George Galloway investigated after he says Israeli tourists aren't welcome in his constituency
The British MP for Bradford West, George Galloway, is back in the news after declaring that the area he represents should be called 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," Galloway declared in a recent speech in Leeds. “We don’t even want any Israeli tourists to come to Bradford even if any of them had thought of doing so. We reject this illegal, barbarous, savage state that calls itself Israel—and you have to do the same.”
That's prompted an investigation by the West Yorkshire police.
A police spokesperson is quoted in the Telegraph saying there have been two separate complaints filed against Galloway.
It's not the first time that Galloway has stirred up controversy. Earlier this month, he announced that he's holding his own public inquiry into the BBC's coverage of the war between Israel and Hamas. Galloway has claimed that as a publicly funded organization, the BBC has an obligation to cover the conflict in an unbiased manner.
In February 2013, Zionist Federation of Great Britain and Ireland chairman Paul Charney criticized the Respect MP when he walked out of a meeting after learning that a student on-stage with him was from Israel.
"George Galloway's refusal to debate with an Israeli student is absolutely disgraceful and clearly xenophobic," Charney said at the time, according to Scotland's Sunday Herald. "The incident shows a man consumed by hatred of Israel, who undermines freedom of speech as he fears his lies and demonization of Israel being exposed."
Galloway, however, defended himself against charges of racism in a speech last year at Oxford Union.
Galloway said "the greatest people on the Earth were Jews", referring to their historical contributions toward the advancement of civilization.
He also described how Jewish activists worked alongside him in the battle to overturn apartheid in South Africa.
"They don’t have to be on the side of racism," he said.
In 2010, Galloway visited Vancouver as part of a cross-country tour of Canada.