TalkRadio was right to sack Galloway; his words were anti-Semitic

George Galloway: He spoke unwisely.

As a person who has been falsely accused of anti-Semitism, it would be easy for me to side with George Galloway after he was sacked by TalkRadio for anti-Semitism.

The natural assumption is that other accusations must also be false and unfair. “Oh, another one,”I might say. “About as much truth in it as there was in mine. None!”

That is the danger when people make false claims for the sake of political gain – that genuine cases will be overlooked.

And this is a genuine case.

The International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s working definition and examples of anti-Semitism has been much-maligned over the apparent ease with which apologists for the Israeli government can use it to defend the acts of that administration.

But the sixth of its examples is clear: “Contemporary examples of antisemitism in public life, the media, schools, the workplace, and in the religious sphere could, taking into account the overall context, include… accusing Jewish citizens of being more loyal to Israel, or to the alleged priorities of Jews worldwide, than to the interests of their own nations.”

It would be perfectly reasonable to accuse Tottenham Hotspur of such behaviour if there was evidence of it, but “a strong association with the Jewish community” is not enough.

There were Jews in London long before the current state of Israel was formed and there is no reason to believe that those who support Tottenham Hotspur have changed their loyalties from the UK to that nation.

So the claim that Mr Galloway’s words were anti-Semitic seems accurate to me, although I make no judgement on TalkRadio’s treatment of him in response. That is a matter of the station’s rules.

If I am missing a vital piece of information, please let me know.

George Galloway has been sacked from his TalkRadio show with immediate effect, after the former MP said Liverpool’s victory over Tottenham Hotspur in the Champions League final meant there would be “no Israel flags on the cup”.

The north London club, which has a strong association with the Jewish community, had called for him to be sacked, saying: “It’s astounding in this day and age to read such blatant antisemitism published on a social platform by someone who is still afforded air time on a radio station on which he has previously broken broadcast impartiality rules.”

Source: TalkRadio sacks George Galloway over ‘antisemitic views’ | Politics | The Guardian

ADDITIONAL: Soon after I published this article I was made aware that many Jewish Spurs supporters take, and wave, the national flag of Israel to matches, in an expression of their shared Jewish identity. This casts a new complexion on the matter. But here’s the question: If Spurs had won the cup, would these fans have claimed it for Israel, as Mr Galloway implied – or for their home team?

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

Vox Political needs your help!
If you want to support this site
but don’t want to give your money to advertisers)
you can make a one-off donation here:

Donate Button with Credit Cards

Here are four ways to be sure you’re among the first to know what’s going on.

1) Register with us by clicking on ‘Subscribe’ (in the left margin). You can then receive notifications of every new article that is posted here.

2) Follow VP on Twitter @VoxPolitical

3) Like the Facebook page at

Join the Vox Political Facebook page.

4) You could even make Vox Political your homepage at

And do share with your family and friends – so they don’t miss out!

If you have appreciated this article, don’t forget to share it using the buttons at the bottom of this page. Politics is about everybody – so let’s try to get everybody involved!

Buy Vox Political books so we can continue
fighting for the facts.

The Livingstone Presumption is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

Health Warning: Government! is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

The first collection, Strong Words and Hard Times,
is still available in either print or eBook format here:


19 thoughts on “TalkRadio was right to sack Galloway; his words were anti-Semitic

  1. David Lowton

    For you to state that George was being antisemitic for his quote is two faced and hypocritical. Your comments on Israel have been a lot worse. You are defending yourself with similar accusations from the Israeli lobbyists but refuse to defend Galloway. You have just lost my support. Maybe, it would be better if you kept some of your opinions private. Goodbye

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      But Mr Galloway wasn’t commenting on Israel; he was commenting on Jewish supporters of Tottenham Hotspur FC – and their choice to use the Israeli flag and call themselves the “Yid Army” was a response to anti-Semitism they have suffered. Mr Galloway’s claim that it shows support for a “racist state” clearly indicates he thinks these fans are more loyal to Israel than to the UK, without any hard proof that this may be true.

