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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  • Sally

    You mean this lovely girl:

    “About Debbie


    Conservative political commentator, radio talk show host, columnist, and attorney

    Schlussel’s unique expertise on radical Islam/Islamic terrorism and a host of other issues make her a popular speaker and television and radio news talk show guest, both nationally & internationally. (Her online fan club is the Internet’s second largest for a political personality?”behind only Ann Coulter.) She is a University of Michigan graduate and holds both Law and MBA degrees from the University of Wisconsin.

    As both an attorney and a frequent New York Post and Jerusalem Post columnist, Schlussel’s writings/commentary on radical Islam and her legal actions against radical Islamic parties have gotten a great deal of attention ?” and results. Columns she’s written in the New York Post and appearances she’s made on “O’Reilly Factor””

  • Suhayl Saadi

    Craig, that was a powerful, logical, well-informed and moving speech. Well done and good on you. It hit the nail right on the head.

    I do wonder whether this act of war, which, I believe, will have been sanctioned by the USA (this, I feel, will emerge eventually), as someone else suggested somewhere on this blog, was designed specifically to intimidate/ provoke Turkey in view of Turkey’s recent role in reducing the risk of an imminent attack on Iran through its negotiations with Iran.

    People who help the Palestinians have been attacked and murdered by Israel for years, but this act is of an entirely different scale and was perpetrated on a military/ trade ally of both the USA and Israel and a member state of the Council of Europe. There is no other explanation for this attack on, specifically, Turkish, shipping in the Mediterranean.

    In which case, this act of war is a shot across the bows (no, rather, it is a crude cannonball in the hull), a clear and unequivocal message to any state – regardless of prior alliances – which thinks to deflect the impending military destruction of Iran and the theft of its oil reserves.

    I think that once the smoke has cleared, we will see that this act of war is a message from the military economy that is USA to the world.

  • Ian M

    Well well, the truth is dribbling out now. An Israeli member of the Knesset, no less, Hanin Zoabi was on the Marmara. She is saying on BBC News that at least 14 Israeli ships approached and started firing. She is clear that Israel was the aggressor, plus making the obvious and ignored point that it was completely unnecessary to act in the way they did if their object was to prevent the ships getting to Gaza. She says, as we suspected, that the object was to send a message to any others thinking about doing the same thing. Amazing and extraordinary that Israel thinks this is acceptable. Their arrogance and lies is breathtaking. I pity Zanin, she is going to get smeared and attacked, no doubt. But well done to her for standing up for justice in the face of fascism.

  • amk

    “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?”

    I suspect it’s more to do with not wanting to break ranks with the US.

  • Anonymous

    ‘I recently visited the offices of IHH, the Turkish humanitarian organization that sponsored one of the Freedom Flotilla boats, and that was targeted by the Israelis for its murderous rampage. Reports are still coming in as to the full extent of the senseless Israeli violence. Of course, I expect Israel’s apologists in the press and in the United States government to shift into high gear to support Israel’s lying machine. Take note of their names. The 12,000 internet squatters/written word grenade throwers, hired by the Israeli Foreign Ministry to defend Israel and attack peace activists online, are already busy spreading their orchestrated disinformation in cyberspace. Be very careful what you read and believe from special interest press and the internet. You could be reading one of Israel’s hired hacks. As a news diversion from what Israel has just done, I suspect that we can also expect to see a lot of historical footage of war’s atrocities on television: today is Memorial Day in the United States, a day long ago set aside to remember the sacrifices of U.S. war dead.’

    Cynthia McKinney

  • Mark Golding - Children of Iraq

    Paul sadly is right – we can do nothing really – the US will not use this egregious attack as a teaching moment for Israel judging by Obama’s response.

    And if Netanyahu will happily ignore and snub the U.S., it’s just about unimaginable that he’d give us in Britain or France or Spain the time of day. The Palestinians might stir up trouble, but they are weak and any trouble will entrench Israel further and once again point the world to Palestinian terrorism.

    So, is there a pragmatic option ww can apply here?

    You got it! effect some counter-balance to Israel. Britain could support Iran in the same manner we supported Iran in the ’70’s in training their Navy. Iran is crying out for technical expertise in GPS/ELECTRONIC WARFARE/NUCLEAR and trade could be worth an estimated £100 billion to our economy.

    Why should Russia get all the contracts because of our ‘special relationship’ with America?

    I’m not saying this a solution, what I am saying sadly is it seems equally likely that this egregious incident won’t have any significant short-term consequences considering America and Obama refuse to expend significant political capital on an effort to restrict aid to Israel, make her comply with UN resolutions or declare her nuclear bombs and join the NNPT. Until our government decides to make radical foreign policy changes, Israeli conservatives will figure that everything turned out for the best. If anyone here has any other ideas, I will be most glad to learn them.

  • Courtenay Barnett

    Seems to me that an occupied people have a rigth to resist oppression and occupation.

    That aside, the true “international community” it also seems, should be heeded. But, even if from this:-

    “The APA called on the international community to “double efforts” for bringing humanitarian aid to Gaza and force Israel to lift the three-year blockade on the coastal strip.”

    To the UN Security Council, the Israeli/US “International Community” will operate by its own norms of international law. So sad!

  • Courtenay Barnett

    Just merely asking those who support the attack on the peace fotilla:-

    1. Since the Allied forces did not claim any permanent territory post World War 11,it it then to be supposed that the “Chosen people” post- 1967 have some special “God given” right to claim territory post-1967? Either that, or there must exist some rational secular laws that govern the actions of the state of Israel.

    2. When someone invades one’s territory, under Israeli/US edict ( by some special standards of International law – it appears)and it is to be assumed, that the right to resist is somehow suspended when it comes to the actions of Israel? or,

    3. In relation to 2 above Article 51 of the UN Charter:-

    ” Nothing in the present Charter shall impair the inherent right of individual or collective self-defence if an armed attack occurs against a Member of the United Nations, until the Security Council has taken measures necessary to maintain international peace and security. Measures taken by Members in the exercise of this right of self-defence shall be immediately reported to the Security Council and shall not in any way affect the authority and responsibility of the Security Council under the present Charter to take at any time such action as it deems necessary in order to maintain or restore international peace and security. ” remains in existence.

    There, of course, might be some special text of international law, that I have yet to read, that makes it permissble to attack a vessel in international waters following upon the suspension (at 2 above) of the right to resistance.

    The true “International community” should not yield on this one, and ought properly to insist that this illegal action is now properly addressed, condemned and the perpetrators brought to justice.

  • tony

    Where does Washington DC fit in here? Israel would not have launched this commando attack without permission or even instruction from Washington.

    The USA’s Administration’s reaction to the outrage worldwide has been to block all UN response.

    I can’t help thinking Washington is very heavily involved and that the blockade of Gaza is part of US policy in the region.

  • Ishmael

    I don’t want to appear rude but I think Barry Obama is a clueless clown. A puppet, whose strings are pulled by Ram.and hence those occupying palestine. The United States are a fascist nation much worse that the third reich. For those who be brainwashed The U.S. and Israel are the new master race. The only way to beat them is remove the zio puppets and go to all out, full spectrum war.

  • JimmyGiro

    @ Ishmael:

    “The only way to beat them is remove the zio puppets and go to all out, full spectrum war.”

    *Red and yellow and blue and green,

    Purple and orange and pink,

    I can sing a rainbow,

    Sing a rainbow,

    Sing a rainbow too!

    Listen to your heart,

    Listen to your heart,

    And sing everything you feel,

    I can sing a rainbow,

    Sing a rainbow,

    Sing a rainbow too*

    Now sing along children, or baby Jesus will kill a kitten!

  • Arsalan

    I almost through up when Larry the liar agreed with me.

    To Larry the Zionist liar, today Turkey will do nothing because of its Zionist Military.

    The Military dictatorship in Turkey will be removed, just before Zionism is removed from Palestine.

    Larry I hope I am right and you are not from St Louis, and I hope we will meet there.

  • Mark Golding - Children of Iraq

    A very clever bit of insight writerman which I call the ‘grooming theory’ – I believe only Britain and France will be able to stop a strike on Iran and I hope our government/people have the wherefore and the balls to crush pre-emption when that time arrives.

  • amk

    “Where does Washington DC fit in here? Israel would not have launched this commando attack without permission or even instruction from Washington.”

    Why not? Israel was willing to embarrass (humiliate?) Biden on his visit to Israel by announcing building in Jerusalem.

    The current Israeli government seems to be extremely arrogant.

  • Arsalan

    It was the Israelis that are saying it was paint balls and Channel four who are dumb enough to repeat their crap.

    The people on the boat are saying the Israelis started shoot from the helicopters before they even landed on the boat.

    And the people on the boat were just trying to protect themselves when they fought back.

    And now the Israelis are using their fighting back as their cry of “Anti Semite” after they kill a few babies to steal kidneys.

  • Steelback

    Contra Zio-nuts like the BBC and Melanie Phillips the humanitarian mission to Gaza resisted the attack beacause they had seen several colleagues already shot dead by cowardly IDF commandoes and snipers.

    The footage being spun ludicrously by the BBC in a futile effort to portray Israel as the victim of extremist aggressors bent on confrontation is of humanitarian aid workers defending themselves much like you and I would do in the same life-treatening circumstances.

    Check out Paul Joseph Watson:

  • Larry from St. Louis

    Suhayl: “I think that once the smoke has cleared, we will see that this act of war is a message from the military economy that is USA to the world.”

    Do you really think that’s the sort of “military operation” that the U.S. would approve? If it had been a “military operation,” it certainly was quite ineffective, wasn’t it?

    Did you happen to catch the raw video?

    You seem to have an inability to think through issues.

  • Keith

    Craig, or anyone else, is it true that Israel has a legal right to capture or attack “Any vessel that violates or attempts to violate a maritime blockade”?

    from the BBC

    Israel’s foreign ministry says that under international maritime law, when a maritime blockade is in effect, no boats can enter the blockaded area. It adds: “Any vessel that violates or attempts to violate a maritime blockade may be captured or even attacked under international law.”

  • writerman


    I can’t speak for Craig, as he’s rather expert in this field… yet, whilst a military blockade is in force, this does not mean that a country has the legal right to use any level of force or violence to impose the blockade, especially on neutral countries which may seek to ‘break’ the blockade. The concept of proportionality in the degree of force used applies here as well.

    Attacking an unarmed civilian vessal from a neutral country that isn’t directly part of the conflict and is only carrying food and medical supplies and no weapons, is, on the face of it, clearly illegal under international law, and an attack like the one carried out by Israel is effectively an act of war directed at Turkey. Turkey has been attacked by Israel and it could choose to defend itself and retaliate to this open act of miliatry agression.

    Arguably Israel could have stopped the ships and demanded to search them for weapons, without breaching international law; but launching a deadly attack on the vessels without any proof is, clearly a war-crime and Israel should be held to account by the international community, just like any other rogue state.

    We should perhaps remember the case of the Lusitania which was attacked by a German U-boat off the coast of Ireland during World War One. This act brought the United States into the war on Britain’s side. Germany’s defence at the time was that the American owned passenger ship was carrying a cargo of arms for Britain and was therefore a legitimate target, but that excuse was not accepted by the world or American public opinion. That subsequently it was revealed that the Germans were probably correct about the true nature of the Lusitania and its cargo hardly matters anymore.

  • Mark Golding - Children of Iraq


    I don’t understand what Israel is thinking. Turkey has long been one of Israel’s closest friends in the region.

    Not now! Since the brilliant circumvent enrichment deal i that includes Spain.

    However, in a new pact signed by Iran, Turkey, and Brazil on May 17, Tehran agreed to transfer 1,200 kilograms of low-enriched uranium to Turkey to be exchanged for 120 kilograms of 20 percent enriched fuel for the Tehran research reactor. Iran is now awaiting a response from the IAEA and the Vienna Group, which is comprised of the United States, France, and Russia.

    According to the nine-page document issued by the IAEA, Iran has agreed to a request by the agency to allow better monitoring of its enrichment activities by improving the angles of the cameras and sealing materials.

    This has prompted Israel to send her German built submarines to the Gulf.

    I wonder if Iran now needs to upgrade her torpedoes? Let it be clearly understood – I am a torpedo expert with knowledge of the latest active sonar, microprocessor search pattern, electro-magnetic field detection torpedoes.

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