My Speech in Whitehall Yesterday 115

Not beautifully crafted, but the situation was somewhat hectic. This is not just a blog, which is perhaps why this blog had 81,490 unique visitors in May.

I have the Financial Times delivered every day in deadwood form. It has an absolutely brilliant editorial today. As I pay them a fortune for my subscription, I am going to reproduce it in full without feeling guilt:

Israel is lost at sea

With Monday’s brazen act of piracy, Israel dealt a blow to the legitimacy of its own struggle. The killing of activists aboard the captured ships sent Israel’s way of defending its security, which it was already imperative to return within the bounds of international law, hurtling into lawlessness.

Israel claims the activists had links with extremist groups and that some attacked Israeli soldiers with knives and sticks (and in some accounts the odd light firearm). Even if true, this would not justify the illegal capture of civilian ships carrying humanitarian aid in international waters, let alone the use of deadly force.

Outrageous as this behaviour was, the true outrage is the illegal blockade of Gaza that it enforced. Since the January 2009 Gaza war, which exposed Israel’s determination to destroy Hamas’s capabilities regardless of the cost to innocent Palestinians, Israel and Egypt have colluded to prevent the enclave’s reconstruction. According to the United Nations, three-quarters of the damage has not been repaired and 60 per cent of homes do not have enough food.

The ostensible goal is to weaken Hamas, the Muslim Brotherhood offshoot that rules Gaza (and whose Egyptian incarnation is Hosni Mubarak’s only real opposition). But the blockade aimed at crushing it, besides the illegal collective punishment it implies, only shores up Hamas’s support. If Israel and Egypt wanted to turn Gaza into a mafia-run statelet, they could hardly do better than sever any alternatives to Hamas’s smuggling network, leaving the population even more at its mercy.

Hamas engages in terrorism and fires occasional rockets into Israel, but it is an example of that rarest of Middle Eastern species: a popularly elected government. It has also signed up to the 2002 comprehensive peace offer by the Arab League and the Organisation of the Islamic Conference. If this is a bluff, it is one Israel has yet to call. That is what this is ultimately about. Israel’s government has been pretending it is ready to negotiate for peace, but that there is no one to negotiate with on the other side. The attack on the blockade-busters lays bare the country’s slide into contempt for international law, intolerance of dissent and wilful sabotage of viable representation for Palestinians.

Israel has always known the importance of its conduct being judged legal by the world’s leading powers. Those powers ?” in the body of the Quartet and the UN Security Council ?” must now make clear it has gone too far.

I was talking overnight to friends in the UK Mission to the United Nations in New York who were personally sickened by the US role in negotiations. The US threatened to veto any statement which named Israel as the attacker. There is not even a mention of Israel in the security council statement. My friend in New York described the attitude of the American negotiators under Obama as even more aggressively and openly pro-Israel than under Bush.

Reviews of Craig Murray’s War on Terror Memoir, “Murder in Samarkand” – published in the US as “Dirty Diplomacy”:

“It really is a magnificent achievement” – Noam Chomsky

“A fearless book by a fearless man. Craig Murray tells the truth whether the “authorities” like it or not. I salute a man of integrity” – Harold Pinter

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115 thoughts on “My Speech in Whitehall Yesterday

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  • Tone

    At least the BBC is now presenting the views of a broader range of British opinion, critical of Israel.

    Sky is still relying on its dodgy muzzie motif.

    These scumbags need to be reported to OFCOM, before they do any further damage to our public discourse.

  • ironiesrus

    Let’s hope that Israel has pushed its luck just once too far.

    Despite the best efforts of Sky to bury or negate the extent of the criticism of Israel, we may be reaching a critical mass.

    The straw that broke the camel’s back.

  • writerman

    We supposedly live in a kind of democracy, yet it’s extraordinary how little real debate is allowed in our, supposedly, ‘free’ media. Democracy without real debate, how’s that supposed to fit together?

    Say what you like about George Galloway, but when he was on the radio at least there was some debate about current affairs and a forthright exchange of controversial ideas. Isn’t that supposed to be the lifeblood of democratic debate?

