George Galloway, the renegade British MP who has managed the startling feat of becoming the most boorish and obnoxious man in England while belonging to a political party with “Respect” in its title, is on a Grand Tour of Oxford. This week, Galloway took in Christ Church, at which college he was supposed to debate a third-year student on the motion, “Israel should withdraw immediately from the West Bank.” It didn’t last long. When he discovered that his opponent was an Israeli, he stormed out. “I don’t debate with Israelis. I’ve been misled,” he complained. “Respect,” the party says, stands for “Respect, Equality, Socialism, Peace, Environmentalism, Community and Trade Unionism.” Evidently, they couldn’t fit “Anti-Semitism” into the acronym.
Last week, Galloway gave a talk at the Oxford Union, during which he quickly stirred himself into a frenzy and berated a teenaged student who had the temerity to suggest that Hugo Chavez was not a good egg: