British Member of Parliament George Galloway stormed out of an Oxford University debate last night when he found out that one of the speakers was an Israeli Jew.
Galloway, an M.P. for the clearly inappropriately titled Respect Party left the event when a student speaking identified himself as Israeli. Galloway swiftly picked up his coat and said, “I don’t debate with Israelis,” before leaving the room, followed by his wife.
The exchange was filmed by the university’s student newspaper. (Video below)The debate was on the motion that “Israel should withdraw immediately from the West Bank.” Galloway had already spoken in favor of the motion for 10 minutes.Eylon Aslan-Levy, a third-year student was responding to Galloway’s remarks, when the M.P. interrupted Aslan-Levy over his use of the word ‘we’ when discussing the state of Israel.
GALLOWAY: “You said ‘we.’ Are you an Israeli?”
ASLAN-LEVY: “I am, yes.”
GALLOWAY: “I don’t debate with Israelis. I have been misled. Sorry. I don’t recognize Israel and I don’t debate with Israelis.”
As he left, some students laughed, while others jeered. One even shouted out that Galloway was a racist for refusing to speak to an Israeli Jew.
Galloway posted on Facebook later that evening about the exchange:
I refused this evening at Oxford University to debate with an Israeli, a supporter of the apartheid state of Israel.
The reason is simple: no recognition, no normalisation. Just boycott, divestment and sanctions, until the apartheid state is defeated. I never debate with Israelis nor speak to their media.
According to the event organizer, while communicating with Galloway, at no point was the ethnicity of his debate opponent brought up, disputing the claim that Galloway had somehow been “misled.”