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EXCLUSIVE: “Why I confronted George Galloway” by Jonathan Hunter

I was one among dozens in February who packed the auditorium of Christ Church College to hear that circus act of a man, the Member of Parliament for Bradford West, debate the evils of ‘Zionist apartheid.’ His speech – littered with such witty remarks as ‘Israel is not kosher, it’s not even halal’ – was mostly met with laughter. After all, the man is a joke. But some jokes are offensive – others, racist.

Like many, I was left stunned by Galloway’s disgraceful actions. In walking out on my friend Eylon Aslan-Levy, Galloway confirmed what we had all thought about him for a very long time. As Eylon put it: “to refuse to talk to someone just because of their nationality is pure racism.”

The moment Hunter confronted Galloway

The moment Hunter confronted Galloway

Galloway is a man who gives speeches to Hezbollah rallies in Beirut, who has interviewed Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for Press TV – and of course, has rather disturbingly implied support for Bashar al-Assad. Yet he will refuse to have a constructive dialogue with a PPE undergraduate solely due to an accident of birth. Because he happens to hold a specific passport. Because his parents are different.

Galloway refuses to recognise my national and civic identity. He denies my cultural existence. In effect, like Hamas, he seeks the destruction of the State of Israel. This to me and many others is racism of the worst kind. I couldn’t just allow him to return to Oxford and pretend as if nothing happened last time – after all, he is notorious for denying some of his more outrageous statements (thank goodness for the internet).

By looking him in the eye and speaking to him in Hebrew, I wanted to show my fellow students that Galloway’s continuing behaviour is completely inexcusable.

And how does Galloway reply? By implying that I am a fascist, of course. By equating my holding of the flag of my homeland with English Defence League (EDL) thugs. By comparing Israel to apartheid South Africa. By comparing Zionism to Nazism. The usual rubbish. The standard anti-Zionist spiel.

So I’m a fascist? But George, you’re the one who addresses the fascists of Hezbollah at their anti-Semitic rallies. You’re the one who openly admired Saddam Hussein’s ‘courage.’ And don’t get me started on the Nazi comparison. Comparing the Jewish people to the perpetrators of their attempted destruction is a classic and recognised anti-Semitic trope.

It’s funny that Galloway almost soiled himself when I approached him – thinking there was a weapon in my jumper. His hands were visibly trembling. I don’t believe in violence against individuals – but it can be argued that those whom Galloway could count as fans most certainly do.

Galloway looks close to "losing it"

Galloway looks close to “losing it”

I need not elaborate that Israel is the only liberal democracy in the Middle East. I don’t need to remind anyone of the steps Israel has taken for peace in the last twenty years: Oslo, Camp David, unilateral withdrawals from Lebanon and Gaza, a settlement freeze. Above all, it is unnecessary to stress how Israelis (like me) continuously yearn for peace. I would have rather debated that with Galloway. He did not bother to hear what Eylon had to say last time. In a speech far better than anything that ‘hapless’ Member of Parliament could spout from his big mouth, Eylon magnificently argued the case for the establishment of a Palestinian state as part of a negotiated final-status agreement. That is the official policy of the current Israeli government – and nearly all governments preceding it since Oslo.

It is truly perverse that for its first event this term, a debating chamber internationally renowned for its respect for free speech invited a man who denies that right to others on the basis of their nationality. Galloway epitomises everything the Oxford Union stands against. It is disgraceful that he was invited. It is even more disgraceful that he was sycophantically advertised as being one of the ‘most impressive debaters in Britain.’ I don’t know any ‘impressive’ debaters who walk out on their opponents. And I wouldn’t dream of hosting him as a ‘guest of honour,’ especially in light of the offence he caused to the Oxford student community when he last visited.

But as an important disclaimer, I must stress that I don’t deny Galloway’s right to free speech. I stand for constructive dialogue with others. My mocking imitation of Galloway’s behaviour was a statement to all, that on the political issues which divide us most, both sides must be heard. One opinion must not silence another. This is what debate means – and the Oxford Union’s invitation to Galloway is a slap in the face for all those who believe in that principle.

Jonathan Hunter is a student at Oxford University and is now internationally renowned for giving George Galloway MP an earful


  • Ronovitch

    Angry Scotsman won’t sort out the Middle East. But then again, nor will snarling little boys with flags…You’re both as bad as each other.

