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November 29, 2013 10:32 am

An Oxford Student Courageously Challenges George Galloway

avatar by Shmuley Boteach

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Jonathan Hunter approaches George Galloway during an event at Oxford University, October 14. Photo: Screen shot.

George Galloway, Member of Parliament for Bradford West, is one of the leading Israel haters of our time. In November of last year he branded Zionism “a blasphemy againstJudaism and against God.” He then proceeded to praise the terrorists of Hamas and added, “We do not hate Jews. We hate Zionism, we hate Israel, we hate murder and injustice. Israel blasphemes against the Torah by calling itself a Jewish state.”

The most ferocious anti-Semites are those who use Judaism against the Jews and who claim to limit their anti-Semitism to a loathing of Israel. But Galloway took his abhorrence of Israel to new heights at an Oxford debate in February of this year when he stormed out of a debate simply because his opponent was Israeli. In several columns I noted that there was no official response to this disgusting act of racism and intimidation against Israeli students from the office of the Chief Rabbi.

Now comes a video of Oxford student Jonathan Hunter courageously speaking in Hebrew at an Oxford Union debate, declaring himself to be an Israeli, and walking out on Galloway.

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In my experience most racists are cowards and indeed, Galloway, sitting comfortably in his chair at the Oxford Union, claims to feel threatened by a student giving an innocent speech and says, “Don’t come any closer, I’m feeling threatened by you. What’s that up your jumper?”

What threatened Galloway in the student’s sweater was an Israeli flag, which Mr. Hunter then draped around his shoulders and sported proudly as he walked out of the Union.

I’m disappointed that I didn’t hear about this incident until now as Mr. Hunter deserves global applause for his courageous confrontation against the man who obsequiously told mass murderer Saddam Hussein in 1994, “Sir, I salute your courage, your strength, your indefatigability.” Galloway would later say that the stomach-turning comment was in reality directed at the courage of the Iraqi people, a strange defense given that he was speaking to the man who killed more than a million Iraqis.

I have, in others columns, lamented not just the tsunami of anti-Semitism and Israel-hatred that has broken out in the UK over the past years but the halting response on the part of Anglo-Jewry. Jonathan Arkush, vice-President of the British Board of Deputies, disputed one of my recent columns and claimed that British Jews are passionately engaged in the fight. Yes, some are. But a great many are not. And the silent majority should learn from Mr. Hunter’s courageous action that standing up for Israel and fighting anti-Semitism is the job of every Jew and every non-Jew who wants the Middle East to have the democratic freedoms of Israel rather than the theocratic terror of Hamas.

It is especially incumbent upon students at British campuses to muster the courage of Mr. Hunter and never be intimidated by the likes of George Galloway whose rancid views prosper in an air of timidity. As Martin Luther King famously said, “It may well be that we will have to repent in this generation. Not merely for the vitriolic words and the violent actions of the bad people, but for the appalling silence and indifference of the good people who sit around and say, ‘Wait on time.'”

Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, “America’s Rabbi” whom The Washington Post calls “the most famous Rabbi in America,” served as Rabbi to the students of Oxford University from 1988-1999, when he won the London Times Preacher of the Year Competition days before the millennium. Follow him on Twitter @RabbiShmuley.

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  • Brian Goldfarb

    Shmuley may be disappointed, but Algeminer shouldn’t publish something so long after its “sell-by-date”. Just because rabbi Boteach is behind the curve is no excuse for The Algemeiner to be so as well.

    In the UK, we knew all about this and other similar put-downs of Gorgeous George months ago.

    Oh do keep up!

  • David Hoffman

    Their is such a thing as legitimate criticism of Israel. It comes from those who point out how Israel could be stronger when she is weak, how she could be more spiritual when she is materialistic, how she could be more committed to authentic Judaism when she gives other religious traditions the time of day, and how she could be more steadfast in her Jewish cultural identity when she sucumbs to the lures of multiculturalism.

    Critics who urge the Jews of Israel to return to exile, or to offer their throats to the wolves, or to follow the path of assimilation into an Arab majority in their own homeland have nothing but hatred in their hearts for the Jews and Judaism.

  • M McL

    If youre telling me i can’t speak ill of a foreign nation you can descend into hell aflame.

  • Fred

    Unfortunately many seats of learning have become pulpits of vitriolic Jew haters of Galloway’s calibre it is a shame that Oxford University has been degraded to the gutter.

  • Lynn K. Circle

    Jew-haters have begun using the specious distinction between Judaism and Zionism. But virtually all Jews support the continuing existence of Israel (with the exception of a very, very few self-hating Jews). Those claiming to make the distinction consider that simply supporting the right or Israel to exist makes one a Zionist. Therefore the distinction is false for all real intents and purposes.

    The goal of the Jew-haters who claim this distinction is the creation of a Palestinian state “from the river to the sea,” meaning the destruction of the Jewish state. This is their goal and their intent, and no statements about “being against Zionism and not Judaism” can cover and hide it.

    Do you understand now?

  • Elijah Gabriel

    This article is so biased it can’t be taken seriously. How can anti-Zionism be called antisemitism? There is no 2 ways about Zionism being a political ideology and not all Zionists are Jewish.

    • Podargus

      Galloway is a scumbag by any measure.So you support scumbags?

    • Criticism of Israel or Zionism can be an end in and of itself. But, if in the same breath genocidal dictators, such as Saddam Hussein, and terrorists are lauded, then it is obviously anti-Semitism. One can coldly criticize an entity. But when calling for the destruction of a legitimate nation, which happens to be the only Jewish nation, anti-Semitism is a deep and abiding belief. Just as those in the BDS movement make this same bogus claim, and then scream “Death to the Jews,” at their rallies. When your criticism is based on hate, and not concept, your hatred transcends criticism of Israel and boldly proves to be anti-Semitic

    • Elijah there is only one way to comprehend you as a creature. You are a programmed robot lacking heart and mind. For you the holocaust never happened and nor did centuries of segregation and denial of human rights for Jews in the diaspora. Zionism symbolizes the determination of the Jewish people to return to the lands that were theirs for over a thousand years, if not all of it then enough to survive upon. Jews have had enough of you robots.