Where Angels Fear to Tread 229


I have accepted an offer from Sky News tomorrow to discuss anti-Semitism in the UK, where I shall argue that opponents of Israeli policy are being tarred with anti-Semitism in an witch-hunt.

I do this with some trepidation, because the media hype has become so hysterical that I am certain to face accusations of anti-Semitism myself for daring to question the narrative that has gripped the corporate media and political elite. But witch-hunts succeed because not enough decent people have the courage to stand against them; I imagine Sky contacted an awful lot of people who refused to do it before they worked all the way down to me.

Nor am I expecting to get a level playing field from the Murdoch media on which to argue my point. As I doubt I shall get a chance to put my case without interruption, this is what I am going to be trying to say.

Real anti-Semitism does exist and is to be deplored without reservation. Thankfully it is much rarer in the UK than in many other European countries.

There is a deliberate ploy by Israel to brand Palestinian sympathisers and critics of the Israeli state as anti-Semitic, in order to delegitimise criticism of Israel, as the settlements programme makes any two state solution completely non-viable.

Support for Israel is a clear dividing issue between Corbynites and Blairites. The Blairites are hopeless and defeated, so are seizing on the meme that critic of Israel equals anti-semite as a means to undermine Corbyn and create a leadership crisis

They have the tool to amplify this as the corporate media, like the political “elite”, are massively more pro-Israel in their sympathies than the great bulk of the population.

I think the chances of my getting to say much of that on air are pretty limited!


229 thoughts on “Where Angels Fear to Tread

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  • Chris Rogers

    Craig Sir,

    First it’s a sad day when a so called ‘liberal’ society fails to find anyone of note to defend freedom of speech and both truth and justice – it really does seem we are living in NAZIS Germany.

    Whilst others have issued advice, perhaps we could invert the equation a little and juxtapose A and B, tell a story about awful atrocities perpetrated by one group against another, and then put a sting in the tail by then identifying who the oppressed are and the oppressors.

    You could also have a quick look at a few You Tube postings featuring the Journalist Chris hedges, whose time in Gaza when reporting for major US media agencies witnessed some awful events, namely school age children being taunted in Arabic by members of the IDF, who then systematically murdered them – this happened on several occasions and is well documented. Buy hey, them youths throwing stones deserved to be shot with M16’s, I mean they were that dangerous – perhaps compare with the British in Northern Ireland during the late 60’s and early 70’s culminating with Bloody Sunday. Knowing a number of UK servicemen stationed in NI during the troubles, they were used to being stoned, however I don’t recall mass murder as a response – don’t mention 1916 though or the Black and tan’s, many of whom were from Welsh Regiments, which shames me quite a lot.

  • John Spencer-Davis

    “If you have nothing to say then say nothing. However, better yet is to have something to say and say it, no matter what they ask you. Pay no attention to the question, make your own statement. If they ask you the same question again, you just say ‘that’s not the question’ or ‘I think the more important question is this:’ then make another statement of your own.”

    The Right Honourable Jim Hacker, Yes, Prime Minister, by Antony Jay and Jonathan Lynn.

    Bugger what they ask you. It’s bound to be full of traps, whatever it is. Have what you want to say ready…and say it no matter what.

    Best of luck and wishing you well. We’ll all be rooting for you. No-one on here’s qualified to give you advice, especially not me, but Ronnie Barker might well be, so I’ll leave you with Norman Stanley Fletcher’s immortal title for his planned autobiography: “Don’t Let The Bastards Grind You Down!

  • bevin

    Good luck. But nobody here should need reminding that Sky, the BBC, The Daily Mail etc are not to be taken seriously. There is nothing legitimate about the capitalist media. They carry out a function which involves obscuring and discrediting the truth.
    It is one of the minor tragedies of this affair that those, particularly in the Labour Party, taking part in this nasty witch hunt, feel legitimised by the approval of a media which is diametrically opposed to the interests of ordinary people be they British, Palestinian or Israeli (muslim, christian or jewish). They wallow in the approval of Murdoch, just as Blair did, because he is rich and powerful. Far from being worthy of our respect the positions of the powerful should be regarded as self serving and untrustworthy. So should the opinions of the media that they control.
    On a related subject I note that someone has been imprisoned for five years-allegedly for tweeting his opinions. If this is true, and it should matter not what his opinions are, the end of free expression is not far away.

    • N_

      @bevin – According to the report in the Guardian, the guy was convicted not of publishing his opinions, but of encouraging terrorism and “inviting” support for Daesh (ISIS). I am not sure what “inviting” means here.

      I don’t know the details of the case, but I think the encouragement of terrorism should be a crime. The same thinking should be applied to the many British people who go to the Middle East to commit terror as members of the Zionist army.

      This particular guy also seems to like wearing clothes carrying the Adidas brand.

      Has anyone else noticed that some of the British Daesh supporters appear to be saddled with total shit for brains?

      • Summerhead

        If you read the whole article you will see that his defence lawyer describes him as having “below average intelligence”. Do you really think sending a not very bright young man to prison for five years for tweeting is justifiable?

        • N_

          Sorry, @Summerhead, I don’t know the details of the case, and I wouldn’t form an opinion based on that newspaper article.

  • Chris Rogers

    I notice some key words seem to be tripping moderation wires, specifically when referring to a National Socialist Party in a specific European Country after early 1933 – has self censorship got that bad and how the hell are we to assist if our posts automatically go into ‘moderation’ whilst not breaking and commonness rules and regulation.

    • Chris Rogers

      Please Remove last post Mods as now out of Moderation – one was getting rather worried considering the grave concerns I now harbour about freedom of speech in our country.

  • Henry hooper

    You need to remind people that there are just as many Jewish people that are as appalled by Israeli action than non-Jews.
    My fear is that by attempting de-legitimise criticism Israel, Israel is stoking fears of resentment towards israelis and Israel itself…the israeli establishment keep conflating Israelis as zionists as Jews …they are not all the same.
    Good luck….you’ll need it.

    PS if you’ve not read it, read ‘the generals son’ about the son of a famous Israeli citizen. Great book..maybe you could plug it

    • N_

      You need to remind people that there are just as many Jewish people that are as appalled by Israeli action than non-Jews.
      No there aren’t.
      The total number of Jews in the world (about 15 million) isn’t much larger than the total number of Arab refugees (10 million). The total number of Arabs is about 370 million.

      My fear is that by attempting de-legitimise criticism Israel, Israel is stoking fears of resentment towards israelis and Israel itself…
      Israel should be delegitimised. An ethnic-supremacist regime has no right to exist.

    • Loony

      Probably best not to “remind people that there are just as many Jewish people that are as appalled by Israeli action than non-Jews”

      As there are only about 14.2 million Jews in the world, or about 0.2% of global population even a Sky News presenter could probably work out the impossibility of this statement being true.

    • Doug Scorgie

      Henry Hooper
      April 28, 2016 at 20:02
      “…Israel is stoking fears of resentment towards Israelis and Israel itself…”
      ……………………………………….
      That should read, Henry:
      ZIONISTS are stoking fear AND resentment towards Jews…
      That is what Zionists want Henry; the more racism towards Jews outside Israel the better for their cause, which is to justify the creation of a Jewish-nationalist state run by Jews for the benefit of Jews.
      Israel is not and never will be a state for all its citizens regardless of ethnicity and religion.

  • Medieval fwl

    One in a god mask the other a devil
    One was successful the other was not
    Even in defeat a beautiful performance.

  • Anon1

    If I were the interviewer I’d drop something mildly critical of extremist Islam, then sit back and enjoy while Craig accuses me of Ithlamophonia, Waythithm and far-Wight, Neoconthervative Thionist Thatcherism, on national television. The hoots.

  • Ba'al Zevul

    Careful with that, Craig.

    Sky hack: So what you’re saying is that the Corbynites are antisemitic and the Blairites aren’t?
    You: Not at all. I….
    Sky Hack: (anything it can think of to muddy the waters)

    Wouldn’t do it, personally. But the very best of luck.

    • Anon1

      We can go now to Craig Murray, former ambassador to Uzbekistan, human rights activist and vauntie cybernat:

      Mr Murray, it is your contention that anti-Zionism is different to anti-Semitism. Why then do you conflate opposition to radical Islam with Islamophobia and racism?

      #Rehearsals

      • Andy

        ”conflate opposition to radical Islam with Islamophobia and racism? ”

        Radical Islam is a political ideology.

        Islamophobia is anti- Muslim bigotry.

        • DomesticExtremist

          There’s certainly an analogy to be made (though not an equation) between the way Saudi money and influence has encouraged Wahabism to infect and take over the muslim religion with the way that Zionism has, with Israeli money and influence, seemingly taken over the Jewish faith.

    • Ba'al Zevul

      I’d be taking a look at the percentage of Labour funding which has come from donors who also give to Israeli charities…and maybe asking a little question about representative democracy…

  • Rose

    “……….. where angels fear to tread.” – but you’re no fool Craig. Integrity shines through in any situation. Go bravely into the lions’ den and slay ’em!

  • Chris Rogers

    Craig,

    As historical references go, and indeed in terms of comparison, why don’t you invoke the Jewish Warsaw Ghetto uprising in Poland during WWII, which is celebrated I trust by all, for here were a people imprisoned, corralled and starved, a people who had their land, their property and their processions confiscated, together with their liberty. Despite the odds, ultimately they fought back, and whilst the battle may have been lost, the memory of this event both haunts and stimulates us to fight back regardless of the cost to ourselves and our families/community. Indeed, it was a David and Goliath struggle and those brave souls fighting back are revered as the real hero’s they were/are – this is why inversing works as far as Gaza is concerned. And yet us critics of Israel are allegedly ‘anti-semites’, which is complete and utter bollocks.

    • N_

      Agreed. The Warsaw Ghetto Uprising was heroic. The main organisation involved, the Jewish Combat Organisation (ZOB), wasn’t Zionist in the slightest. They printed posters with slogans such as “All people are equal brothers: Brown, White, Black and Yellow. To separate peoples, colours, races – Is but an act of cheating!” That particular poster I’ve linked to shows two people shaking hands through the wall. It is truly vile for the Zionazis to claim that they are in anything like the tradition of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising.

    • lysias

      Marek Edelman, a hero of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, its last commander, in old age expressed support for the Palestinian resistance:

      In his old age, he spoke in defence of the Palestinian people, as he felt that the Jewish self-defence for which he had fought was in danger of crossing the line into oppression.[29] In August 2002, he wrote an open letter to the Palestinian resistance leaders. Although the letter criticised the Palestinian suicide attacks, its tone infuriated the Israeli government and press. According to the late British writer and activist Paul Foot, “He wrote [the letter] in a spirit of solidarity from a fellow resistance fighter, as a former leader of a Jewish uprising not dissimilar in desperation to the Palestinian uprising in the occupied territories.”[30] He addressed his letter “To all the leaders of Palestinian military, paramilitary and guerilla organizations — To all the soldiers of Palestinian militant groups”.[31]

    • John Spencer-Davis

      I am not sure “celebrated” is a word I would use. “Honoured”, certainly. The scale of that tragedy was so great and dreadful that I am not sure there is much to celebrate.

      For a similar reason, I am always puzzled by the idea of celebrating victory after a war. Wars leave families bereaved and heartbroken on every side no matter who wins. They don’t have much to celebrate about.

  • wendy

    maybe its worth asking how many zionist – islamophobes have been outed amongst our media / politicians. why is it ok for cameron to lie about suliman gani using islamophobic tropes. if its not a wtch hunt then what is it.

  • Anon1

    “Support for Israel is a clear dividing issue between Corbynites and Blairites. The Blairites are hopeless and defeated, so are seizing on the meme that critic of Israel equals anti-semite as a means to undermine Corbyn and create a leadership crisis”

    Good to know that the Labour Party is still focused on the main issues affecting the country.

  • Dave

    Alternatively you do the interview. They are primed to dump on you but hate answering questions themselves. I.e. turn the tables and question their motives.

  • Tom

    Good luck, Craig. I felt the cat was out of the bag earlier on the PM programme when an FT journalist claiming to be a floating voter linked the ‘anti-semitism’ row with his (alleged) decision not to vote for Sadiq Khan in the London mayoral election. This is all an orchestrated campaign to destabilise Corbyn over his legitimate criticisms of Israeli policy. The real Jewish people are the losers – being once again used as pawns by a few wicked people in power of a variety of religions. ‘Anti-semite’ replaces ‘witch’, ‘communist’, ‘Nazi’ in a political campaign against all decent citizens.
    Well done for speaking up and I hope you get a fair hearing tomorrow.

  • Dave

    That said be prepared to sit there and say nothing, but wear dark glasses (and a campaign tee-shirt) as they will try to unnerve you by putting a camera in your face.

  • Wesley Sandel

    When they call you an anti-Semite for opposing Israeli racism, terrorism, colonialism, mass murder and apartheid, ask them if opposing apartheid in South Africa makes you anti-White or anti-Christian and explain to them that accusations of antisemitism from supporters of Israeli racism, terrorism, colonialism, mass murder and apartheid sound suspiciously like being called a ni**erlover for opposing segregation in the South only now it’s “Arab lover.”

  • BrianFujisan

    Well, It’s certainly the Craig Murray I know.. Brave, Passionate For Human Rights.

    Many well Meaning posts with Advice. Speak Up and Proudly…You have a great many Real Friends, Unlike Sky Robots

    I Dream they will shut the fck up, and actually listen to Some of your points

    Much respect.

  • Andy

    Good luck, you’ll do brilliantly.

    Zionism isn’t a religion, Zionists aren’t an ethnic group. Zionists like the Evangelical John Hagee are anti-Semites.

  • J Galt

    For God’s sake Craig don’t mention The Transfer Agreement!

    Look what’s happened tae Ken!

    • Andy

      I think Livingston knows exactly what he is doing. He’s been doing what he has been doing for years. Battering away the right wing media.

      And after the anti-Semite smears what have the Blairites got left?

      • Shatnersrug

        I think you’re right – I think he knows by making s scene out of it – people who didn’t know before will search out the facts and read it for themselves – the Blairites are absolutely terrible at this game.

  • sonyarus

    Good luck! Agree distinction between opposition to Zionism as an imperialist and racist ideology versus race based anti-semitism needs to be made clearly. I also find it quite distressing the number of “Joo” hating trolls who persist on alternative media sites whose only objective it seems to me is to offer disgusting racism that diverts and pollutes real analysis – and discredits the site they appear on.
    Would be good to know when Sky programme will air?

      • Andy

        A few years ago I commented a lot on the Guardian cif, particularly the Israeli/Palestine articles. Yes, there were loads of Hasbara.

          • Andy

            The Guardian has stopped it’s Israel/Palestine reports/news/opinion articles.

            The Guardian hasn’t stopped it’s support of Israel and Labour MPs who support Israel.

    • bevin

      There is a real danger that those insisting that to criticise Israeli policies is to be anti-semitic will convince a broad enough section of the public to ensure that the next international wave of revulsion against Israeli military excesses will turn into a campaign of anti-semitism.

      We are already getting very close to that point, which is precisely what the Likudniks want. During the last massacre of civilians in Gaza there were a few isolated but extremely dangerous attacks on synagogues and other Jewish targets by fools who had been convinced (against all the evidence of hundreds of years in which Jewish culture has been central to the most enlightened developments of our society) that those behind the terrible carnage in Palestine represented Jews generally.

      Israel is no more representative of Jewish culture than the Nationalist government in Pretoria was of European civilisation. Or the KKK was when it claimed that it fought for Christian values by lynching blacks.

      Those conflating actually existing zionism with anti-semitism are deliberately playing a very dangerous game: they are longing for mobs to attack Jewish homes or cultural centres. In insisting that our opposition to Israeli government actions is not anti-semitism -and in constantly reminding Israel’s critics that this is so- we are thwarting a plan whose eventual aim is to make life impossible or difficult for those Jews who, much to the benefit of our society, live amongst us as colleagues and neighbours.

      The reality is that there is no more dangerous enemy of Jewish tradition, learning, culture and humanism than the obscurantist forces dominating Israeli society: the mirror image of wahhabism conjoined with the neo-fascism of the US ultras.

  • Edward Horgan

    Good luck Craig with your Sky interview. We met at the TDIP EU Parliament investigating the US Torture Rendition program. Good to see you are still campaigning – Edward

  • Hieroglyph

    Brave, as they say in Yes, Minister. I personally think going on SKY is a total waste of time, but they aren’t asking me are they? Blog owners motives are doubtless sound, but the people at SKY know their propaganda tricks, and can make idiots of almost anyone, even ex-Ambassadors. Especially ex-Ambassadors.

    This whole anti-semitism and ‘the left’ schtick has been around forever, and is total baloney. We may recall Hitler. Many of his UK supporters and acolytes were, of course, from establishment circles, and the hard right. We’ll forgive them their naive views, but really shouldn’t have to cop their insults; that’s just rude. I see Corbyn has had to come out and say something, printed in the CIA-Guardian, which is just bizarre. They could trawl everything Corbyn has ever said – and I’m sure they have – and none of it would be remotely anti-semitic. So, a fairly transparent beat-up, from the dying Blair ranks. They’ll challenge soon, and – hilariously – lose again. Corbyn should welcome the re-match, for the result will be exactly the same.

    It would be amusing if Craig, as a joke, asked after the health of Rupert Murdoch, to check if he’s still showing signs of senility, like he did in parliament. I dare him.

    • John Spencer-Davis

      It’s clever. If he doesn’t suspend and discipline people attempting to bring some sensible perspective to the conflation of opposition to Israeli state policy and anti-Semitism, he’s soft on anti-Semitism – for sinister though unspecified reasons. If he does suspend and discipline them, he’s hurting the Left and people he probably has substantial agreement with.

      Do you know, I have more and more confidence in Corbyn. He’s so honest and reasonable that I think he can be used as a punching bag by the Blairites and the media until they all fall down exhausted and he’ll still be there, standing in his comfy clothes with a slightly puzzled smile.

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