Your email is not valid
Recipient's email is not valid
Submit Close

Your email has been sent.

Click here to send another


Anti-Semitism and George Galloway’s Party

A controversy in the Respect Party shows a larger trend

Print Email
George Galloway(PA)

As The Scroll picked up on earlier today, London’s Jewish Chronicle has reported the comments of the British Respect Party’s woman’s officer, Naz Kahn, posted on Facebook September 30:

It’s such a shame that the history teachers in our school never taught us this but they are the first to start brainwashing us and our children into thinking the bad guy was Hitler. What have the Jews done good in this world??

The defense Kahn seemed to offer in a later post was she is “not a Nazi, I’m an ordinary British Muslim that had an opinion and put it across.” Respect’s hierarchy has condemned her statements of course, but unfortunately for them this is not the first time that the party – a coalition of dogged old socialists, Muslim interest groups, and anti-war types all united by anti-Zionism – has been accused of anti-Semitism. In 2010, Abul ‘Abz’ Hussain, a member of Respect’s National Council was found to have made jokes, again on Facebook, about Jews hoarding money. During a 2005 campaign in Bethnal Green and Bow in London, in which Labour MP Oona King was challenged by Respect’s George Galloway, King asserted that Respect activists had told voters not to elect her since she was Jewish, and argued that anti-Semitism was “used really effectively” during that campaign.

Speaking of Galloway, Respect’s voice in national debates would be inaudible were it not for the notoriety of their sole Member of Parliament, who may be best known in the United States for his ham-fisted and bombastic performance at a Senate hearing into the Oil-for-Food debacle. Galloway rejects anti-Semitism publically but he is certainly no friend of Israel. Rather, he is a known defender of Hezbollah, purposing in a 2006 op-ed that it “has not and has never been a terrorist organisation”. Galloway is also inclined towards one of Hezbollah’s principal supporters, Syria, labelling the nation “the last castle of Arab dignity” in an email begging for aid and assistance pertaining to a Viva Palestina convoy to Gaza. He was also rather fond of Saddam Hussein in the past, saluting him in a face-to-face meeting for his “courage, strength, and indefatigability.”

Galloway’s success as a Respect politician has been constructed upon not only his celebrity but his aforementioned deft use of sectarianism and division. In both 2005 (against King) and 2012, Galloway won seats in the House of Commons by running in constituencies with a high concentration of Muslim voters, using his anti-war stance and image as a defender of Arab and Muslim interests to carve up local communities and drag support away from Labour candidates. In March of this year running in the northern city of Bradford, campaign material written in the first person appeared which read as follows:

God KNOWS who is a Muslim. And he KNOWS who is not. Let me point out to all the Muslim brothers and sisters what I stand for. I, George Galloway, do not drink alcohol and never have. Ask yourself if the other candidate [Imran Hussain, Labour] in this election can say that truthfully. I, George Galloway, have fought for the Muslims at home and abroad, all my life, and paid a price for it. I, George Galloway, hold Pakistan’s highest civil awards.

Respect thus practices a variety of shameless ethno-religious politicking that aside from being dreadfully unseemly, odiously reductionist, and awfully un-British is also terribly dangerous, threatening to inject one’s race or religion into a process with should be about policy and ideology. It also rather undermines their claim to be the party of equality and social justice, an assertion also damaged by the fervent and rabid nature of their pro-Palestinian activism. Israel, Respect asserts, is a “settler colonial state” founded on “toxic mix of racism and exceptionalism” that has “led to the existence of a state that since its formation has viewed its repeated violations of international law and its crimes against humanity entirely justified.” Peace, equality, and social justice for all, then, except it would seem for the Jews.


Liam Hoare is a freelance writer whose work on politics and literature has featured in publications including The AtlanticThe Daily Beast, and The Forward. He is a graduate of University College London’s School of Slavonic and East European Studies.

