Anti-Zionist British Parliamentarian George Galloway Launches Legal Action Against Journalist’s ‘Antisemite’ Tweet
George Galloway, the violently anti-Israel British parliamentarian who was accused on a BBC panel show last week of fueling antisemitism in the UK, has launched legal proceedings against a Jewish journalist with The Guardian newspaper for a tweet in which she claimed that the MP had “said and done plenty of things that cross the line from anti-Israel to anti-Semitic.”
During the broadcast of the BBC’s weekly Question Time program, an audience member asked, “Why is antisemitism rising in the UK, and do you think a certain member of the panel” – a reference to Galloway – “may bear some responsibility for this?”
In response, Jonathan Freedland, a columnist for The Guardian who also appeared on the show, charged that Galloway had traded in antisemitic conspiracy theories, for example by accusing Israel of being behind the conflict in Ukraine. Freedland argued that Galloway was doing so at a time of deep insecurity for British Jews, with the publication of a Community Security Trust (CST) report that revealed a record number of antisemitic attacks in the UK in 2014.
Following the broadcast, Freedland’s Guardian colleague, Hadley Freeman, tweeted “Galloway has said and done things that cross the line from anti-Israel to antisemitic.” Shortly after, Galloway, who has often resorted to legal action to silence his critics, announced: “I have begun legal proceedings against Hadley Freeman of the Guardian on her defamatory comments about me. No-one should repeat them.”
Freeman then deleted her tweet as a result. However, that didn’t stop Adam Levick, the editor of the widely-read CIFWatch blog, from detailing precisely why describing Galloway as an antisemite is legitimate:
Though Galloway has largely couched his hatred and bizarre conspiracy theories in ‘anti-Zionist’ terms, let’s be clear:
When Galloway openly calls for “the destruction of the political state of Israel”, he’s not only sanctioning the end of the only Jewish state in the world, but advocating a position which will all but certainly lead to the ethnic cleansing of millions of Jews.
When Galloway expresses support for violent, antisemitic extremist movements like Hamas and Hezbollah, he’s in effect endorsing their insidious Jew hatred.
When Galloway said he was “enthralled” by Gilad Atzmon’s book The Wandering Who? (described by CST as “probably the most antisemitic book published in this country in recent years.”), he was legitimizing – if not outright endorsing – Atzmon’s neo-Nazi style anti-Jewish racism.
And, when Galloway walked out of a debate with an Israeli Jew, declaring “I don’t recognize Israel and I don’t debate Israelis”, as when he declared his district an “Israeli-free zone,” he was not only ostracizing and demonizing six million Jews, but sending a message to the millions of non-Israeli Jews in the world who are Zionists that they are morally beyond the pale.
Levick concluded: “Hadley Freeman was right. George Galloway has said and done plenty of things that cross the line from anti-Israel to antisemitic. Say it, share it, tweet it: #JeSuisHadleyFreeman.”
Galloway has long supported antisemitic organizations in the Middle East such as Hamas and Hezbollah, as well as openly defending the Iranian regime and its genocidal Syrian ally, the dictator Bashar al Assad. An admirer of the late Iraqi tyrant Saddam Hussein, Galloway’s most notorious moment came in 1994 during a visit to Baghdad. During an audience with Saddam, Galloway gushed: “Sir, I salute your courage, your strength, your indefatigability. And I want you to know that we are with you until victory, until victory, until Jerusalem.”