    Well, even those few hours when he worked the graveyard shift, were deemed too much; there can be no real alternative to the Westminster concensus. So he’s gone and he’ll never return to the national airways. What’s telling, is that on a whole range of issues, but especially his resistance to all these wars, Galloway arguably represented the views of the majority of the UK people. In many respects the silencing of Galloway is the gagging of the views of millions of ordinary people who have no real voice anywhere in our ‘free’ media.

    It’s extraordinary how conformist and loyal to the state most journalists really are. Think, there are tens of thousands of journalists in the UK, yet one can count the number of critical or dissedents on one’s fingers, and even that is pushing it!

    It’s like the ‘vetting’ process, the filtering process, starts way before these people even become journalists. So one doesn’t need overt censorship because the people ‘chosen’ don’t need to be censored, they do it themselves, semi-automatically.

    It probably starts before they reach school-age in their homes. ‘Education’ seems to be primarily about learning to serve and obey the ‘masters’ and internalising their interests and worldview, as one’s own. Learning not to bite the hand that is going to feed one later on in life. Above all else, one must never question the legitimacy of the ‘masters’ to rule over us. To do that, is, for the most part, the kiss of death for one’s career. Craig’s trajectory seems to illustrate this idea beautifully.

    The essence of modern life is the control of what ideas are deemed acceptable or not. Control how people think, how they see the world around them, control the mind and the body will follow. It’s a propaganda world.

  • mrjohn

    Ian M

    “Now if the Irish have the balls to state the obvious and demand some answers, where are the British ministers demanding the same for the British kidnapped? ”

    Don’t expect too much, the British ministers & FO look after British interests, not British people. British interests are those of the wealthy, enfranchised, and not always British. British people are subjects, not citizens, a burden on the state, not an asset. Supposed to vote correctly or not at all, and certainly not supposed to do anything like ruffle Israel’s delicate feathers.

  • Hatari

    Well spoken Craig, your speech should have been been reflected in the UK government’s response to this act of murder. Sadly UK Foreign secretary does not have your resolve and integrity when it comes to Israel, they all start behaving like eunuchs, it must be requirement of the FCO that people dealing with Isreal be castrated by the Zionists to qualify. Israel has no qualms about killing any one peace activists or Allies and protectors are all fair game. Remember the attack on USS liberty of the Lavon Affair where the victims were Americans. So killing a few peace activists is not a problem. One wonders just what do the Zionist have on the US and UK that its leaders become so subservient to them?

  • CheebaCow

    I don’t understand what Israel is thinking. Turkey has long been one of Israel’s closest friends in the region. Sure, since Erdogan became PM the relationship has undoubtedly been strained, but I can’t imagine Israel wants to permanently end the relationship. The USA already has it’s hands full in Iraq and Afghanistan, I can’t imagine they want more conflict in the region.

    Israel has always been careful to create or use a pretext to justify their acts of aggression. In this case it is too blatant, even with the huge amount of predictable media spin. Massacring aid workers who are bringing food to starving people just can’t be spun in a plausible way. Online communities such as (one of the biggest communities on the net) which are fairly apolitical, have been truely outraged by Israels actions.

    I can only conclude that the recent actions of Israel were a terrible mistake, a ridiculous miscalculation or else Israel has transitioned from a psychopathic but rational state to one that is so driven by militaristic Zionism that even basic self interest cannot restrain it’s actions. I have a feeling the last option is the case. God only know where this will lead.

    As for the FT, it is a strange beast. Hardley a bastion of liberalism, oddly enough it often speaks more truth than papers written for the hoi polloi.

  • glenn

    I wonder if Israel – yet again – used a distraction in America to launch a particularly underhand and cowardly crime against humanity. This time, it’s the on-going Gulf catastrophe. In the past, US elections have served as cover on a regular basis.

