George Galloway falsely claims Israel ‘sprayed Al Aqsa with sewage’
search

The latest Jewish News

Read this week’s digital edition

Click Here

George Galloway falsely claims Israel ‘sprayed Al Aqsa with sewage’

Former MP and reality TV star standing in Batley & Spen told hustings that Israel doused the compound with raw waste – a claim exposed as fake.

Lee Harpin is the Jewish News's political editor

George Galloway
George Galloway

George Galloway has used a hustings event ahead of the Batley and Spen by-election to spread a fabricated claim that Israel this week “sprayed” the Al Aqsa compound with sewage.

Answering a question on what issues mattered to voters in the West Yorkshire seat, Galloway said: “Tens of thousands of people in this constituency deeply care for the dead and dying on the Gaza Strip – and care just as passionately that Israel sprayed Al Aqsa with sewage just 72 hours ago.

“I know that not everyone cares about that,  but there’s more than 20, 000 people who care about it very passionately indeed. I’m surprised it didn’t make its way into the Labour list here of issues that matter.”

A video of Israeli security forces spraying the area in front of Damascus Gate by Jerusalem’s Old City went viral over social media last Sunday after it was shared by a journalist who claimed that the video depicted spraying “sewage” at the “gates to al-Aqsa to discourage and disburse Palestinians.”

The claims have been exposed as false.

Byline Times correspondent CJ Werleman had claimed the “sewage spray”  incident took place at the “gates to al-Aqsa” when it had been the exterior of the Damascus Gate, one of the entrances to the Old City of Jerusalem.

Furthermore, his claim that “sewage” was sprayed at a crowd of Palestinians to avert a potential conflict was also wrong.

In reality Israeli forces had used a substance known as “skunk water” – made of food-grade ingredients, notably yeast, baking powder which gives off a smell that is similar to sewage. It has also been used to disperse crowds of Charedim.

After being challenged over his claim, Werleman said that the Damascus Gate is, in fact, the gate to al-Aqsa because it is the gate Palestinians use to enter the Old City to then worship at al-Aqsa.

He further added that skunk water is a “euphemism for a toxic waste water that takes on the smell and appearance of sewage”.

Meanwhile, Galloway also used the Yorkshire Live hustings event to support the protesters who forced a teacher at Batley Grammar School into hiding fearing for his life after showing students a caricature of the Prophet Mohammed.

He said he stood with the parents of the children who had been left furious that the cartoon had been shown to their kids.

Galloway said the teacher had “absolutely no right” to show the caricature, and described the image as “horrific” and “insulting”.

He added: “Don’t call it a cartoon please, it was a horrific, insulting depiction of the Prophet of Islam – if it would have been Jesus, I would have been outside the school gate protesting.

“If they’d portrayed Jesus in the way that portrayed Jesus, I would have been there – and guess what, a lot of Muslims would have been there with me.”

George Galloway

Numerous reports this week have confirmed that the claim about Israel spraying the Al-Aqsa compound with “sewage” have been proven false.

But that did not stop Galloway repeating slur at Wednesday’s hustings, which also featured Tory candidate Ryan Stephenson, Kim Leadbeater for Labour, and Corey Robinson of the Yorkshire Party.

READ MORE:

Elsewhere in the hustings Galloway had attempted to suggest the Labour candidate was failing speak up for the Palestinians, and suggested Sir Keir Starmer would resign as leader if his party suffered defeat at the July 1 election.

The hustings in action

Leadbeater said it was “catastrophic” the way that the constituency is “being used as a political football” ahead of the parliamentary by-election.

She also defended the party’s record on Palestine, saying Keir Starmer “has spoken out but it hasn’t cut through”.

She added: “There will be nobody who will fight more passionately about Palestine than I will.”

The Tory candidate said he would “speak up for Batley and Spen and I’m here to deliver my plan for more jobs, more apprenticeships, more police and more investment, and I need the government’s assistance to do that.”

Jewish News ran a special report from the seat this week, which revealed how Palestine was a major issue for Muslim constituents in the town of Batley.

Support your Jewish community. Support your Jewish News

Thank you for helping to make Jewish News the leading source of news and opinion for the UK Jewish community. Today we're asking for your invaluable help to continue putting our community first in everything we do.

Unlike other Jewish media, we do not charge for content. That won’t change. Because we are free, we rely on advertising to cover our costs. This vital lifeline, which has dropped in recent years, has fallen further due to coronavirus.

For as little as £5 a month you can help sustain the vital work we do in celebrating and standing up for Jewish life in Britain.

Jewish News holds our community together and keeps us connected. Like a synagogue, it’s where people turn to feel part of something bigger. It also proudly shows the rest of Britain the vibrancy and rich culture of modern Jewish life.

You can make a quick and easy one-off or monthly contribution of £5, £10, £20 or any other sum you’re comfortable with.

100% of your donation will help us continue celebrating our community, in all its dynamic diversity...

Engaging

Being a community platform means so much more than producing a newspaper and website. One of our proudest roles is media partnering with our invaluable charities to amplify the outstanding work they do to help us all.

Celebrating

There’s no shortage of oys in the world but Jewish News takes every opportunity to celebrate the joys too, through projects like Night of Heroes, 40 Under 40 and other compelling countdowns that make the community kvell with pride.

Pioneering

In the first collaboration between media outlets from different faiths, Jewish News worked with British Muslim TV and Church Times to produce a list of young activists leading the way on interfaith understanding.

Campaigning

Royal Mail issued a stamp honouring Holocaust hero Sir Nicholas Winton after a Jewish News campaign attracted more than 100,000 backers. Jewish Newsalso produces special editions of the paper highlighting pressing issues including mental health and Holocaust remembrance.

Easy access

In an age when news is readily accessible, Jewish News provides high-quality content free online and offline, removing any financial barriers to connecting people.

Voice of our community to wider society

The Jewish News team regularly appears on TV, radio and on the pages of the national press to comment on stories about the Jewish community. Easy access to the paper on the streets of London also means Jewish News provides an invaluable window into the community for the country at large.

We hope you agree all this is worth preserving.

read more:
comments