Boycotting Israel Galloway-style

George Galloway walkout — Oxford University, London.  Image Credit: Daily Mail

The Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC), which claims to set the guidelines for the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions movement, says it does not call for a boycott of individuals because she or he happens to be Israeli or because they express certain views, but adds: “Of course, any individual is free to decide who they do and do not engage with.”


OK, so why is Galloway getting flak?


by Stuart Littlewood


A big fuss blew up last week when British MP George Galloway, invited to Oxford University to debate the motion “Israel should withdraw immediately from the West Bank”, walked out of the chamber when he heard that the student opposing the motion was an Israeli.


Ed.note: Galloway walks out of Christ Church College, Oxford University discussion… ‘I don’t debate with Israelis. I have been misled. Sorry,’ said Mr Galloway.




American readers may remember Galloway, who came over in 2005 and delivered a master-class in how to give a Senate Inquisition sub-committee a good spanking.

Eylon Aslan-Levy, student opposing the motion, ‘Israel must leave the West Bank.’

At Oxford, something Eylon Aslan-Levy said prompted Galloway to ask, “Are you an Israeli?”


“Yes,” came the reply.


“I don’t debate with Israelis. I have been misled, sorry,” said Galloway putting on his coat. “I don’t recognise Israel and I don’t debate with Israelis,” he added and left.


The following message then appeared on Galloway’s Facebook: “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.”


The PLO, of course, is recognized as the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people.



Galloway’s point was that BDS (boycott, divestment and sanctions), in his terms, means:

“no purchase of Israeli goods or services, no normal contacts with individuals or organizations 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… My opponent at Oxford University did not meet this test.”


Aslan-Levy is reported to have told The Guardian that Israel’s withdrawal should not be immediate but “in the context of a negotiated peace treaty, which would recognize both Israeli and Palestinian states”. According to the Daily Mail he also said: ‘”To refuse to talk to someone just because of their nationality is pure racism, and totally unacceptable for a Member of Parliament.”


A lot of people have criticised Galloway for his behaviour in this matter. However, anyone arguing against an immediate end to the brutal and illegal 65 year-old occupation and offering silly excuses for prolonging the misery – like more lopsided ‘negotiations’ when international law and UN resolutions have already spoken – deserves to feel the cold blast of boycott, Galloway-style.


The attacks on Galloway seem to come mainly from people in the BDS movement itself who are supposedly on the same side.  Press reports mention cries of “racism”. But notice that Galloway said he doesn’t debate with Israelis, not Jews. Others may not wish to debate with North Koreans or Afghan tribesmen. Our own foreign secretary apparently has no intention of chatting with his Iranian opposite number while turning the sanctions screw on the Iranian people. Obama when he visits the Holy Land to pay homage to Netanyahu won’t drop in on Haniyeh in Gaza to discuss football.


And it is pretty rich for a national of a racist state to call anyone else a racist.


The Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC), which claims to set the guidelines for the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions movement, says it does not call for a boycott of individuals because she or he happens to be Israeli or because they express certain views, but adds: “Of course, any individual is free to decide who they do and do not engage with.”


OK, so why is Galloway getting flak?

©  Stuart Littlewood



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Posted by on Feb 27 2013, With 0 Reads, Filed under Americas, Asia, Bahrain, China, Editors' Picks, Egypt, Europe, Global, Iran, Israel, Middle East, Oceana, Oman, Palestine, Syria, United Kingdom, Yemen. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.


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1 Comment for “Boycotting Israel Galloway-style”

  1. It is something of a worry when people of good faith, with the same ideals and objectives cannot see each others viewpoint. To me the English language is easy to understand except when people in Hollywood use the phrase “fact” for a movie which is patently “fiction”. Argo of vourse.

    To me what George Galloway said is perfectly clear. He doesn’t debate with Israelis. His choice. As Stuart has said above that is not “I don’t debate with Jews” but Israelis, more than often a different kettle of fish entirely

    Mostly I would have thought.

    As for press reports crying racism, one can almost guess from which direction they are coming.. Such is the present status of the media. If they are not owned by Zionists, or sympathetic for what advantages they think that being an apologist for Israel brings them, then the others see such phrases as fodder for their readers, headlines being the single item that attracts readers, daily. Relevance? Truth? Who really cares.

    The example of Hague, possibly the most inappropriate so-called Minister in the British Government and #2 Zionist fellow traveller, (Agent Cameron still being #1) and corrupted down to his boots, would have trouble recognising that there is a country called Iran and yet he is tasked with managing the foreign policies of Israel. Sorry, that should read the UK, I think. I’ll check.

    Has he ever spoken to an Iranian? Probably not, his role as Israeli sycophant is to toe the Netanyahu line. As such he is of little value to the UK.

    So ease up on George Galloway. He puts his money where his mouth is and that’s fine with me and should be fine with everybody..

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