    The lamentably small foreign reportage in the US becomes effectively non-existent during periods of major interest at home (elections, changes in office, major political scandal, Janet Jackson exposing a nipple and so on). An ideal time to make sure even a sliver of news that shows Israel in a bad light will be swamped and ignored.

  • Tel

    Whatever happened that civil servant, quite senior I believe, who during Cast Lead openly criticised Israeli slaughter?

    The setting was a gym club.

    Someone else complained, not about Israeli slaughter, but about the civil servant telling the truth.

    It seems the person who complained about the slaughter was vilified in media. The person who complained about the critic of Israel suffered no penalty.

  • Eva Smagacz

    You wrote:

    “Off topic, what do you make of Col. Richard Kemp’s extraordinary defence to the UN of the IDF actions in Operation Cast Lead?

    Col. Richard Kemp’s loyalties have been lied bare when he referred to IDF as “we” in an article in Jerusalem Post. I assume he self identifies as Israeli, but his usefullness is in portraying him as English and impartial.

  • Ron

    One of Obama’s laughable appointments is now saying that Israel can be trusted to hold its own inquiry into the murder on the flotilla.

    How long must we suffer such tiresome drivel and do something to finally isolate this nasty terrorist state.

    Israel seems hellbent on dragging the western world into world war.

    Is there no leader who can finally bring this wild dog to heel.

  • CheebaCow

    Turkey has announced that future aid convoys will receive military escorts:

    Hopefully this means the blockade of Gaza will no longer be feasible for Israel to maintain.

  • Ben

    Quote of the century!!

    That tedious clown Iain Dale does it again:

    “Allegations of disproptionate force are being made, as they always are whenever Israel does anything.”

    That this imbecile is so regularly in our mainstream media tells you all you need to know about just how bad things truly are.

  • writerman

    Western leaders, that can’t be right, surely? Aren’t they really characterised by their uncanny ability to follow, not lead?

    I still remember when a couple of Western leaders actually had the balls to speak openly and break ranks on controversial issues – like the United States attack and invasion of Vietnam. I’m thinking of two dead statesmen Trudeau in Canada and Palme in Sweden.

    My those days seem as dead as they are. It seems like another age, which I suppose is what it really was.

    Like the mass media, it’s striking how groomed, well-behaved and conformist Western politicians have become. There are no leaders of the calibre of Olaf Palme ready to openly criticise the United States or Israel. Israel which is an extention of US power and policy in the region.

    And what the people think doesn’t matter at all, not a fig. Our rulers support the United States and Israel and the views of the majority don’t count. Then we are told we live in a democracy. That may be true for one day every four or five years, but what about the hundreds of days imbetween? All those hundreds of days when the people are brazenly ignored by the bastards?

    Wouldn’t it be refreshing, a realease, a relif; if one person in this ‘new politics’ government had the moral fibre and backbone to speak up for the millions of people in this country that are appalled at the barberous actions of Israel.

    To think that Britain was once a great power, yet it apparant that the UK political class is scared shitless of a bunch of brutal, right-wing fanatics and fantasists in a tiny country like Israel. How did this tremendous transformation come about exactly? When did the UK evolve into a rentboy for Israel?

  • ingo

    We can now see the meticulous planning behind the scenes for this despicable abuse of international law, again, and how the time frame was pitch perfect to give both agressors, Israel and the US collaborators behind the scenes, enough time to deconstruct the real news, offerin their angles of rights to self defence/San Remo Treaty/violent activists and then react favourable to their own nes creations, amplify them and make sure that the news agencies run with their version of excuses.

    I take my hat off for Irelands plans for resolute reactions, lets see whether they can pull this off.

  • Stephan_Q

    The Judge

    There two lines of people in the modern world – those who can and those who can not buy the judge. Like Israel and Iran.

    What do you expect with such judges such as the nations who control the UN security council?


  • writerman

    The events taking place in Turkey are of real significance. After decades of rule by the army and it’s political wing, which were mere stooges of ‘western imperialism’, finally Turkey is regaining its independence and reasserting itself as a leading player in the region.

