UK Chief Rabbi Refuses to Meet With Anti-Israel Politician George Galloway
The chief rabbi of the United Kingdom under no circumstance will agree to meet politician George Galloway, known for his anti-Israel views, a representative of the religious leader said on Wednesday.
A spokesman for Galloway, a candidate for the London mayoralty, told The Jewish Chronicle that the former Respect Party MP would be “honored” to meet Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis, after the rabbi met Tuesday with Tory and Labor mayoral candidates Zac Goldsmith and Sadiq Khan.
However, when Mirvis’ spokesperson was asked if the rabbi would consent to such a meeting, he said: “There is no chance that the Chief Rabbi would dignify Mr Galloway’s candidacy for Mayor of London by meeting him.”
“If Mr Galloway would genuinely like to meet the Chief Rabbi – a remark to a journalist strikes me as an odd way of trying to achieve it,” Mirvis’ spokesperson added. “You’ll have to forgive me for doubting the sincerity of this spokesman.”
Galloway described the reaction as a “poor show.” He posted on Twitter, “Maybe they hoped for a different response. And are refusing to take yes for an answer.”
Galloway, who was ousted from Labour in 2003 for “bringing the party into disrepute,” as a result of his stance on the war in Iraq, and admiration for dictator Saddam Hussein. He has been vocal in his anti-Zionist views, going as far as to decline a debate at Oxford University in 2013, when he learned that the other speaker had joint British-Israeli citizenship.