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PAGE 2A HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, AUGUST 29, 2014 George Galloway stirs up a sticky wicket in Yorkshire, England By Christine DeSouza Assistant Editor Recently, in reaction to the Gaza conflict, George Gal- loway, a Respect party repre- sentative to U.K.'s Parliament announced that the West Yorkshire city of Bradford would be an "Israel-free zone." "We don't want any Israeli goods, we don't want any Is- raeli services, we don't want any Israeli academics com- ing to the university or the college, we don't even want any Israeli tourists to come to Bradford, even if any of them had thought of doing so," Galloway stated. Speaking on behalf of the Respect Party in Leeds, the MP for Bradford West encouraged a crowd gathered at a public meeting to back his stance and "do the same." However, citizens of Brad- ford made it clear that they do not agree with Galloway's declaration and the city's small Jewish community and supporters of Israel invited Israel's ambassador to the United Kingdom, Daniel Taub, to visit the city. The local Telegraph & Argus newspaper reported that Taub met with local lawmakers, faith leaders and representatives of other com- munity organizations. "I am here because I was invited to come by the people of Bradford, who sent a clear message that George Gal- loway does not represent them," Taub said during his visit, according to Telegraph & Argus. "I don't believe George Galloway is the real voice of Bradford. There is a long his- tory of cooperation between Bradford and Israel." Several complaints were filed against Galloway for the comments and he is under police investigation. A police spokesman said that the matter would be referred to the Crown Pros- ecution Service for their consideration once inquiries are completed. Galloway said: "This is a monumental - and monu- mentally expensive - waste of police time set off by people who apparently find it excus- able to incinerate innocent children and babies. I will not suffer any attempts to have my freedom of speech curtailed and I am confident that at the end of this charade my right to speak the truth will be upheld." To add fuel to the fire, Zulfi Karim, secretary of the Bradford Council for Mosques in Bradford, accused Galloway and the Israeli embassy of cre- ating disharmony in the city, according to The Guardian newspaper. During his visit, Taub said: "In the best spirit of Yorkshire, the real voice of Bradford knows that there has only ever been one good boycott - and that's Geoff Boycott (a former Yorkshire and England crick- eter and now a member of BBC Radio 4 Longwave's Test Match Special commentary team)." Taub also tweeted a picture of himself holding an Israeli passport outside city hall and another with an Israeli flag in the Greengates area of the city: an act described as a "deliberate provocation" by Karim. "For an ambassador to unfurl an Israeli flag by a Welcome to Bradford sign is a deliberate provocation and not the behaviour I would ex- pect of an ambassador of one of the world's most important countries," Karim retorted. He called on Galloway and Taub to stop using the city for their own political ends, say- ing: "This is to Mr. Galloway and the ambassador: please do not bring your politics on to the streets of Bradford to create disharmony among our communities. If you have concerns, share them in your embassy or in parlia- ment or in a neutral place, not in Bradford.'He added: "We work in harmony in Bradford and we support our Jewish community. Last year itwas the Muslim community which helped to secure the sustainability of the city's last synagogue." With only 299 Jews left in the city, the final synagogue was under threat of closure when members could not afford to repair the roof, until local Muslims kick started a campaign to save the 133-year-old building. In his speech on Mon- day, Taub praised the cross- cultural understanding in Bradford. "This real Bradford has a great deal to teach the world about a multicultural Mark Kerrison/Mark Kerrison/Demotix/Corbis Respect MP George Galloway has claimed that Israeli goods, academics and tourists are not welcome in the West Yorkshire city of Bradford. city where Christians, Mus- lims, and Jews live, work, and cooperate together. Here, the historic synagogue thrives thanks to the support of the Muslim community. It's a much-needed model of how people who may not agree about everything can still listen to each other, hear each other, and treat each other with genuine respect." Labour's Dave Green refut- ed Galloway's claims, which "give an unjust and unfair view of the city". "By making these ludicrous and outrageous statements, Galloway is doing something very dangerous because what it does is cause tension within communities in Bradford," he said. Jews in the city had raised concerns about an increase in verbal abuse of late, said Green. "You may like to ask Galloway how he is going to identify Israeli citizens. It's one of those statements, which may get him a round of applause among his acolytes but which is underpinned by something really dangerous." By Eric Berger Jewish student assaulted at Temple University PHILADELPHIA (Jewish Exponent)--Hillel, the cam- pus student group, is express- ing "outrage" over an attack on a Jewish student at Temple University on Wednesday and is calling on the university to ensure the safety of its Jewish students. At the same time, the school's chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine is condemning the attack and is claiming the alleged assail- ant was not a member of its organization. Daniel Vessal, an upperclass member of the Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternity and a fellow with the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America, a pro-Israel organi- zation, allegedlywas assaulted during move-in day at Temple's main campus here. Vessal had approached a table manned by members of Students for Justice in Pal- estine, known as SJP, during Templefest, where students gather information about campus activities and started talking with them, according to reports thatwere confirmed by Temple Hillel's director, Phil Nordlinger. One of the pro-Palestin- ian students then allegedly punched Vessal, and he and others with the group al- legedly started yelling anti- Semitics slurs at Vessal. Vessal, who went to seek medical treatment at Temple University Hospital and was later released, could not be reached for comment. Nordlinger said that when he spoke with police, they told him that they were still investigating and did not say whether they planned to ar- rest the alleged assailant. In its statement issued Thursday, Hillel of Greater Philadelphia and Hillel at Temple University called on the university "to take action against Students for Justice In Palestine with the clear mes- sage that all students may ex- press themselves in peaceful and non-violent ways without fear of physical assault and that expressions of ethnic hatred will not be tolerated on Temple's campus." "Hillel is concerned for the safety of Temple's Jewish and pro-Israel students," the statement continued, "for their ability to openly display symbols of Jewish identity and affiliation on campus, and for their right to express their support for Israel without intimidation." The group said it was working with Temple admin- istrators and police to "assure the safety of Temple's Jewish students." The incident comes amid widespread concern that cam- puses across the country will see increased anti-Israel and anti-Jewish hostilities in the wake of the Israel-Gaza war this summer. It also came just a few days after the Temple Hillel held its annual orientation for new students, Freshfest, educating students and their families about Jewish life on campus. The group answered questions about topics such as safety, scheduling conflicts over the High Holidays and Shabbat programming. At the time, Israel-related issues were not expressed as a major concern by either the students or their parents. Students and staff talked about how the campus has not had as much conflict over Israel among students as other schools in recent years and that the pro-Palestinian groups did not have a strong presence last year. The school did, however, receive significant negative attention in June after an adjunct professor made in- flammatory statements in an online forum about the Holocaust and Jewish influ- ence in academia. ATemple University spokes- man initially told a Washing- ton, D.C., media outlet that the school "promotes open discussion and expression among its diverse community of scholars. The exercise of academic freedom necessarily results in avigorous exchange of ideas." Temple later released a statement distancing itself from the professor, Alessio Lerro. "These statements have incited strong reaction, and rightly so," the statementsaid. "The university, predictably but nonetheless inappropri- ately, has been painted with those statements, which were those of the speaker and not Temple." Meanwhile, SJP distanced itself from Wednesday's in- cident and asserted that the Jewish student had"harassed" its members. In a statement released over Twitter on Thursday, the group said: "A student, who is not a member of Students for Justice in Palestine, slapped a former student who was repeatedly harassing the SJP table." "In all the years that SJP has existed at Temple, argu- ments have never escalated to physical confrontation. Temple SJP condemns this act of physical violence, just as we condemn the violence that is committed against Palestinians by the state of Israel on a daily basis." In the statement, SJP as- serted that Vessal called its members "terrorists" and "Hamas." The organization denied that its members used any anti-Semitic slurs. "SJP condemns and op- poses anti-Semitism in all of its insidious forms, particu- larly when it is thinly veiled as 'activism' and exploits the Palestinian cause to justify its bigotry," the statement read. Rabbi Howard Alpert, director of Hiilel of Greater Philadelphia, said the SJP assertion that the alleged assailant was not a member of the group is "not relevant." The organization "needs to be held responsible for the actions of their guests and individuals at their table, whether or not they are stu- dents," Alpert said. Temple University released a statement Thursday morn- ing saying it was investigat- ing the incident and that it would "not tolerate violence of any kind directed against members of the Temple com- munity." University officials declined to release the name of the al- leged assailant, citing privacy concerns. The full Temple statement follows: "Temple University is investigating a report of an attack against a student late Wednesday afternoon. The attack is alleged to have in- cluded physical violence and anti-Semitic statements and religious slurs. "As part of its investiga- tion, Temple asks that anyone with information about the incident contact Campus Safety Services immediately at 215-204-1234. "Temple University un- equivocally condemns the disparagement or assault of any person based on religion or nationality. The university will not tolerate Violence of any kind directed against members of the Temple com- munity. "In addition, university officials Wednesday night reached out to leaders of the Temple Jewish and pro- Palestinian communities to discuss the incident and a best path for moving forward." Asked about this week's incident and the statements made by the adjunct professor over the summer, Alpert said, "Temple university needs to take strong action to avoid that pattern of behavior becoming the reality at" the school. Alpert said he spoke with the dean of students, who told him that the police "were tak- ing the matter seriously and still investigating." He said "we should with- hold judgment" about why the assailant has not been arrested until the investiga- tion is completed. The rabbi added, "I think Temple University needs to consider taking a strong stance against the tendency of anti-Israelis to slide into anti- Semitism and to recognize that anti-Israelism attracts individuals who are motivated by hatred of Jews." Pres. Obama's response to Foley execution By Christine DeSouza Assistant Editor President Obama spoke out against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant in his remarks addressing the execution of journalist James Foley on Aug. 19, stating that "a group like ISIL has no place in the 21st century." He went on to say "There has to be a common effort to extract this cancer so it does not spread. There has to be a clear rejection of this kind of nihilistic ideologies... Friends and allies around the world, we share a common security a set of values opposite of what we saw yesterday. We will con- tinue to confront this hateful terrorism and replace it with a sense of hope and stability... "The United States of Amer- icawill continue to dowhatwe must do to protect our people. We will be vigilant and we will be relentless. When people harm Americans anywhere, we do what's necessary to see that justice is done and Nicole Tung via Journalist James Foley before he was taken in 2012 by ISIS. we act against ISIL, standing alongside others." Using his trademark line "Let's be clear..." he described ISIL as a group that speaks for no religion, having ravaged, raped and murdered Sunni and Shia Muslims by the thou- sands, and targeted Christians and other religious minorities "for no other reason than they practice a different religion." Obama defined that we will continue to help the people of Iraq and Syria by support- ing them in their continuing fight to expel ISIL from their community.