In 2014, the Israeli Ambassador to the United Kingdom, Daniel Taub, paid a visit to the city of Bradford following controversy as George Galloway, the Bradford West MP, who had declared that the constituency was an “Israel free zone.” Based on reports from Argus as well as the Telegraph, Daniel Taub had stated his purpose for defying the declaration was in order to hold a series of meetings with numerous groups, including faith leaders and councilors after invitations from within the city’s community.
After the comments from Galloway, stating that the city should become an Israel free zone, free of Israeli tourists, goods, services, or academics, Taub received invitations from within the community to pay a visit to Bradford.
Upon his arrival, Daniel Taub’s first impressions of Bradford were of a city with an altogether different attitude than that presented in Galloway’s statements, later stating that “the real voice of Bradford is not the voice of exclusion we hear from George Galloway but the voice of inclusion.”
Adding his thoughts that the city presented an exceptional example “of how people from all faiths and backgrounds can live and work and cooperate together.” An example he hopes others will follow.
Galloway has had a history of anti-Israeli actions, being touted as a bigot after an incident in which he had stormed out of a debate after discovering that his opponent was from Israel, making a statement that “I don’t debate with Israelis.” Read more: Daniel Taub – Crunchbase
He has also made several entirely baseless conspiracies public regarding Israel, such as the engineering unrest in Ukraine by Israel, or Israel having given Al-Qaeda access to chemical weaponry. However, he had later denied even making these claims, despite the statements being held on record.
Taub’s visit to Bradford had been made amid tightened security, his statement on the matter is that “Bradford encourages dialogue and I believe in that too, that is why I have come.” His statement is followed by another to Argus and the Telegraph that “I am here because I was invited to come by the people of Bradford, who sent a clear message that George Galloway does not represent them.”
Prior to Taub’s visit, activists supporting the Israeli state had made efforts to provide a counter to Galloway’s comments by staging an “infiltration” of the city, releasing a video showcasing the activity, and denouncing Galloway’s comments.
With generally warm reception from the general populace and little resistance to the visit, Taub secured an important step in helping improve relations between the United Kingdom and Israel.