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Brave UK Jews Bring Israeli Flags to 'Israeli-Free' City

March into 'Israel-free zone' reportedly well-received as backlash over bigoted MP's remarks continues.
By Tova Dvorin
First Publish: 8/11/2014, 2:31 PM

George Galloway
George Galloway
Reuters

A small delegation of British Jews bravely made their way to Bradford, UK on Sunday, after notoriously anti-Israel MP George Galloway proudly declared the area "Israeli-free".

The delegation, bearing Israeli flags and passports, marched to the Bradford Town Hall. 

The move was organized by Rabbi Shneur Odze, who took to Facebook to thank participants Sunday. 

"Well guys - we made it," Odze wrote. "Some Israelis from London, Mandy Blumenthal, I and others, went to Bradford Town Hall with flags, Israeli passports et al."

"I must confess to being rather anxious as to what kind of reaction we’d get," he continued. "However, I’m pleased to say, a few shouts from across the road aside, the reception was almost exclusively positive, with many coming over to wish us well, welcome us and almost everyone, unprompted seemed to know why we were there."

"Thank you to everyone that came and all those that worked hard to make it happen," he concluded, noting that another protest - "with a twist" - is scheduled for next Sunday. 

Scottish-born Galloway declared that the city of Bradford in northern England would not accept the presence of Israelis in an impassioned party speech last week, proudly stating that he chooses to live in an "Israel-free zone." 

"We don’t want any Israeli goods. We don’t want any Israeli services. We don’t want any Israeli academics, coming to the university or the college. We don’t even want any Israeli tourists to come to Bradford if any of them had thought of doing so," he said. "We reject this illegal, barbarous, savage state that calls itself Israel. And you have to do the same."

The remarks sparked a police investigation into the MP, who has a long history of anti-Israel bigotry and heads the British pro-Hamas group Viva Palestina.