Jewish Politico Reporter Says he Was Assaulted, Removed From Galloway Respect Party Event
A Jewish journalist said he was throttled, punched and forcefully ejected from a British Respect Party event because of his “ethnicity,” British media reported on Wednesday.
The 27-year-old journalist for Politico Europe, Ben Judah, was covering the left-wing Respect Party event the day before British elections at a church in the English city of Bradford when a “burly Asian man in a black suit and sunglasses” rushed over to him, grabbed him by the neck and pinned him to the wall.
Judah related the next few moments to the Jewish Chronicle: “‘Get out, you ****ing Jew’, he shouts. I am being throttled as around ten Asian men surround me. My teeth chatter as a man in a tracksuit punches me in the head.”
Judah told the UK’s Daily Mail that being called a Jew during the assault made his “ethnicity a clear part of [the guard’s] motivations.”
The journalist apprised local police and the Community Security Trust of the incident, as well as Respect Party officials.
In response, controversial Respect Party leader George Galloway, who was not present at the time of the alleged assault, deplored antisemitism and accused Judah of staging the event as a “provocation.”
“I did not witness any incident. When I was told subsequently that you had been made to leave I quickly realized that you had staged it and asked my staff to contact the local commander of West Yorkshire police to report my concern and also to his deputy and to the local police station,” he said.
Last August, Galloway stirred controversy after declaring the city of Bradford an “Israel free-zone,” though police dismissed charges of hate speech.
“Many British Jews think Galloway’s declaration that Bradford is ‘an Israel-free zone’ to mean he wants it to be a ‘Jew-free zone’ too,'” said Judah on Wednesday.