George Galloway has been released from hospital a day after being attacked in London, allegedly for his anti-Israeli views. His spokesman said the UK MP appears to have some broken ribs and bruising to his head.
Galloway, who is a MP for the Respect Party, was posing for pictures in the Notting Hill Gate area of west London, when he was attacked Friday evening.
His spokesman believes he was set upon because of his views on Israel. The attacker, who police say was a 39-year-old man and has since been arrested, allegedly called the MP “a Hitler” and also leapt on him.
“George was posing for pictures with people and this guy just attacked him, leapt on him and started punching him,” the spokesman said.
“It appears to be connected with his comments about Israel because the guy was shouting about the Holocaust.”
It was initially feared that Galloway, 60, had suffered a broken jaw, but his spokesman said that this was not the case.
The MP for Bradford West, in the north of England, is one of the UK’s most outspoken lawmakers, but is also known for his harsh stance against Israel. In particular, Galloway does not recognize the state of Israel and he does not debate with Israelis.
At a rally to support the Palestinian cause in July in London, he said in a speech: “We are here to stay. As long as one Palestinian remains alive we will be with them.” 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.”
He was subsequently cautioned by police regarding this, following complaints from the public.
Galloway was 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, he said in an interview two years ago.
“A very large number of people in Syria, whether a majority or not, are terrified of the prospects of victory for the Syrian rebels because there is a substantial Christian population in Syria… There are different ethnic groups, Kurdish for example, terrified of the victory of Jihadist extremists,” he said in July 2012. AGENCIES