    Obviously the current Turkish ‘Islamic’ government realises that one way to gain support from the masses and protect itself from attack from within is to assert itself internationally. The Turkish establishment in the military and politics would dearly love to regain control of the country and re-establish the dictatorship again, but this is made infinitely more difficult when they are identified and labelled as ‘appeasers’ of Israel and the West.

    The rise of Turkey and its seemingly inevitable drawing away from the western sphere of influence is probably even more significant than the Islamic revolution in Iran. The very idea of an independent Turkey must be sending shivers of horror down the spines of the gang in Washington and Tel Aviv.

    Which makes it even more difficult to understand why they would choose to openly attack, humiliate and provoke Turkey. A nation where national pride is close to a form of secular relgion.

  • Abe Rene

    I agree with Cheebacow and Andy McNab. This operation was a screwup which will not do Israel any good. Hopefully the outcome will not be merely disciplinary action against the people held responsible but the lifting of the blockade against Gaza altogether.

  • Anonymous

    Reports are coming through that that Israeli troops had already fired on the unarmed aid workers from Naval ships killing two, BEFORE boarding via helicopter.

  • Louis

    Oh dear.

    Melanie Phillips is on Sky.

    “It’s the victims’ fault” sums it up. “They’re all just terrorists and dupes”, excuses Israeli murder.

    It’s precisely this kind of immorality that dominates our mainstream media culture.

    These are truly evil people, who are in charge in our country. Make no mistake about it.

    Don’t protest or you know what you’ll get!

  • arsalan

    Melanie Philips is just a Nazi.

    She would support anything and everything Israel does.

    She makes no secret of this.

    And has stated that if Israel ever has a war with the UK, she would go to Israel to support them.

  • arsalan

    It doesn’t matter what Melanie Philips says, because you can pradict what she says before she says it. She is an Israel firster, some one who gives unconditional support to Israel. Her Job is just to support Israel what ever it does against who ever it does it to. If Israel Bombed the UK, Ireland of all British Schools, she will still support Israel and attack its victims.

    That is her Job.

    She will support Israel more than Israel supports itself.

  • Tony

    “The one silver lining from these incidents is that the real face of Israel becomes increasingly revealed and undeniable. Not even the most intense propaganda systems can prettify a lethal military attack on ships carrying civilians and humanitarian aid to people living in some of the most wretched and tragic conditions anywhere in the world. It is crystal clear to anyone who looks what Israel has become, and the only question left is how will the rest of the world — beginning with their American patrons — will react.”

  • Arsalan


    What she says is irrelivant.

    People in a ship have the right to protect it. And the Zionists had no right to be on the ship.

    So people on the ship had ever right to protect themselves and their ship form the soldiers.

    And the soldiers had no right to be on the ship let alone kill people on it.

  • arsalan

    Melanie Philips and the other one defend what Israel did the way they defend Israel killing Palestinian babies to steal their kidneys. And that is by crying Antisemetism!!!! Blood Libel!!!!!!


    Same shit, different day.

  • Anonymous

    sorry Asalan,

    I gave the wrong impression of DS website on this matter.

    I detest eveything she stands for, I merely placed it on here for reference

    The Fatsnacker

  • Vic

    Big mistake to think that Melanie Phillips is irrelevant.

    I only wish it were so.

    Sadly, the views of Melanie Phillips dominate both the BBC and Sky news agenda and that of many newspapers.

    She’s a raving nut job, of course, but it’s that simple fact which tells you just how bad things are in mainstream media.

    It’s people of such obviously evil views who set the news agenda. It really is that bad.

    They just don’t have the morality that you see in ordinary people. They’re divorced from reality. They live in a fictive world in which any myth can exist as a truth and anything that is critical of that myth has to be excluded.

    These are very dangerous times, and our guides through these times are very dangerous people.

    It’s no different from the myth of forever living on increasing debt, another favourite of media.

    There comes a day when all the debt has to be repaid. There comes a day when all the lies have to be assuaged. That latter will make the credit crunch seem like a damp squib.

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