The Respect Party MP for Bradford West, who is a longstanding supporter of Hezbollah and Hamas, had spoken in favor of the motion “Israel should withdraw immediately from the West Bank” when Eylon Aslan-Levy stood up to speak against the motion.
Two minutes into his speech, Galloway interrupted the third-year Politics, Philosophy and Economics student and asked if he was Israeli.
“I am, yes,” he was told and the controversial MP brazenly stormed out the hall claiming to have been misled.
“I don’t debate with Israelis, I have been misled,” he said to gasps from the audience. “I don’t recognize Israel and I don’t debate with Israelis.”
What a cock. If you have the conviction of your beliefs, you should be embracing the chance to crush your opponent.
In a statement on Wednesday evening Galloway said: “I refused this evening to debate with an Israeli, a supporter of the apartheid State of Israel.
“The reason is simple: no recognition, no normalization. Just boycott, divestment and sanctions until the apartheid state is defeated,” he said.
Aslan-Levy, 21, who grew up in Finchley in north London and has Israeli citizenship as both his parents are Israeli, accused Galloway of “pure” racism.
“I am appalled that an MP would storm out of a debate with me for no reason other than my heritage,” he said. “To refuse to talk to someone just because of their nationality is pure racism, and totally unacceptable for a member of parliament.”
He said that had he been able to speak, he was calling for a withdrawal from the West Bank as part of a negotiated settlement that would recognise both an Israeli and Palestinian state.
Mahmood Naji, the organizer of the event and a fourth-year medical student at Oxford, condemned Galloway’s decision to walk out on a debate because of his opponent’s nationality.
“At no point during my email exchange with Mr Galloway was Eylon’s nationality ever brought up or mentioned, nor do I expect to have to tell the speaker what his opponent’s nationality is,” Naji told Oxford University student newspaper Cherwell.
You have to be pretty screwed up in your thinking to attend a debate and then refuse to debate your opponent simply because he holds a certain nationality.