The Israeli ambassador to Britain, Daniel Taub, made a successful visit to Bradford after Bradford West MP George Galloway gave controversial comments declaring his area an “Israeli-Free zone.”
Community groups and faith leaders from Bradford expressly invited the ambassador after learning of those comments, in the hopes of encouraging dialogue and promoting a message of friendship and unity despite Galloway’s declaration. Following the visit, Daniel Taub said his impressions of Bradford were very different from what one might expect after hearing that declaration, and that the people’s voice there was one of inclusion, not exclusiveness.
Daniel Taub added that he hopes a similar message of peaceful co-existence can also become true for his region as well, just as it is now among many people of different faiths in Bradford. He said that in his opinion, the real battle is not between people of faiths or beliefs, but of the past versus the future, and by standing against inclusion and tolerance, men such as Galloway put themselves on the side of the past.
He used that time in Bradford to promote that agenda in a series of meetings with city councilors, faith leaders, and other community advocacy groups. Tight security was maintained throughout the visit, which occurred without any major incidents (https://www.jnf.co.uk/2015/07/jnf-uk-bids-farewell-ambassador-daniel-taub/). Video of the visit and the meetings were broadcasted by pro-Israeli groups, which wanted to counteract Galloway’s message banning Israeli people, goods, and services from entering the city.
The invitations were a direct result of Galloway’s comments, which stated that the city should become an Israel-free zone, meaning no academics, tourists, or trade should exist between the two entities. Galloway has a history of anti-Israel conspiracy theories, including a recording where he stated that Israel was sending chemical weapons to Al Qaeda and fomenting unrest in Ukraine.
Police have also been investigating the statements, after they generated waves of protest on social media. They were originally posted online by Galloway as a call to action, preventing Israelis from entering the community.
Daniel Taub was born in Great Britain in 1962 and educated at Oxford, and Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government in the United States. In 1989 he moved to Israel and joined the Israeli Foreign Ministry in 1991. He served as the Israeli ambassador to the United Kingdom from 2011-2015.