  • J Simson

    At least the boy does not support genocidal dictators.

    A pity you are unable to tell the difference. Suffering from Moral relativism?

  • http://twitter.com/MisGrace Julieann Carter

    I cannot understand why George Galloway was not prosecuted under hate-crime legislation after his very public refusal to debate an Israeli student.
    It would be interesting to hear Keir Starmer’s view on this – though in this instance I suspect “professional impartiality” would be claimed.
    It saddens me to read another poster equate Jonathan Hunter with George Galloway as being, “both as bad as each other”. One is a British paid public servant with a very public stage, and internationally active on the world stage.

    Jonathan Hunter is a voice in the wilderness, devoid of such a presence, and increasingly denied a voice, as we’ve seen with his friend.
    The poisonous Mr Galloway would be spitting nails at, and calling for the dismissal of, any other public servant if that public servant had afforded the same or similar treatment to a Muslim student, as he himself afforded Mr Hunter’s friend.
    Again – well done Jonathan!

  • Dorith Carmeli

    Kol hakavod, Jonathan Hunter!! ?

  • http://wrinkledweasel-resurgam.blogspot.co.uk/ wrinkledweasel

    I am astonished that any college would invite such an egregious numpty to debate anything. Had this been some other fanatic from the far right, for example, the place would have been in uproar.

    I do wish students would grow up and recognise that not all people who evince heterodox views are visionaries.

    I liked the bit “Galloway almost soiled himself when I approached him – thinking there was a weapon in my jumper” It does show that he has a deep understanding for the violent pursuit of political will. Mainly since he supports it.

  • ENOCH POWEL

    take this fool to the gallows he is the vilest trotter that has ever lived, off with his head

  • Chief Dude

    This is amusing, though anyone who confronts Galloway is deserved of a huge amount of praise but isn’t this a little too dramatic? He has not scaled the walls of Buckingham Palace to raise awareness of a cause, donated a kidney to a stricken relative, decided to give a year’s salary to charity. While his action was noteworthy and noble, we hardly need an in depth account of why he did what he did and what drove him to do it! Seems to be desperate journalism – a lack of creativity by the editor/website or just plain short of ideas?

  • Davieboy

    Bravo Jonathan, Kol HaKavod.

  • Gad Harari

    The previous oxford opponent of Galloway was israeli, that doesnt mean an accident of birth? And has this really hit international news?

  • Neil Harland

    Does he not know the mainstream Jews hate the Zionists? just a pity some extremist Jews are also Zionists causing this confusion among normal Jews. Not their fault some crackpot ancient Jew guy wrote a book with a Zionist like plan, much like the Catholics getting the blame for the Pope and his mafia of child murderers/abductors.

  • mightymark

    Well done Jonathan. Unfortunately the sound track is poor and it would be brilliant if it could be transcribed.

  • Robert Bailey

    why..to deny free speech and act like a ‘dick wad’… grow up Jonathan…

  • Robert H

    Well done mate. I applaud you, as an ex-Oxford student, and someone who thinks that Galloway is a self-indulgent, hypocritical and egotistical man, who plays to the crowd in order to self promote.
    I would like to see all others do the same whenever Galloway speaks, so that his air time is always interrupted, in the same way that he interrupted the Israeli who he was meant to debate with.

  • Chico Nooij

    I saw the video. You’re awesome, man. The way you stood up for your people was very inspiring and courageous. Galloway was about to cry. Obviously, he’s a fucking pussy – just like his “precious Führer”. God bless you and peace be upon you, Jonathan. Am Yisrael Chai!

  • Daniel

    Where can I find the video?

  • http://www.kenbell.info/ Ken Bell

    Galloway used to be a boxer so I doubt if some tosser waving a rag around would have that much of an effect on him. Oh, and it’s Christ Church, not Christ Church College.

  • Ajourney

    Hunter is nothing more than a chubby-faced little boy showing off. He represents immature tribalism – an infantile aggression which will keep his ‘team’ killing, maiming, torturing and imprisoning in the name of ‘peace’ for years to come.

  • James

    No he just supports genocide committed by a so called liberal democracy. O wait only if your Jewish otherwise you don’t get to vote and there are laws specifically segregating you from the rest of society. Yearn for peace? Settlement freeze? What planet are is this guy living on?

