Galloway Attacked In London, Hurt

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LONDON: An outspoken British lawmaker who declared an “Israel-free zone” in a northern English city suffered a suspected broken jaw in an attack believed to be linked to his support for the Palestinians, his party said on Saturday.

George Galloway was attacked in west London on Friday night.

“It is thought that the attack is connected to Mr Galloway’s support for the Palestinian cause,” the left-wing Respect Party said in a statement.

The outspoken Scot, dubbed “Gorgeous George” by the British media, recently made headlines when he declared Bradford to be an Israel-free zone and urged people to reject all Israeli goods, services and even tourists.

Galloway, one of a handful of independent MPs in the Westminster parliament, stunned British politics when he won his West Bradford seat in 2012. The city has a large Muslim minority.

 Galloway has been particularly vocal about Israel’s incursion into Gaza, which has killed well over 2,000 Palestinians, the vast majority civilians.

In early August, Galloway went as far as to declare his constituency an “Israel-free zone.” The MP, whose constituency has one of the highest Asian populations in the UK, urged people not to buy Israeli goods or services and even to reject tourists.

“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,” the MP said. “We don’t even want any Israeli tourists to come to Bradford, if any of them had thought of doing so. We reject this illegal, barbarous, savage state that calls itself Israel.”

Galloway is also very critical of the UK’s backing of Syrian rebels against President Bashar Assad. He believed the west was only interested in toppling the head of Syria because he would not follow their orders.

A Respect spokesperson said the Friday incident appeared to be connected with Israel because the attacker had been shouting something about the Holocaust.

Police said a 39-year-old man had been arrested and taken to a south London police station where he remained in custody.

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