Man charged in religiously motivated assault on British lawmaker George Galloway

Marcy Oster

(JTA) — A man has been charged with a religiously motivated assault after beating British lawmaker George Galloway at a public event.

Neil Masterson, 39, reportedly shouted about the Holocaust and then physically assaulted Galloway, of the Respect party, as the lawmaker posed for photos with constituents on Friday night in Notting Hill in west London, according to reports.

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Galloway was taken to the hospital on Friday night after the assault, and released on Sunday, according to reports. He suffered a broken jaw and a broken rib, according to reports in the British media.

Earlier this month, Galloway called for his constituency to be “declared an Israel-free zone,” in reaction to the Israel-Gaza conflict.

“We don’t even want any Israeli tourists to come to Bradford even if any of them had thought of doing so,” Galloway said. “We reject this illegal, barbarous, savage state that calls itself Israel — and you have to do the same.” Galloway also said that Israeli goods, services and academics were likewise unwelcome.

Galloway has said Israel should be abolished and replaced with a bi-national state.

Discrimination on the basis of nationality or race is illegal in Britain, as is inciting to hatred.

“It is thought that the attack is connected to Mr. Galloway’s support for the Palestinian cause,” his Respect Party said in a statement.