      1. Zippi

        How is claiming that support for what he calls a racist state proof of his belief, or assertion that those people are more loyal to Israel than they are to the U.K.?

  2. Martin Odoni

    The examples are not meant to be seen as cast-iron guarantees of anti-Semitism. They are meant as guidelines for official IHRA academics for where to look for POSSIBLE anti-Semitism.

    The definition and examples are also a ‘work in progress’, and the guy who wrote it, Professor Kenneth Stearn, has repeatedly warned that it should not be used in any official or legal capacity until further revisions can be made to it.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      True, and I have since learned that Jewish Spurs supporters wave the Israeli flag and call themselves the “Yid Army” as a response to anti-Semitic behaviour against them in the past, which muddies the water considerably. Mr Galloway has said it shows support for a “racist state”, which appears to be a misinterpretation of these fans’ reasons for using the flag, and which appears to make this a straightforward example of anti-Semitism according to the IHRA definition.

      Curiously enough, I’m not aware that anyone has asked the IHRA for an opinion – on any recent claims of anti-Semitism here in the UK.

      1. Zippi

        Is it a deliberate misinterpretation, or a misunderstanding of the situation by way of lack of historical knowledge on his part? How many people who are not Spurs fans know what? Kenneth Stern said that the examples didn’t PROVE anti-Semitism ad they were never designed to be used in this way; they were for data collection. I did write to Mr. Stern, when the spectre of anti-Semitism began to overshadow Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership, last Summer, which led to the adoption of the I.H.R.A. Working Definition of anti-Semitism in full; he told me that he was maintaining an interest but did not feel it appropriate to “wade in.”

  3. Simon Cohen

    Not sure if I agree Mike, at least on first blush-if the reference was merely to the ‘Israeli flag’ then it still comes under anti-Zionism, I would say.

    If, indeed it is a pure reference to the presence of the Israeli Flag (rather than other Jewish symbols or references) then I don’t see it as anti-semitic.

    As the Israeli flag is a symbol that emerged after the Jewish communal link with the club I can’t see how it impinges the community. Had it been anotherJewish symbol such as a head covering, a Hebrew letter, or religious artifact then that would have been chargeable as written.

    I may be wrong and I’m open to correction.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      According to the BBC, Mr Galloway said it showed an affiliation to a “racist state”. My problem with that is, Jewish Spurs supporters say they adopted the flag and the title “Yid Army” (in full knowledge that “Yid” is a derogatory term for a Jew) in response to anti-Semitism. So it’s not as clear-cut as it may seem, on either side.

      I asked the readership to let me know if I was missing a vital piece of information, and have had a few responses already – and I’m now undecided on this matter.

      1. Gary

        They COULD have displayed a religious symbol ie just the Star of David, on a flag to show religious affiliation. Choosing the flag of a country is not a religious statement.

        For example, Old Firm fans in Scotland (prior to the ban) were waving, on the one hand the flag of the Republic of Ireland and on the other the Red Hand of Ulster. Like the Israeli flag these are chosen for religious reasons (ie affiliation) but are VERY much political in their nature. This behaviour has been banned for very good reason.

        Unfair of Galloway to call the entire country “racist” as there are many who disagree with recent laws like The Deposit Law and The Nation State Law. Galloway is FAR too loose with his words. He is, if I’m being kind, foolish.

        But his ‘words’ are not actually anti-Semitic…

  4. Mark Gibson

    this is pathetic . There were Israeli flags being waved during the final . Can you name any other premier League teams whose supporters fly foreign flags on a regular basis ? Saying there would be “no Israel flags on the cup”, is a about as racist as stating that there would be red ribbons on the cup. The sad half-wit who complained about this ( & the ones that upheld it ) need to ask themselves one salient question : what do the Spurs fans flying Israeli flags have in their minds , what is their intent? Is it a bit of light hearted , intra-club bonhomie adding a touch of character ; or is it a serious attempt to destabilise and insult the sovereign nation to which Tottenham belongs ? One’s a giggle , one’s an act of terrorism . So, Spurs fans , which is it – are you rabid terrorists or having a bit of fun ? Whichever way you vote – then treat George Galloway appropriately. Of course YOU will have to be viewed appropriately by the authorities in exactly that way : national threat / fan banter. Your choice .

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      I ask about the intent in the additional paragraph at the end of this article, as you know.

      1. Illinois Cook

        intent is irrelevant, if they were waving Sickening Apartheid regime flags then George was fine to make his comment, as it wasn’t antisemitic, it was anti Israeli Apartheid Racist Terrorist Regime. His remarks were against the regime indicated by the flags, the visual evidence the flags were being waved during the game indicating the likely waving of the flags during celebration, the AS complaints about it I have seen dont mention the flags, they are connecting the flags with the faith, which is AS, and which is antisemitic, so of course your headline is wrong.

      2. Mike Sivier Post author

        It’s certainly not as black-and-white as some are trying to make it but the simple fact is that Mr Galloway was using the flag-waving to say Jewish Spurs fans are more loyal to Israel’s far-right government than the UK. My headline is not wrong but you need to check the definition and examples of anti-semitism.

      3. Zippi

        Have I missed something, Mike? Where is the evidence that supports your allegation, or assertion that “Mr Galloway was using the flag-waving to say Jewish Spurs fans are more loyal to Israel’s far-right government than the UK.”? I have not seen this in any report that I have read, merely the suggestion, that the flag wavers supported a racist state. Remember that peoples, governments and countries are not the same things.

  5. Gary

    No, I disagree. I have no respect left for George Galloway, he is deliberately provocative simply, I think, to keep himself in the public eye. And that’s just ONE of the reasons I don’t respect him.

    But, and this seems like a petty thing, I don’t think his WORDS were anti-Semitic. You could argue, from knowing about the man himself and his previous antics that his SENTIMENT was anti-Semitic. But that’s about the context of the man himself and what he MAY have MEANT by what he said. It’s NOT about what he actually said.

    As someone (Galloway) who is staunchly pro-Palestinian and has a low regard for Israel’s behaviour toward it, he could well be described as ‘anti-Israeli’ in the same way as someone could be described as ‘anti-American if they heavily criticise that country for it’s interventions in foreign countries by causing elected governments to be overthrown etc.

    However, to take such an attitude STILL does not constitute being anti Jewish. It only does so if you can say that being Jewish and being Israeli are one and the same, ie conflating anti-Semitism with being critical of Israel. Perhaps his attitude to Israel IS over the top and should not be visited upon ‘flag wavers’ but it STILL isn’t anti-Semitism. He commented about the flag, not criticising those who wave it for their religion or any of the disgusting stereotypes often associated with vile anti-Semitic remarks.

    It seems like a cliché to roll out the ‘slippery slope’ phrase but I believe we MUST be careful. We have to be especially careful when people who are themselves extreme in their words say things that we don’t just play along and agree.

    It is VERY easy to see bias etc when it is aimed at you, but it is very difficult to see it when it is aimed at those whose opinions you may actually despise.

    His remarks come close (in spirit) to being wrong, but they are NOT actually wrong.

    This is SUCH a charged subject, especially now when every week, almost, there is another story about Labour anti-Semitism which to most of us don’t actually seem to ring true. I would NOT defend anyone making anti-Jewish remarks, I abhor anti-Semitism and being Scottish, am well aware of the consequences of religious hatred up close and personal on a daily basis (sectarianism is alive and well sadly)

    Galloway IS an idiot but ultimately he DIDN’T say anything anti-Semitic…

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      His remarks are deemed to be a/S because they refer to that hoary old stereotype of the international Jewish conspiracy – saying they have more loyalty to Israel than to the UK.

  6. Mick Hills

    So George is a bigot? Thats what you are saying. Ok, that’s your opinion but not that of thousands of other people. He made a statement about what Israel is right now. Full stop

Comments are closed.