  • James

    This article is so misguided and factually incorrect. The Israeli’s have no desire for peace until they have control over all of Palestine and regularly flout international law to achieve their aim. They are a disgusting nation as bad as any that Galloway has been associated with. Don’t let this be misconstrued as antisemitism, it is not! In the same way that when people criticise Syria they are not attacking Islam, I am not attacking Judaism. Zionism is the problem and to criticise it is entirely justified based on the Zionist’s actions.

  • Raphael Robespierre

    well said

  • Raphael Robespierre

    Historically true, if all you’ve ever read is an Alan Dershowitz “book”

  • Raphael Robespierre

    Israel is a terror state, Israel is an apartheid state, Israel is an invented state

  • Brooke Hull

    I am curious how much time Mr. Hunter has spent on the Palestinian side of the Wall, the green line. I’m curious how many Palestinians he has talked to who live there. I’m curious if he’s ever been into Gaza. While I do not agree with the comparisons of the Zionists to the Nazis, I do think that there is some merit to the comparison of the State of Israel to the State of South Africa during it’s apartheid times. I wish anyone who agrees with Mr. Hunter would go and listen, with an open mind, and listen to the Palestinians of Ramallah, Jerusalem, Hebron, Bethlehem, Nablus, Gaza City, Rafah, and all the tiny villages and refugee camps. Then I’d like to hear what they have to say about the actions of the Israeli government. I’d probably be a lot more willing to listen to them speak if they had had first hand, open minded, experience in these areas.

  • mightymark

    In your dreams sunshine!

  • East Ender

    Brooke Hull – I would love to go to the West Bank and into Gaza to see how they live there. However as a Jew I have been told many times by Palestinians that I am not welcome and that I would not come out alive. Indeed I know of well meaning Jews who have been refused entry and been physically threatened by the Palestinians
    But I am curious about what you and all the Israel-bashers say about all the Palestinians who are treated in Israeli hospitals and given exactly the same treatment as Israelis. About the Palestinians who are welcome to live in Israel as a full citizen with equal rites to an Israeli (and quite a few do). What about the aid that Israel gives but is greedily taken by their leaders? Is that what an apartheid state is about? If you deny any of those facts then you are just as ignorant as you claim others to be.

  • East Ender

    I would love to go to Gaza to see the Palestinians but as a Jew I’m not allowed in by the PA. I have also been told that if I were to enter I wouldn’t come out alive. No one ever hears that side of the argument.
    I am curious though how an apartheid state would allow Palestinians people to be treated in Israeli hospitals like an Israeli or have Israeli citizenship or even work in Israel. What about the aid the Israel gives which is greedily taken by the authorities?
    To deny these facts (which I have seen with my own eyes) would make you as ignorant as you claim others to be.

  • Cliff Pinto

    “O wait only if your Jewish otherwise you don’t get to vote”

    Tell that to the 1.5 million Arab citizens of Israel that have the FULL right to vote and also have many Arab Members of the Knesset.

    “and there are laws specifically segregating you from the rest of society.”

    In your dreams, I’m assuming?

  • Chico Nooij
  • Paul

    “Hunter( Galloway) is nothing more than a chubby-faced little boy showing off. He represents immature tribalism – an infantile aggression which will keep his ‘team’ killing, maiming, torturing and imprisoning in the name of ‘peace’ for years to come.”

    Brackets mine.

  • Paul

    Seems flag waving does affect the Tosser known as Galloway, as he saw fit to remark on it . Oh and why such a grammar Nazi ?

  • http://www.kenbell.info/ Ken Bell

    Yeah, but the rag waver didn’t get too close did he? I doubt if a pretty boy like that would want to go up against a still tasty ex-middleweight. Far better to mouth off on-line.

    As for my other taunt, any Oxford man will tell you that the House is never called a college. Any genuine Oxford man…

    I mean I see that you are a Man City fan. Well, I am from Manchester, as were my family going back generations. I am also not Catholic. OK which team do I support?

    You see? Easy to spot the fakes who don’t really fit in.

  • alexa44

    Palestinisn of Ramallah Hebron etc Gaza etc are either under PA rule or Hamas rule They are not Israeli citizents.

  • alexa44

    Historically ture? do share those facts with us.