Print Email

Daily rate: $2
Monthly rate: $18
Yearly rate: $180

Tablet is committed to bringing you the best, smartest, most enlightening and entertaining reporting and writing on Jewish life, all free of charge. We take pride in our community of readers, and are thrilled that you choose to engage with us in a way that is both thoughtful and thought-provoking. But the Internet, for all of its wonders, poses challenges to civilized and constructive discussion, allowing vocal—and, often, anonymous—minorities to drag it down with invective (and worse). Starting today, then, we are asking people who'd like to post comments on the site to pay a nominal fee—less a paywall than a gesture of your own commitment to the cause of great conversation. All proceeds go to helping us bring you the ambitious journalism that brought you here in the first place.

Readers can still interact with us free of charge via Facebook, Twitter, and our other social media channels, or write to us at Each week, we’ll select the best letters and publish them in a new letters to the editor feature on the Scroll.

We hope this new largely symbolic measure will help us create a more pleasant and cultivated environment for all of our readers, and, as always, we thank you deeply for your support.

JacobArnon says:

There is no controversy.

Galloway is a scummy Jew hater. He used to support the Stalinst regimes in Russia, the Saddam dictatorship, now supports Assad and Hezbollah in Iran and Lebanon. If the regime hates Jews, murders dissenters Gallowy will support them.

He is no more controversial than chicken poop. He should be swept away. Instead he sits in the British Parlaiment. What does that say about that Parliament?

    June Dewar says:

    On Feb 8 1922 Winston Churchill wrote in the Sunday Herald that it was communist Jews who brought about the Russian revolution. Wayne McGuire of Harvard University writes “Lenin was a Jew”, Now let us not speak of Jews and semitism lets instead love what is good and hate what is bad. It is bad to burn people alive. It is bad to develop biological viruses that will kill the masses and destroy the productive land. It is bad to develop and trade in weapons of mass destruction. We have a choice; Seek peace or perish.

melanie77 says:

his constituency is only 13% muslim ,nice try though. he appeals to britain firsters who are tired of 100 years of jewish self serving claims and myths while destroying and corrupting countries from within, WHY isn’t the truth taught about WHY the german people finally decided to fight back

    How does it go sweetheart, Ein Reich, Ein Volk, Ein Fuhrer

      Melanie is just the typical traditional british antisemite

      June Dewar says:

      Why does no one mention Kolyma Magadan where millions of humans were worked to death in Siberia. or how sixteen million ethnic Germans were starved, raped and two million murdered. How 800,000 Chechens were deported by JUDAIC COMMISSARS to Kazakhstan. These atrocities took place just after the first world war. Unless the God who led the Jewish nation out of Egypt sets matters straigh no flesh will be saved at this time. The people who instigated the first and second world war’s their descendants are set to establish their one world government and bring about the end of civilization. But on account of the holy ones the God who should be their God, and who they; should be teaching us about and are negating to do so. The God who they tell you to laught at if mentioned will intervene.

melanie77 says:

can’t wait til obama is reelected and urinates on bibi’s head and slaps around the aipac and the treasonous 3 million jews who oordinate with it to hold our representatives hostage to israel’s interests

    That’s a tad harsh but I hate Netanyahu and most sensible people with whom I’ve crossed opinions despise him too. His maneuvering and influence playing in our home elections is unforgivable and his eagerness to unload bombs on Iran is the sign of an unreasoning rash hot head and a genuinely soulless son of a bitch..

    What?! I am insulted! How can you declare that only half of us are treasonous agents and rootless cosmopolitans?! Doesn’t your copy of the Protocols say that we are all out to betray the motherland?

      oaklandj says:

      Don’t feed the troll, please.

        There’s a big difference between feeding the troll and messing around with it. If I went point by point to refute her claims or if I went off on an emotion-fuel rant against her, then that would be feeding the troll.

          oaklandj says:

          Fair enough. I saw in another comment you recognized it as a troll. BTW I wouldn’t even acknowledge it as female since it probably isn’t. ;)

          Remember, on the internet the men are men, the women are men, and the children are MSNBC.

    I think Melanie is a double agent. In four years, I have never heard an anti-Semite of any political stripe speak of Obama as anything but an agent of “the Jews.”

