No Charges for U.K. Lawmaker Galloway on Bradford 'Israel-free Zone' Speech

Legislator brands police probe following his August speech urging Israelis to keep away from the city a 'waste of police time' and part of an 'ultra-Zionist vendetta.'

Reuters

British Parliament Member George Galloway will not face charges for declaring the city of Bradford "an Israel-free zone" – and has now declared the probe against him a "waste of police time," local media reports.

Galloway was questioned by police after complaints over a speech he made in August urging the city to reject all Israeli goods, services, academics and even 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," Galloway said at a meeting of the far-left Respect Party in Leeds. “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. And you have to do the same.”

The U.K.'s Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said that following the investigation, there was insufficient evidence to charge Galloway, the International Business Times reported on Thursday.

"Given the context and setting in which the speech was made, including its overall content and the audience discussion which followed, we have determined that the speech did not indicate a desire to encourage others to hate a racial group," said Deborah Walsh from the CPS special crime and counter-terrorism division.

"There is also insufficient evidence to show, in all the circumstances of this case, that it was likely that people would have been motivated to hate people of Israeli origin as a result."

Galloway slammed the investigation after it as confirmed he would not face charges.

"This was an extremely expensive waste of police and CPS time forced on them by ultra-Zionists who were pursuing a vendetta against me. My comments were aimed at the state of Israel, which - I repeat what I said at the time - is an illegal, savage and barbarous state, and had nothing whatever to do with race or religion," Galloway said, according to local media. "I take back not a word and I will continue to forcefully condemn Israel."

The August speech was by no means the first time the lawmaker has said that in effect he wants nothing to do with Israel and Israelis. In February 2013 he walked out of what was supposed to be a debate when he found out that he'd be debating an Israeli.

In fact, Galloway abstained from the recent House of Commons vote on whether to recognize a State of Palestine because the proposal also recognizes Israel as a state.