  • alexa44

    if the Israeli have no desire for peace than how come they gave back land to Egypt and Jordan for peace? How come they gave all populated area in the west bank to the PA how come they exepelled 8,000 Israeli out of Gaza?

  • alexa44

    Grow up? becasue he show Galloway true face. LOL

  • alexa44

    you should know that Neturie Karta are not main stream Jews.

  • alexa44

    Genoicide? Is that why arabs in Israel grew from 150,000 in 1949 to 1.2 million today?

  • http://www.kenbell.info/ Ken Bell

    Thank you. I don’t know if you have noticed but most of the people who are attacking us are fairly recent sign-up to Disqus. It’s as if the little fellows are all chums of the wally who waved the blue and white rag about. Do these men not have a life? Don’t get me wrong, I sympathise with Palestine, but it is not the be-all and end-all of life.

  • Paul

    Rangers ! Claim !!??? mate I was there when we played Tranmere in Cheshire with Kinky, I ate at the Bell-Waldron even though the food was shite and I had shares just cause I could go and have a coffee and ask Joe Royle a question at the Shareholders meeting . I am also not Catholic . I’d have my money on a nineteen yr old Army graduate ( Pretty or not) against a 60 yr.old washed up stumblebum.

  • http://www.kenbell.info/ Ken Bell

    I was like you after I’d had my first pint; don’t worry, you’ll get used to it, lad.

  • Paul

    Now ! with that sort of creative and original condescending wit I know your a Rags fan ! 4-1 !!!

  • http://www.kenbell.info/ Ken Bell

    City, obviously. As you would know if you were a Mancunian.

  • Paul

    No way ! yer not funny enough ! Stay in Salford with yer red mates!

  • Paul

    Jewish kids didn’t sing Orange songs. You got a problem with that ? I think so !

  • Sleipnir

    Hey Jonathan, nice article, you write well. I just wanted to point out an important error. A two-state solution is actually NOT the “official policy of the current Israeli government”. It is rather the view of Netanyahu, but only a minority of his Likud party share his view.

  • andy_gill

    Look at the video mate. Galloway’s fear was written on his face, and he even admitted he felt scared. He’s a physical coward.

    As for being a boxer, laughable. There is one George Galloway listed as a boxer here:

    http://boxrec.com/list_bouts.php?human_id=271937&cat=boxer

    His record? Fought 1, won 0, drawn 0, lost 1.

    Johnathon Hunter was applauded by the audience, and rightly so.

  • Neil Harland

    Someone somewhere needs to do something about these religious crackpots and too many bloody types of flags and conflicting books. I know George Galloway is a maniac and should stick to comedy and radio shows and ease off the drink a bit. Jesus wasn’t a mainstream Jew either and he got nailed to a tree.

  • meqmac

    Singularly untrue, and you know it. If not, you know nothing about Israel or the Palestinians. It is disagreeable to call Israel a terror state, first because it has never used terror tactics against any of its enemies. And the Palestinians have used terror since the 1920s and have killed thousands of Israeli civilians. Every war Israel has fought has been defensive. But the Arabs have started all of those wars aggressively. Read a historical text. How the hell can Israel be an ‘apartheid state’ when it doesn’t bear the slightest resemblance to South Africa under apartheid? There are no apartheid laws. Everywhere in Israel is equally open to Arabs: buses, trains, beaches, schools, universities, restaurants etc. All Israeli Arabs have full voting rights, serve in parliament (even when openly anti-Israel), serve on the Supreme Court and district courts, many serve in the army, some serve as diplomats, many teach in the universities (and are viciously anti-Israel), work in research or in start-ups…. What do you mean that Israel is an ‘invented state’? If you mean newly created, what the hell is wrong with that? Pakistan was invented and carved out of India (and Bangladesh later emerged from that). Ireland was the invention of nationalist Irishmen. Italy started as a conglomeration of tiny states which were unified into one state. The same is true of Germany, more than once. The Czech Republic is an artificial break from Czechoslovakia. If Scotland breaks away from the United Kingdom, it will have been invented by Scottish nationalists. By comparison, Israel has a 3000-year history. If you’re so keen on history, deal with that. And deal with the fact that it was never Palestine, but a range of shifting velayat and mutassarifats under the Ottoman empire, and Southern Syria after that. Need I go on? You are either stupid, bigoted, desperately badly informed, or an out and out liar. Which is it to be?

