Galloway explains why he won’t debate with Israelis – by debating with an Israeli

21st February, 2013 12:05 pm

As we reported earlier, George Galloway stormed out of a debate last night when he discovered that the other participant was Israeli. Seemingly Galloway won’t take part in any debate with an Israeli citizen, and so dual national Eylon Aslan-Levy was left to continue as the Bradford West MP stormed off.

But it seems Galloway went on to debate with another Israeli later that night – so much for his boycott. My good friend (and Labour activist) Alon Or-Bach (who like Aslan-Levy is a British Israeli and was born in Israel) challenged Galloway over his walk out in Oxford. Here’s the back and forth between the two:


So Galloway got into a debate with an Israeli about his reasons for refusing to debate with Israelis – it’s hard to boycott entire nationalities online isn’t it?

Speaking to LabourList this morning, Or-Bach said:

“I was somewhat bemused that Galloway broke his rule not to deal with Israelis in order to tell me about it. The attitude he and his ‘Respect’ colleagues hold towards Israelis cannot be squared with claiming to support equality. The hatred he spreads towards anyone with an Israeli background should be called out for the bigoty that it is, and does not belong on the left – let alone in Parliament.”

Incidentally, David Boothroyd notes that in the recent census 5 Bradford West residents have said Hebrew is their main language, suggesting Galloway has Israeli constituents. Will he refuse to speak to them too?

  • SoylentGreenStreet

    I don’t mean to be churlish. I have no time for Galloway whatsoever and find his “policy” of not debating with Israelis typically ludicrous. But, ludicrous though it is, I can’t see how he broke this golden rule to reply (once?) to your friend’s tweet. Does it constitute a “debate”? Did he know your friend was Israeli?

  • Mark


  • solidarity activist

    The Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC), the largest coalition of Palestinian unions, mass organisations, refugee networks and NGOs that leads and and sets the guidelines for the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement, supports all principled action in solidarity with the Palestinian struggle for freedom, justice and equality that is in line with universal human rights and international law.

    In its 2005 BDS Call, Palestinian civil society has called for a boycott of Israel, its complicit institutions, international corporations that sustain its occupation, colonization and apartheid, and official representatives of the state of Israel and its complicit institutions. BDS does not call for a boycott of individuals because she or he happens to be Israeli or because they express certain views. Of course, any individual is free to decide who they do and do not engage with.

    The global BDS movement has consistently adopted a rights-based approach and an anti-racist platform that rejects all forms of racism, including Islamophobia and anti-Semitism.

    These guidelines and the fact that BDS has been initiated and is led by Palestinian civil society are major reasons behind the rapid growth and success that the BDS movement has enjoyed around the world.


  • Comment Featured A free vote was always the best Corbyn could have hoped for

    A free vote was always the best Corbyn could have hoped for

    There’s a great Smiths track called ‘I Started Something I Couldn’t Finish’. Actually, I think all Smiths and Morrissey tracks are great, but that’s a column for another website. That phrase sums up the approach taken by Jeremy Corbyn to the Syria vote. Starting an unnecessary fight and then having to climb down. I don’t know if it is Jeremy himself strategising, or persons unidentified in his team, but they are progressively squandering the immense political capital that his big […]

    Read more →
  • Europe Featured News Alan Johnson to promise distinct Labour EU campaign

    Alan Johnson to promise distinct Labour EU campaign

    Alan Johnson will today launch the Labour Party’s official campaign to stay in the European Union, promising a distinct campaign that focuses on jobs, workers’ rights and national security. “The first duty of any government is to keep our country safe and I firmly believe that leaving the EU would fail that test,” the former Home Secretary will say at the launch in Birmingham. “From the European Arrest Warrant to cross-border data sharing on terrorists, the speed of our response […]

    Read more →
  • Comment Featured Labour MPs give Corbyn a “lively” reception after Syria position decided

    Labour MPs give Corbyn a “lively” reception after Syria position decided

    Meetings of the Parliamentary Labour Party are now never unremarkable. This evening’s saw one of the biggest gatherings of lobby journalists outside Committee Room 14 at 6pm on a Monday in a very long time. Just two and a half hours after the Shadow Cabinet met to decide Labour’s position on Syria, leader Jeremy Corbyn and Shadow Foreign Secretary Hilary Benn stood to address Labour MPs and peers about the outcome. It was, apparently, a bizarre scene. The two appeared […]

    Read more →
  • Comment Europe Featured Leaving the EU would put Britain’s economic security under risk

    Leaving the EU would put Britain’s economic security under risk

    Terrorists bring death and destruction to the streets of Paris… Europe faces its biggest humanitarian crisis since the Second World War as thousands of refugees flee conflict in Africa and the Middle East… world leaders gather in Paris at the UN climate change conference to find solutions to the looming global climate crisis… These are some of the biggest global challenges facing us today, challenges that require urgent action, challenges that can only be solved at international level, in cooperation […]

    Read more →
  • Featured News Labour to have free vote on airstrikes in Syria

    Labour to have free vote on airstrikes in Syria

    Labour MPs will not be whipped on how to vote on proposals for airstrikes against ISIS in Syria, and the party will not take an official stance on the issue. When it comes to a House of Commons debate, Jeremy Corbyn will argue against, while Shadow Foreign Secretary Hilary Benn will speak in favour of intervention. Both will make their cases from the Labour frontbench. This follows a lengthy meeting of the Shadow Cabinet today, lasting almost two hours. Reports […]

    Read more →
Share with your friends