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We Don't Want Israeli Tourists In Bradford, Says George Galloway

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UPDATE: Yorkshire Police have launched an investigation over George Galloway's comments that Bradford is an 'Israel-free zone'.

Israeli tourists are not welcome in Bradford, according to local MP George Galloway in a speech to Respect party activists.

The Guido Fawkes blog posted a video of the Bradford West MP speaking to party members in Leeds in front of a Palestinian flag, calling for harsh, if implausible, measures to protest his anger at the month-long bombardment of the Gaza Strip.

“We have declared Bradford 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.

"We reject this illegal, barbarous, savage state that calls itself Israel. And you have to do the same.”

The Huffington Post UK has asked the MP's office for clarification on his speech.

Galloway is not the only Bradford MP to stir up controversy over the conflict which has killed nearly 1,900 Palestinians. Liberal Democrat MP David Ward issued what the party described as a "categorical apology", after posting a tweet suggesting that he would "probably" fire rockets from Gaza into Israel.

The Bradford East MP faced a furious backlash and was accused of inciting violence with the comments, but has insisted that his tweets were not intended to support Hamas.

Ward has had a long-running dispute with the Lib Dem leadership over his use of language with regard to Israel.

He also posted a tweet earlier this year calling Israel an "apartheid state" and saying that "Zionists" were "losing the battle".

Galloway too has been criticised previously for directing his anger at the actions of the Israeli government toward ordinary citizens of the country.

Speaking at an event last year at Oxford University in favour of the motion "Israel should withdraw immediately from the West Bank", and less than three minutes into his opponent Eylon Aslan-Levy's speech, Galloway interrupted, asking "You said we. Are you an Israeli?"

Third year student Aslan-Levy answered "I am, yes." Galloway promptly stood up and replied: "I don't debate with Israelis, I've been misled, sorry."

As the Bradford West representative left the room, a member of the audience shouted "racism", to which the MP replied: "I don't recognise Israel and I don't debate with Israelis." Another student added: "But he [Aslan-Levy]'s a person, he's a human being!"

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