Complaints have been lodged against a British politician who has called for his city to be an “Israel-free zone.”
Far-left Respect MP George Galloway made the statement regarding the city of Bradford, according to the BBC. His comments are now being investigated by police to determine whether they qualify as hate speech.
During a meeting with activists Galloway said “we don’t want any Israeli goods; we don’t want any Israeli services; we don’t want any Israeli academics coming to the university or the college…We don’t even want any Israeli tourists to come to Bradford even if any of them had thought of doing so. We reject this illegal, barbarous, savage state that calls itself Israel – and you have to do the same.”
Conservative British MP Robert Halfon responded to Galloway’s comments that “most Bradford citizens are like British people as a whole: tolerant and decent – and will ignore Mr Galloway’s demands, treating them with the contempt they deserve.”
“They know that despite the tragedy in Gaza, that Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East, that both ordinary Palestinians and Israelis have suffered – not least because of the 13,000 rockets fired on to Israel by Hamas and Islamic Jihad, since the Israeli unilateral withdrawal from Gaza in 2005,” he said, reported the Times of Israel.
A former member of the mainstream Labor Party, Galloway was expelled in 2003. Known for his deeply anti-Israel views, Galloway has made statements in the past supportive of former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein and current Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Galloway is also an active participant in the anti-Israel boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement.