The Hottest Potato 277


Taking on the Zionist lobby head-on is well nigh impossible.

I have written a stunning piece on Werritty, Israel and a neo-con plot to attack Iran. It contains information not published anywhere, even here. I have circulated it to several national newspapers, for each of which I have written many times. I have never had a piece refused before.

Several national papers have checked out my story factually and nobody has found a single hole in it. But nobody will publish it. I reproduce below every email I have received from any of these papers in reply. They show what a hot potato a serious anti-Zionist is – and I strongly suspect that the repeated inability of editors to make decisions which emerges from these emails shows they need on this subject to consult their proprietors.

The emails are given with the source removed and which is from which paper disguised, because I don’t wish to attack anyone in particular for this generic fear of the Israeli lobby, and also because I hope I may one day work for them again. In fact I still have not received an actual “no” from anybody – just a repeated batting off of the hot potato. The story is so good nobody can actually think of an excuse to refuse it, but they dare not accept it.

I think some of the individuals involved are ashamed. Each of the papers have had the article between five and ten days – which when you consider how the newspaper industry works, is an astonishing period in which nobody is able to make a decision.

“Sorry. … is the editor.”

“Just back in after being out most of day. Jury (i.e. editor) is still out on this one. I’ve spoken to …, and emailed him your copy. Will report back in the morning.”

“Dear Craig, sorry to have been slow back, but I’m on holiday. I’ve looked at your earlier email and can’t find the attachment you mention (of the long piece), but think I’ve got the basic idea. I’m no longer comment editor and don’t commission pieces, but would recommend getting in touch with …(who is comment editor, currently editing …) if you’re thinking of a comment piece. If it’s more news, then … worth talking to, or maybe one of the reporters who’s worked on the Werrity case. Let me know how you get on, all best,”

“Hi Craig OK, had some feedback from the editor. We can’t do anything on this this week, for various reasons. In an ideal world, we would like to hold on to it for another week. We would then have our politics team make some inquiries and then run your piece – or a version of it – alongside a news story on this particular issue (providing of course that our team can come up with one). Obviously there are quite a few ifs and buts here – we can’t guarantee that we will run the piece – so I completely understand if you feel that this is unsatisfactory and that you want to cut your losses and take it elsewhere. In that case, we’ll simply pay you the £200 we’ve already agreed and hope you will consider us again the next time you have something.”

“OK, thanks Craig. Will give you a call or drop you a line tomorrow.”

“I’m temporarily out of action- deal w …?”

“Well, we can pay £200 to hang on to it until tomorrow and then I’ll have to talk to the editor about what he wants to pay to run it but if we ran it at the length you sent it, it would be a minimum of, say, £1,500”

“Yes, there was talk of it on the Today programme as well.”

“Yes, sorry for delay in replying. The answer is we are interested in your piece. It’s too early in the week to say that we’re definitely going to run it. Can we sit on it for the time being and talk again late tomorrow? Naturally, we’ll pay you for the piece”

“Good stuff.”

“Hi Craig. Thanks for your email. This other meeting might allow us to take the story on and reprise a lot of the material which was left out of our original story. What do you think?”

“Hello Craig Thanks for this. Let me have a read and a think about it and then I’ll get back to you. Cheers”

“Craig Having now had a look at your piece, let me have a bit more time to think about it, would you? best wishes”

“Craig I’ve been out of town and offline until this morning. But I’m no longer comment editor, so I don’t commission any articles anyhow best wishes”

“Craig. As I mentioned, I am off this week. I’m sorry I didn’t get back to you on Saturday. I have handed your piece over to …, the Foreign editor, and recommended it to him. He is extremely experienced and will have its best wishes at heart as well as the knowhow to secure its place in the paper. I do hope he and you can make it work. With good wishes”

“Craig.. Thank you. I have read it and have now shown it to the editor. He is having a think. I’ll get back to you as soon as I know anything … ”

UPDATE

The banned article can now be read here


277 thoughts on “The Hottest Potato

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  • TonyF

    Publish it on your website and tweet it as a link on the web. You’ll get plenty of retweets. Overall I reckon you’ll get as many readers as a publisher delegating it to p94 in the Telegraph.

  • Fedup

    I am prepared to translate it and send it to various other countries if you wish.

    The ridiculous censorship is so endemic that no one dares to even call it censorship, the fear sewn by the zionist overlords has got everyone running for cover. How is about that for “democracy”?

  • MattW

    Does anyone know when reference was made to the subject on ‘Today’ and I will try to find an iPlayer link if no-one beats me to it.

  • gary smith

    careful craig, going down this road could lead to you being found at the edge of a wood having committed suicide. just practice saying this `אנא אדון חילוף חיים חסרי ערך שלי` . and now for something completely different, did lame street media report the dismissal of all the top brass of the army navy and airforce in greece and replace them with minister/s, for fear of a military coup, or that the greek elite have stashed billions in swiss bank accounts, thats why the greeks hate paying tax, because of their corrupt government. has anyone mentioned the quadrillions of becquerels of radioactive material from fukushima dispersed into the sea, or that tokyo has in places higher levels of radioactivity than chernobyl did in the `80s. has anyone drawn attention to all these so called national unity governments taking the place of dumped prime ministers, im scared we are heading toward a very dark place, we need someone who stamps their feet and salutes in an imperial roman style, NOT. and the rest of it, no no and no. i dont always agree with what you or other readers say but i read with interest, and long may it continue. craig do not allow yourself to become the first casualty of the iran war, or even the 2nd or third etc. god bless have a nice weekend.

  • njegos

    Craig – Sent it to Counterpunch in the US (edited by Alex Cockburn). They’ll definitely take it. Also check out the Information Clearing House. I know you want something mainstream but ICH does a good job of compiling daily the best antiwar, anti-neocon pieces. All the best, Njegos

  • Stephen

    “Perhaps Stephen could suggest a way round or through the Zionist censorship.”

    If that is what it is, which I somehow doubt – rather than fear of libel(which is what it sounds like) – then the answer would be to print it on your website and then send links to the newspapers concerned. It is far easier and more fireproof to quote information that is already in the public domain – where someone else has taken the legal risk.

    I don’t know if you have noticed Mary but there is precious little that Israel manages to hide.

    I would also suggest that Craig might wish to find more than one source to back up his allegations if he hasn’t done so already. Good journalists used to look for corroboration before going to print – although many are not so fussy nowadays.

  • Abe Rene

    “I have written a stunning piece .. ”

    How dare they refuse to publish an article on the basis of such an excellent recommendation! Clearly a sign that you must be blacklisted. But you could always post it here.

  • mary

    Gary Why should Craig be saying Please Lord spare my worthless life?? Anything but worthless IMHO.
    .
    Who said anything about libel? Oh Stephen of course.

  • craig Post author

    Stephen,

    I used to think you were a friendly and interesting commentator putting forward a different view, but now I realise you are just a troll. Of course the article is properly sourced, and it follows proper journalistic ethics, ie those criticised have been asked for their viewpoint. As I plainly stated, several national newspapers have fact-checked it and the facts are fine.

    Do you see a single querying of fact in the above exchanges? If there is a fear of libel – and nobody has ever sued me for libel, unlike for example convicted libellers Iain Dale and Guido Fawkes – the newspaper calls you in to go through it with the lawyer. I have been there many times before.

    This is nothing to do with libel or with doubted facts. Now stop being an obvious arse.

  • Andrew Forest-Hall

    Al Jazeera does seem the most obvious outlet for this. Have you something against them?

  • Herbie

    The important thing now is to get your story out into the public domain. Others have mentioned suitable vehicles to that end.
    .
    I’m assuming here that your story concerns the Israeli lobby, but with additional information indicating that said lobby has moved from lobbying, money and influence to a much more sinister direct control?
    .
    Peter Oborne has done some rather brave work in this area.

  • BarryR38

    Mr Murray, I put this comment on another of your blogs the other day. I think it is relevent to this blog too:

    Damning proof that the Guardian does not support free-speech, especially when it comes to Israel.

    I posted this link just after 7pm today on this website:

    An article by Gilad Atzmon is rather enlightening:

    This Is How Israel Runs The British Press

    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article29642.htm

    After reading the Guardian article ‘Why do the US media believe the worst about Iran’ (link provided by Pee above) I posted exactly the same comment and link on the Guardian website at 7.14pm.

    This what I found on revisiting just now, an hour and a half later:
    BarryR38
    9 November 2011 7:14PM
    This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our community standards. Replies may also be deleted. For more detail see our FAQs.

  • Ken

    Good luck with the article Craig. I hope you get it published in the main stream media although things negative about Israel and their supporters seem not to make it,that is the kind of so called free press we have.I would try abroad with people not under the western umbrella first off.

  • Stephen

    Craig

    That is just my view as to why the newspapers might be refusing your story – in my experience newspapers do not always give their reasons for not wanting to print a story and the responses you print point to that. It doesn’t follow that there is anti Zionist conspiracy and there could be plenty of other reasons.

    You must be aware that there are plenty of people who are prepared to sue people for libel – even when there clearly is no libel – and they are not all Zionists. And if those concerned are rich or big enough the newspapers will back off if they think that the possible costs outweigh the benefits. This is probably why some stroies end up with the likes of Dale and Guido rather than in the Press.

    Happy to accept that you have checked your sources, hence the reference to “hasn’t done so already” in my original post – I just didn’t know and that may otherwise have been a legitimate concern of the newspapers. If the tone was a little off then I apologise – but I was responding to yet another of Mary’s stupid insinuations that I am some sort of Mossad agent.

    PS I don’t think Guido is yet a convicted libeller – much as I would like him to be.

  • BarryR38

    UnfortunatelyAl Jazeera is no-longer what it used to be. RT seems to be the news channel to watch these days, especially Max Keiser and Tracy Herbert, Crosstalk and The Alyana Show. Information Clearing House is the best web-newsletter (in my opinion). Take a look at Truthout too.

  • Jo Abbess

    @CraigMurray

    I think the real problem is that people in the UK are not aware of what Zionism really is. It would need a several exposes of the disinformation and propaganda surrounding the Zionist mythology before people understood that there are concerns to address.

    There is huge confusion. I regularly have to re-state my position that I am not anti-Semitic, I am not anti-Jewish, I am not racist, I am not religionist.

    I am a Christian, which means I have “bound myself to the Lord”, which means that I am spiritually allied to all Jewish people :-

    http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Isaiah%2056:1-8&version=NIV

    I do not accept the decision to found the State of Israel by the world’s great powers. It did not resolve the problems faced by Jewry in Europe and elsewhere, and despite the original mandate, it obviously had in it the potential to create regional conflict.

    According to my reading of scripture, the tribes of Israel and Judah forfeit the right to ownership of the land in Palestine because of spiritual apostasy, or rather, infidelity; it cannot be regained by the force of arms. Peace in the region can only come when God himself rules.

    The State of Israel is like a cruel joke played on global Jewry : out of the frying pan of Europe and into the fire of sitting right in the middle of Arab states. The formation of the State of Israel and the mass migration of Jews to Israel succeeded in the ethnic cleansing of Europe far more effectively than the Nazi regime in Germany.

    The United States of America gained a puppet state in the Middle East out of this horrible compromise, and is still paying guilt money to the State of Israel. The arms and the funding may well stop soon because of the economic liabilities America is facing up to. What then for the State of Israel ? The State of Israel needs to learn the art of peacemaking. In the mean time, we all need to learn about Zionism and how political goals were achieved through religious propaganda.

  • Andy

    Tournesol
    .
    “this article about Hague’s involvement in Libyan oil mentions Tony Buckingham – at first I couldn’t remember where I’d seen the name before, but obviously he is mentioned in your book. These people are everywhere!

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/8882816/Hague-facing-questions-over-Libya-deal.html
    .
    Pepe Escobar writes about Heritage Oil and Uganda:
    .
    “So why Uganda? Enter London-based Heritage Oil, and its chairman Tony Buckingham, a former – you guessed it – “contractor” (ie mercenary). Here’s Heritage’s modus operandi, described by Buckingham himself; they deploy “a first mover strategy of entering regions with vast hydrocarbon wealth where we have a strategic advantage”.
    .
    “Translation: wherever there’s foreign invasion, civil war, total breakdown of social order, there are big bucks to be made. Thus Heritage’s presence in Iraq, Libya and Uganda.
    .
    “Profiting from post-war fog, Heritage signed juicy deals in Iraqi Kurdistan behind the back of the central government in Baghdad. In Libya, Heritage bought a 51% stake in a local company called Sahara Oil Services; this means it’s now directly involved in operating oil and gas licenses. Pressed about it, TNC honchos have tried to change the conversation, alleging that nothing is approved yet.
    .
    “What’s certain is that Heritage barged into Libya via a former SAS commando, John Holmes, founder of Erinys, one of the top mercenary outfits in Iraq apart from Xe Services, former Blackwater. Holmes cunningly shipped the right bottles of Johnnie Walker Blue Label to Benghazi for the right TNC crooks, seducing them with Heritage’s mercenary know-how of enforcing “oil field security”. ”
    .
    http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Global_Economy/MJ21Dj03.html

  • Andy

    Tournesol, Pepe Escobar on Heritage Oil, ref to the Telegraph article:
    .
    “….. London-based Heritage Oil, and its chairman Tony Buckingham, a former – you guessed it – “contractor” (ie mercenary). Here’s Heritage’s modus operandi, described by Buckingham himself; they deploy “a first mover strategy of entering regions with vast hydrocarbon wealth where we have a strategic advantage”.
    .
    “Translation: wherever there’s foreign invasion, civil war, total breakdown of social order, there are big bucks to be made. Thus Heritage’s presence in Iraq, Libya and Uganda.
    .
    “Profiting from post-war fog, Heritage signed juicy deals in Iraqi Kurdistan behind the back of the central government in Baghdad. In Libya, Heritage bought a 51% stake in a local company called Sahara Oil Services; this means it’s now directly involved in operating oil and gas licenses. Pressed about it, TNC honchos have tried to change the conversation, alleging that nothing is approved yet.
    .
    “What’s certain is that Heritage barged into Libya via a former SAS commando, John Holmes, founder of Erinys, one of the top mercenary outfits in Iraq apart from Xe Services, former Blackwater. Holmes cunningly shipped the right bottles of Johnnie Walker Blue Label to Benghazi for the right TNC crooks, seducing them with Heritage’s mercenary know-how of enforcing “oil field security”. ”
    .
    http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Global_Economy/MJ21Dj03.html

  • glenn

    Craig – if you’ve not considered them already, Private Eye is generally unafraid of outside pressure.
    .
    There are progressive news/politics broadcasters in the US, such as Mike Malloy (http://www.mikemalloy.com/), and Sam Seder of The Majority Report (http://majority.fm/), who would be happy to break a story like this. They distinguish themselves by having the courage to openly denounce Israeli atrocities on a regular basis, and like to get into details – their audience is generally very well informed. Mike Malloy has mentioned you in the past.

  • mary

    Stephen ‘I am some sort of Mossad agent’ You said that. I never have. I have always thought that you are a troll. Hasbara/Megaphone/CAMERA/Israel project should be proud.
    .
    Poor old Gilad Atzmon got the treatment at Exeter University the night before last. If he was an academic at an American university, he would have lost his tenure by now like Norman Finkelstein.
    .
    http://www.gilad.co.uk/writings/gilad-atzmon-challenges-picketers-prior-to-his-talk-in-exete.html

    {http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Israel_lobby_in_the_United_Kingdom}

  • Herbie

    The only important thing about Blair’s article for The Guardian is just how many comments have been censored.
    .
    There seem to be more that are censored than are allowed and even those which are allowed are critical of the disgusting creature.
    .
    This goes to the very heart of the changes that are taking place in the world. People now realise that they been lied to by the very institutions that ought to be protecting our democracy. These institutions, including Parliament, Judiciary, Police and Media are corrupt and no longer fit for any purpose other than root and branch reform.
    .
    It’s not possible anymore to work through these institutions for reform of this corruption any longer. They themselves are now the problem.
    .
    That’s why all over the world people are taking to bottom up democratic action.

  • mary

    I don’t think that anyone cares a toss what Blair says. He is completely discredited and has been for a long time. Just hope his pal Rusbridger did not pay him for that tripe today.

  • mike cobley

    That Haaretz piece is astonishing, showing the Guardian Chris Elliot cringing before the possibility that something written about Israel could be interpreted (by who?) as anti-semitic. And when you look at the instances highlighted, the 1st two clearly take an anti-Israeli policy line, while the 3rd seems vague and has little context. But WRT the 1st 2 it is now clear that any comment critical of Israeli government policy will be taken by the Guardian as being potentially read by person or persons unknown as anti-semitic and will be erased. Seems to me.

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