British Member of Parliament George Galloway of the left-wing Respect Party, who is known for his brash statements and far-left ideology, walked out of a debate at Christ College at Oxford University on Wednesday evening when he discovered his debate opponent, a student named Eylon Aslan-Levy, was an Israeli. Galloway was at the debate to argue for Israel “immediately withdrawing from the West Bank,” the Guardian said, when he suddenly stood up and said “I don’t debate Israelis,” and walked out of the room, followed by his wife, Putri Gayatri Pertiwi.
Onlookers at the debate can be heard shouting accusations of racism.
Historian Tim Stanley wrote of the incident in the Telegraph, “Israelis don’t recognize blowhard demagogues, so the feeling is probably mutual.”
Blowhard or not, Galloway is known to be rather loudly opinionated. Known most recently for his vocal support of controversial Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, he has always taken a special interest in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. He has been accused of taking funds from Islamist organizations that “share al-Qaeda ideology,” but the chairman of Muslims4UK, a pro-Islam lobbying group in England, told the Telegraph at the time that this was not true.