June Dewar says:

This anti semite propaganda is getting a bit sickening. As soon as someone speaks truth the anti semite card is pulled out. Think what you are asking for. Weapons of mass destruction to destroy who?? You think it is just the Muslim world that are set to be burned alive with people having limbs blown off woman raped and murdered, men taken from farming their plots of land and murdered. So when the weapons of mass destruction are falling on top of you people you will rejoice will you??

MP Galloway stands up for human dignity. He fiercely opposes the murderously racist Israel. All good people do.

melanie77 says:

history books will show this time as the era of jewish treason

galloway is human garbage . he sees all jews as the enemy of the people, i have always said leftys are our new nazis, nothing i hate more except maybe self haters arrrggg.

Let’s start with the basics. Anti-Semite. OK, define Semite. No answer. Allow me. Descendants of Shem, one of Noah’s 3 sons. I also define them as dark-hair and dark-eyed people. Hence the blue-eyed blondes and other similar variations are not or are part Semites. Of course the Jewish “leaders” use the term, like so many other terms to shut up any criticism. That jig is up.
Also notice how many “Jews” are not Semitic, that’s why the Nazis kept them alive. They’re Aryans like the Nazis like. Now discuss, but please don’t blame me the messenger because I really don’t care about “offending” you or them.

    The definition of ‘anti-semite’ has nothing to do with the racial or ethnic classification of a ‘Semite. It’s as simple as that. Blame the person(s) who came up with the term in the 19th C. The jig ain’t up because your argument makes no sense.

      By makes no sense, I translate/interpret that to mean you don’t like it. Like so many truths the Jewish community just like the pig (Christian) community, leaders and followers alike, dismiss and then attack the messenger. No. 1- I take it from where it comes. No. 2- The only thing I trust the Jewish community to do is to lead me to some death camp. Your track record speaks for itself. Of course the pigz (Catholics and some other Christians) can be trusted to build and man the death machines and then blame others. That jig is up too. At least I can see through it. And with pleasure expose and rub their pig-noses in it.
      One point is that words have actual meaning, such as Semite, of which many Jews are not (and besides the blue eyed (Ashke)nazi Jews are the 4-eyed who are unwilling to see clearly and who make certain no one else does. Well I do.) If you want to call someone anti-Jewish then do so. Anti-Semite is NOT the same thing. Jews are not the only Semites, just as Jews are not the only chosen people. However I know I waste my time with people like Mr. Moses, who hate and cannot handle the truth and who think I will stifle my exposing their mislabeling and misinformation. I don’t need to blame someone from the 19th century. I blame those who perpetuate the mislabeling and who promote ignorance and confusion.

Lynne T says:

While on the first “Viva Palestina” convoy, Galloway also famously handed a significant amount of cash to a senior member of Hamas (I. Haniyeh if memory serves) declaring that the money was “political” and “not charity”. That he is sitting in Parliament and not facing charges for providing funds to a proscribed organization speaks very poorly for Britain’s justice department. But his luck/source of income may be coming to a close, hoisted by his own petard when he made some egregious remarks about what constitutes rape in the case of Julian Assange.

I am a former (Resigned not expelled) member of Respect Bradford foolishly joined without using ones brains and yes I am a Muslim. Please read my statement of the antics of the Respect Party Activists and decide whether these are nice people who truly believe in Equality Peace and Justice

It seems that the Galloway who appeared on TV’s Celebrity Big Brother as a whining feline in Rula Lenska’s lap might be preferable to some even more charismatic radical who advocates Sharia Law in the UK. Being in Parliament means he can be watched. I wonder if he gave up what was left of his brain on Hadrian’s Wall when he came to London???

Craig Eliot says:

Uh … does this genius know that when he goes to church on Sunday he’s bowing down to his Jewish savior?


Your comment may be no longer than 2,000 characters, approximately 400 words. HTML tags are not permitted, nor are more than two URLs per comment. We reserve the right to delete inappropriate comments.

Thank You!

Thank you for subscribing to the Tablet Magazine Daily Digest.
Please tell us about you.

Anti-Semitism and George Galloway’s Party

A controversy in the Respect Party shows a larger trend

More on Tablet:

Why the Teenage Girls of Europe Are Joining ISIS

By Lee Smith — Because they want the same things that teenage boys want: a strong sense of meaning and purpose