On Feb. 5th we posted about an episode of BBC’s Question Time in which Guardian executive editor Jonathan Freedland accused George Galloway, the pro-Hamas, pro-Hezbollah MP from Bradford West, of fueling antisemitism with his conspiracy-ridden, obsessive hatred of Israel.
Galloway responded on the program to Freedland’s accusation by lashing out at the entire British Jewish community, and has since moaned that he was unfairly treated by the BBC, and ‘set up’.
Evidently Galloway is still upset over being called out for his antisemitism. A Jewish Guardian journalist named Hadley Freeman – while responding to a tweet by former Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald (naturally) defending Galloway – tweeted the following:
Freeman subsequently deleted her tweet.
Whilst you can read more about the “vague” British law which Galloway is exploiting to silence the Guardian journalist here, we hope to galvanize those among you passionate about both free speech and combatting antisemitism to rally around Freeman, and to expose Galloway as the anti-Semite we believe him to be.
(It should first be noted that when we accuse someone of being antisemitic, we’re using the EUMC Working Definition of Antisemitism as our guide.)
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.
This latter point is extremely important, because expressions of violent antisemitism have historically been preceded by such ostracism, the nurturing of a climate in which Jews were rendered (to use Daniel Goldhagen’s term) “socially dead”.
Moreover, as attacks on synagogues and kosher shops in Europe (by “anti-Israel activists”) during the summer war, and efforts by BDS advocates in South Africa to expel Jewish students from Durban University, demonstrate, the moral distinction between the statements “Zionists are our misfortune” and “Jews are our misfortune” is increasingly meaningless, insofar as the lives of actual Jews are concerned.
In short, you cannot putatively like Jews in the abstract, while demonizing and delegitimizing the overwhelming majority of real living Jews, and claim innocence when charged with antisemitism.
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: #JeSuisHadley