In Depth

Galloway tells student 'I won't debate with Israelis' - video

MP accused of 'racism' after storming out of Oxford debate; he says he is boycotting Israel

GEORGE GALLOWAY, the MP for Bradford West, has been accused of racism after walking out of a debate at Oxford University when he realised his opponent was Israeli. 

The Respect MP interrupted PPE student Eylon Aslan-Levy at Christ Church yesterday evening during a debate over whether Israel should withdraw from the West Bank, according to the student paper, Cherwell.

In a video posted by Cherwell, Galloway, a long-term critic of Israeli policy, is seen asking why Aslan-Levy uses the word “we" when talking about Israel. When the student says it is because he is from the country, Galloway gets up to leave saying: “I have been misled".

With his hand on the door, Galloway says: "I don't recognise Israel and I don't debate with Israelis" before exiting the debate with wife Putri Gayatri Pertiwi in tow.

Aslan-Levy told Cherwell he believed Galloway's actions were racist, saying: "To refuse to talk to someone just because of their nationality is pure racism, and totally unacceptable for a Member of Parliament".

Galloway said he was boycotting Israel and would not debate with the country's citizens: "I refused this evening 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", he told Cherwell.

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