Jewish people—can be Amalek. We can be our own worst enemy. We can hate ourselves for no rational or logical reason. In this case, we have an example of something that has in fact become an abstract entity.

Over the past two decades, we have witnessed the undue courtship and subsequent marriage of the international leftist movement and fundamentalist Islam. Two groups, who couldn’t be more different in terms of their values, yet who have been united by a common enemy. “Western capitalism and Imperialism”. And since both of these groups have a virulent hatred of America, in their eyes, Israel is nothing more than America’s bidder in the Middle East. The former claims that it wants nothing more than “freedom” for people of all persuasions and socio-economic backgrounds…especially freedom from colonization and oppression. The latter wants nothing more than to colonize and convert the entire world to its ideology, this time more so via silent cultural usurpation and less by the sword. Whether they realize it or not, the majority of the left serve as ‘useful idiots’ of the Islamist movement.

British MP Storming Out: ‘I Don’t Debate with Israelis’ (Video)

Friday, February 22nd, 2013

George Galloway, the British member of Parliament who represents the district of West Bradford in Northern England, stormed out of the room at Oxford University last night in the middle of a debate when he learned that his opponent – a student who had just begun speaking – was Israeli.

The topic being debated at Oxford’s Christ Church College was: “Israel Should Withdraw Immediately From the West Bank.”

Galloway had already spoken in favor of the motion when the student who opposed the motion, Eylon Aslan-Levy, began to speak.  Aslan-Levy made it clear that his disagreement with the motion was not the question of withdrawal, as he favors an “end to the Occupation.”

But what Aslan-Levy pointed out was the critical word in the debate topic, “whether Israel should withdraw immediately. Overnight. Unilaterally. Without any guarantees from the Palestinians to match such dramatic concessions by calling an end to this century-old conflict.”

The student went on to explain how everyone should have learned a lesson from the Disengagement – the unilateral withdrawal of all Israelis, living and dead, from Gaza in 2005 – which Aslan-Levy said he supported at the time.  He explained why:

An immediate withdrawal denies Israelis and Palestinians the two essential goods that a peace treaty would secure: firstly, a framework for safety, security and cooperation; secondly, binding promises by each party to irrevocably terminate all claims or states of belligerency against the other. To forego the one chance to sign for peace on the dotted line would leave the region vulnerable, insecure, and in a perpetual state of war.

This is the lesson from the disengagement from Gaza in 2005, which I supported – out of the same misguided faith that the cards were in Israel’s hands. Israel uprooted over 8,000 settlers and evacuated the military – but without a pledge from the Palestinians not to fire rockets at Israeli towns over the very border to which Israel had just withdrawn. We wanted peace: we got war. We mustn’t make the same mistake again.

As the student uttered those words, Galloway shouted out: “You said we!  Are you Israeli?”

When Aslan-Levy said he was, Galloway responded, “I’ve been misled, sorry. I don’t recognize Israel and I don’t debate with Israelis,” and then flounced out of the room, followed by his wife.

The video of the end of the exchange shows a mixed reaction by students who were in the audience – some laughing, some clapping – it is unclear if they were clapping because Galloway stuck to his “principles” or because Aslan-Levy maintained his composure.

Galloway defended his actions in a Facebook posting: “I refused this evening at Oxford University to debate with an Israeli, a supporter of the Apartheid state of Israel.  The reason is simple: no recognition, no normalisation. Just boycott, divestment and sanctions, until the apartheid state is defeated. I never debate with Israelis nor speak to their media. If they want to speak about Palestine – the address is the PLO.” More than 3500 “liked” his post and over 1500 posted comments, many of them vilely anti-Semitic.

Galloway later added on his Twitter feed, “Christ Church never informed us the debate would be with an Israeli. Simple.”

Yes, simple.  A member of the British government refused to appear with someone because of their nationality.  Aslan-Levy called Galloway’s action racist and unacceptable.

In an interview with The Daily Mail, the Israeli-British student said Galloway should be barred from the House of Commons. “He clearly had a problem not because I am Israeli – I’m sure he would have talked to an Israeli Arab, he didn’t want to talk to me because I am an Israeli Jew,” Aslan-Levy said.

Galloway has long been a rabid opponent of the Jewish State.  He claims Hezbollah is not a terrorist organization and has publicly met with Hamas leaders.  He also was an organizer of the “Viva Palestina” “aid convey” to Gaza in 2009.

The head of the Oxford Debating Society, in his understated British way, expressed disappointment that Galloway stormed out of the debate.

Galloway had been a member of the British Labour Party, but was expelled in 2003 when he was found guilty of “bringing the party into disrepute” for, among other things, referring to the Labour Party as “Tony Blair’s Lie Machine.”

A Moment of Moral Clarity in London (Video)

Sunday, February 3rd, 2013

George Galloway was expelled from the Labor Party in 2003 for bringing it into disrepute. He notoriously honored the despot Saddam Hussein in a 1994 speech that ended with this formulation: “Sir, I salute your courage, your strength, your indefatigability”.

On Wednesday in Parliament, as the member for Bradford West for the bizarrely-named Respect Party, he put a question/comment to the prime minister, requiring that the latteradumbrate the differences between one brand of “hand-chopping, throat-cutting” terrorist of the kind to be found in Mali and some other sort of jihadist. (For the record, Galloway is no stranger to speaking publicly about terrorists; he has no difficulty praising them lavishly.)

With barely a moment’s hesitation, U.K. prime minister David Cameron rose to his feet with this first-class put-down:

Some things come and go, but there is one thing that is certain: Wherever there is a brutal Arab dictator in the world, he’ll have the support of the honorable gentleman.

To illustrate the point in a very small way, recall that the “honorable gentleman” was said (by the Times of London in August 2012) to “earn almost £80,000 a year from a new Lebanese TV station accused of having links to Syria and Iran… [Galloway] recently began presenting a show on al-Mayadeen. The Arabic-language station, launched in June, presents itself as a counterweight to channels such as the Qatari-funded al-Jazeera, which it sees as biased against Syria and its allies.

Here’s the video of Cameron’s response:

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