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April 16, 2014 / 16 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Respect Party’

British MP: Yes, I Really Hate and Will Boycott Every Zionist

Monday, February 25th, 2013

George Galloway, a member of the British government from the Respect Party, has made it clear that his abrupt departure from a debate at Oxford University last Wednesday, when he learned the person he was debating was Israeli, was not an impetuous move.  Instead, Galloway’s bolt was based upon his firmly-held belief in boycotting anything and everything about Israel except anti-Israel Israelis.

Galloway posted a message on his Facebook page Monday, February 25, because he felt it necessary to clarify certain questions that arose after his departure from Christ Church College last week.

He made several points.

First: that no one is going to tell him what the parameters of BDS (Boycott, Divest and Sanctions) against Israel are; he will boycott anyone and everyone who supports the “racist Apartheid creed of Zionism,” which he described as a “cancer at the heart of the middle-east.”

Here, Galloway was responding to a public statement issued the day after Galloway’s widely-publicized exit by the “Palestinian BDS National Committee” clarifying that the official position of the movement is to boycott Israel and anything that supports the “Occupation,” but it does not boycott individuals, whether Israeli or Zionist.  Galloway’s supporters, such as Israeli Israel-hater Gilad Atzmon, turned on the BDS Movement for trying to distance itself from Galloway’s action by calling them suck-ups to their Evil Zionist Paylords, including “liberal Zionist George Soros.”

Second: What he will and does embrace are any Israelis or Jews who despise the state of Israel for the same reasons that he does.  He provided an example: Israeli ex-pat now British prof. Ilan Pappe, whom he calls his comrade.

Pappe is well-known for his belief that Israel is guilty of the ethnic cleansing of Arabs in the 1948 war of independence, and his ardent support of their “right” of return. “What turned me into a great lover of the Palestinians is the will of many among them to share the land with us,” he explained in 2008, even people in Hamas.”

The third point Galloway made was to attack and ridicule the organizer of the Oxford debate, Mahmood Naji, a fourth year medical student at Oxford.

When Galloway walked out of the debate and in subsequent discussions about the incident, he repeatedly claimed Naji had “deceived” him because his debate opponent’s Israeli heritage was not made known to Galloway before the debate.  Naji finally had enough of the slander and published an open letter to Galloway, calling him to task for his ridiculous claims.

In his letter, Naji wrote that Galloway never asked about his opponent’s nationality when the debate was set up. “As the organiser, am I to know about every one of your views? Should I let you know if your opponent is a vegetarian in case you have a policy of not debating vegetarians? Am I misleading you if I do not tell you your opponent’s shoe size?” Naji suggests that it would be at least highly irregular for someone to inquire about, and make a decision about whether to engage in a debate dependent upon an opponent’s nationality.

Incidentally, Galloway referred to Naji as an “Iraqi Muslim,” but, as Naji told The Jewish Press, “I find it somewhat ironic that he assumed from my name that I am a Muslim (I am in fact atheist) but was not able to use these same powers of inference to suspect Eylon [Aslan-Levy] may be Israeli.”  Naji was born in Iraq but has lived in England for more than 15 years and is a permanent resident.

Naji’s responses to Galloway have all been logical, but he could have gone even a step farther: exactly whom did Galloway think was going to be taking the opposite position in a debate the topic for which was, “Israel should withdraw immediately from the West Bank”?

Here is Galloway, in his own words:

Me and the Palestinian cause: A number of questions have recently arisen I need to deal with. Firstly if people want to talk to the Palestinians they need to contact the Palestine Liberation Organisation. This is the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people and has been for many decades. Secondly, an organisation calling itself “BDS” does not own the words or the concept of boycott, divestment or sanctions. They are entitled to their own interpretation of these words but they don’t own or control me. I will make my own interpretation. And it is this – no purchase of Israeli goods or services, no normal contacts with individuals or organisations in Israel who support the existence of the racist Apartheid creed of Zionism. That’s what I mean by boycott. That’s what I do. Israelis who are outside of and against the system of Zionism are comrades of mine – like Prof Ilan Pappe. My opponent at Oxford University did not meet this test. The organiser of the event momentarily lionised by the liberal as well as the conservative establishment needs to know this, especially as he is a medical student. To compare Israeli Zionism to “Vegetarianism” is like a doctor not knowing the difference between a pimple and a tumor. Apartheid Israel is a cancer at the heart of the middle-east. Only it’s replacement by a bi-national democratic state from the Jordan River to the sea will cure this. That is what I am fighting for. George Galloway MP House of Commons London

After one of Galloway’s supporters insisted that Mahmood Naji must be a “secret Zionist,” Naji weighed in.

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.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/british-mp-storms-out-i-dont-recognise-israel-and-i-dont-debate-with-israelis/2013/02/22/

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