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Galloway Questioned Over 'Israel-Free Zone' Comments

Anti-Israel British MP questioned over his remarks declaring his constituency an "Israel-free zone", declares he will not be silenced.
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 8/21/2014, 6:13 AM

Galloway (L) with Hamas leader Haniyeh
Galloway (L) with Hamas leader Haniyeh
Flash 90

Anti-Israel British MP George Galloway has been questioned by police over his remarks declaring his constituency an "Israel-free zone", but has declared he will not be silenced.

According to Sky News, Galloway was questioned under caution over the remarks, which provoked an outcry on social media, and resulted in West Yorkshire Police saying it would investigate after receiving more than 300 complaints.

"This is an absolute and despicable attempt to curb my freedom of speech by people who appear to be quite happy about the indiscriminate murder of Palestinians in Gaza,” Galloway was quoted by Sky News as having said.

"I won't be silenced, I will keep speaking out against horrendous injustice," he declared.

He is understood to believe he will not be prosecuted for inciting racial hatred following his comments, according to the report.

The Crown Prosecution Service will decide whether any charges should be brought.

Leeds District Commander, Chief Superintendent Paul Money, said, "A 59-year-old man has been interviewed under caution voluntarily following complaints made about the content of a speech given in Leeds earlier this month.”

"Once enquiries are completed the matter will be referred to the Crown Prosecution Service for their consideration," he added.

This week, Israel’s ambassador to the UK, Daniel Taub, visited the city of Bradford in "defiance" of Galloway's "decree".

Galloway expressed anger and frustration over Taub’s visit, saying it was “a provocation to the 10s of 1,000s of people in Bradford who regard the Israeli ambassador as the plenipotentiary of a rogue and terrorist state.”

"As has just been proved, I cannot make Bradford an Israel-free zone, but I am certain that the Israeli ambassador was not welcome," he added.

Galloway has a long history of anti-Israeli bigotry. He was branded a racist when he stormed out of a debate after finding out that his opponent was Israel, saying "I don't debate with Israelis."

In addition, he has publicly aired several bizarre anti-Israel conspiracy theories, including claims that Israel was engineering unrest in Ukraine, and that the Jewish state had given chemical weapons to Al-Qaeda - comments he then denied making despite them having been recorded.