  • meqmac

    What utter stupidity. Everyone, Jews, Muslims, Christians etc have the vote in Israel, they are all eligible to serve in parliament (and do), they can serve on the Supreme Court (and do) and on district courts (and do). The laws of Israel are readily available online. Read them, and if you can find a single one that segregates Jews from non-Jews, do let us know. Peace? Israel has made serious gestures for lasting peace since the 1920s, then after 1949. It has pulled out of the Sinai (and made peace with Egypt), it has pulled out of southern Lebanon, it has made peace with Jordan, it has offered general peace terms to the Palestinians on innumerable occasions. But the Arab approach has been based on the Khartoum Declaration of 1967 (made by the Arab League): ‘no peace with Israel, no negotiations with Israel, no recognition of Israel (as a Jewish state)’. You have it completely backwards, son. A settlement freeze? thousands of settler forcibly removed from Gaza. Would you like to explain that? There will be a full freeze in the West Bank once the Palestinians agree to secure borders and to implement UN Resolution 242, which guarantees rights to Israel to retain some territory in that region. The planet everybody else is living on is built on facts. You are floating off somewhere far away, perhaps in another galaxy. You are what a more polite person might call a scumbag.

  • Neil Harland

    You are my sunshine, my only sunshine, you may me happy when clouds are grey…..I take it you do lots of dreaming mighty(?)mark. put on your superman outfit and show us your mightyness. Question. Are you Jesus? Terry Wogan and the BBC suck a **** News want to know.

  • mightymark

    You’e a fine one to talk about crackpots! Try writing some coherent sentences would be a good start.

  • http://www.kenbell.info/ Ken Bell

    Up late weren’t you last night? Shit the bed, did you? There you were thinking that a fart was on the way. Oops, big mistake.

    Nice to see that you have pulled the avatar. Best not to kid as you become an object of ridicule when you get caught out.

  • Paul

    Carry on mate, Wonderful language, you are a wordsmith aren’t ya ? Avatar that’s a big word ! So glad your’e a Red Twit Merchant trolling and not a True Blue. I remember your lot hanging out at the Rialto on me way to town, one step away from Strangeways ! Ta rah ya Rick !

  • Dorith Carmeli

    You show that you know nothing about Israel, writing that if you are not Jewish, one does not get to vote. Do you know how many knesset members are Arabs? (Do you know what the knesset is?)

    You are couragous in showing your stupidity re Israel.

  • http://www.kenbell.info/ Ken Bell

    Andy, I could have sworn that I replied to this spurt yours, but I cannot see that reply anywhere. Andy, did you get all upset and go running off to complain about my quite reasoned response?. I seem to recall telling you how sweet it was that you had gone investigating Galloway’s background; sweet, but a little pathetic. The sort of thing that a fellow who has never had a girlfriend would do. Andy, let me tell you that Mrs Hand and her five daughters have nothing on a real live goer. Hire one today, Andy!

  • JollyRoger61

    Eretz Yisrael!

  • Neil Harland

    The crackpots are in number 10. I am not religious, and my mind works quite logically although I only got a C in English grammar but instead type (not write, we’re on the web remember) as I would speak, adding comedy to subjects like crackpots (religious nutters, George Galloway, UK Parliament on the ‘crack’, cocaine’ and that). Keep it mighty Mark. At least I use my real name online when commenting not some ‘crackpot’ name like ‘mightymark’.

  • Ashley Dickenson

    The only time Israel used terror was against the British Mandate that badly mistreated it; political parties of all ‘hues’ are represented in the Israeli Knesset; Israel is a fulfilment of Biblical prophecy confirmed by history. Ignoramous.

  • Ashley Dickenson

    Dear James, Palestine was the name of a region given it by the conquering Romans as an anti-semitic insult to the Jews who they subjugated and which was later perpetuated by both the Ottoman Empire and British Mandate.

  • Robert Hardy

    NICE ONE JONATHAN. GALLOWAY IS A DISGRACE , HE LIES ALL THE TIME, THANKS FOR SHOWING HIM UP. HE CRAPPED HIS PANTS

  • Truth

    You looked like a fool in this debate. Galloway humiliated you in front of everyone, and he finished with an amazing comparison between Israel and fascism.

  • Ghazi

    he totally owned you before and after you left

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