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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  • james nelson

    Pappe’s book, ‘The Idea of Israel’, sort of hits the nail on the head; there was the Zionist narrative based on gobbledegook about a land without people for a people without a land and then along came the “new historians” and the post Zionist narrative that …. well, that could not ignore the reality and the consequences of what was an ethnic cleansing. Unfortunately, while people like Pappe accepted the consequences of that narrative, along came Benny Morris and his neo-Zionists mates with the absurd “yes,there was an ethnic cleansing, but it was necessary.”
    A world turned upside down and a twisted logic that wants to convince us that the oxymoronic “Jewish Democracy” is anything other than an absurd ethnocracy that is built on someone else’s land, and a racist ideology which, when challenged, accuses all and sundry of racism.
    Still, Craig, you will hardly be convincing anyone at Sky of that and so, on your way into the lions den, solace might be sought in Bevin’s “Sky, the BBC, The Daily Mail etc are not to be taken seriously”. Yes, the advice has to be, “on you go, make sure you run up some generous expenses, but, don’t, don’t, take them seriously.”

  • bevin

    Here’s a test for Socialists who are a bit behind on the news :
    Which one of these two men has been suspended from the Labour party?
    This one:
    “Tony Blair obtained a “blessing” from Chinese leaders for a company owned by a Saudi prince to do business in China as part of an arrangement that paid the former UK prime minister’s firm £41,000 a month and a 2% commission on any multimillion-pound contracts he helped to secure…”

    or this one:
    “Livingstone intensified the row by claiming Hitler had supported Zionism “before he went mad and ended up killing 6 million Jews” and claimed there was a “well-orchestrated campaign by the Israel lobby to smear anybody who criticises Israel policy as antisemitic”.”

    • Tony_0pmoc

      I socialise down the pub, but don’t claim to be a socialist. If I work my balls off, I not only expect to get paid, but paid more than the bloke who does next to sod all.

      As regards Livingstone, well he got some of his history wrong, though he got most of it right (I’m not going to quibble about numbers) – and Craig doesn’t even want him discussed at the moment.

      But as a general point, I can understand people wanting to join the Labour Party 40 years ago, and O.K. getting suspended is to some extent a Badge of Honour, but to be honest, I do not understand how the likes of Livingstone and Corbyn have put up with the smell for the last 20 years.


  • Manda

    I will have to connect my TV to watch, what time?

    I wish you luck, although that doesn’t sound appropriate. I wish you strength and a clear, cool head in the face of the inevitable onslaught and usual manipulative interview tactics. I shall be supporting you in my heart and thoughts.

    Thank you.

  • BrianFujisan

    Statement on “Labour’s problem with antisemitism”

    From the Jewish Socialists’ Group

    …The attack is coming from four main sources, who share agendas: to undermine Jeremy Corbyn as leader of Labour; to defend Israeli government policy from attack, however unjust, racist and harmful towards the Palestinian people; and to discredit those who make legitimate criticisms of Israeli policy or Zionism as a political ideology. As anti-racist and anti-fascist Jews who are also campaigning for peace with justice between Israelis and Palestinians, we entirely reject these cynical agendas that are being expressed by:

    • The Conservative Party

    • Conservative-supporting media in Britain and pro-Zionist Israeli media sources

    • Right-wing and pro-Zionist elements claiming to speak on behalf of the Jewish community

    • Opponents of Jeremy Corbyn within the Labour party.

    The Jewish Socialists’ Group recognises that ordinary Jewish people are rightly concerned and fearful about instances of antisemitism. We share their concerns and a have a proud and consistent record of challenging and campaigning against antisemitism. But we will not support those making false accusations for cynical political motives, including the Conservative Party, who are running a racist campaign against Sadiq Khan, and whose leader David Cameron has referred to desperate refugees, as “a swarm” and “a bunch of migrants”. The Conservative Party demonstrated their contempt for Lord Dubs, a Jewish refugee from Nazism, when they voted down en masse an amendment a few days ago to allow 3,000 child refugees into Britain while Labour, led by Jeremy Corbyn, gave total support to Lord Dubs and his amendment.

    The Jewish Socialists’ Group sees the current fearmongering about antisemitism in the Labour Party for what it is – a conscious and concerted effort by right-wing political forces to undermine the growing support among Jews and non-Jews alike for the Labour Party leadership of Jeremy Corbyn, and a measure of the desperation of his opponents.

    We stand against antisemitism, against racism and fascism and in support of refugees. We stand for free speech and open debate on Israel, Palestine and Zionism.


  • s tattersall

    Heres my view Craig,-to deplore criticism of Israel as anti-semitism, is of itself racist since a)Israel is not an entirely Jewish state (Arab populace), so this de-legitimises the non-Jewish portion of the country and panders to the racist exclusivity of the Jewish state which gives rise to the criticism in the first place and; b) the obvious point, Judanism was and is a proselytising religion where the majority of the modern day practitioners are non-Semitic, and indeed the modern Jewish female chromosome is Italian: reference to this (while given an indication as to what the Jewish male was upto during the Roman period) and the Koestlerian Khazarian thesis opens up a whole new chapter of Anti-semitism since it doesnt fit the Herzlian inspired Zionist narrative of Jewish mythos. Good luck.

  • glenn_uk

    It wouldn’t hurt for as many of us as possible to tweet Sky to congratulate them on their courage in having an interesting guest with a valid point of view. Assuming the interview goes well, of course, and it would probably be best to send the message afterwards 😉

  • Frank

    Thank you Craig for being a voice of sanity. Having just read a shockingly pro-Isreali Guardian report on Ken Livingston (no comments allowed of course), I will boycott the site now for a while and try find some other more balanced news websites. Will keep an eye out for the sky news piece.

    • Marie Tornes

      Frank , Feel the same as you but you will be very lucky to find any news websites that are balanced and fair in this country. If you find one please share the link.

  • Peter Beswick

    Dear Craig

    You have decided to step into a trap without any clear method of extracting yourself.

    We have differed in the past but may I offer some thoughts, that I am keenly aware that you already harbour.

    You will be stitched up, your ego dilutes the danger and anti Semitism is not something you or Sky can cure.

    Be very clear at the off what you define as anti Semitism; not liking Jews, not liking Israelis, not liking oppression of the Palestinians, not liking the global reach of the Jewish banking elite who help fund chaos etc etc.

    Argue your case on your definition not their’s, I suspect you have a number of Jewish friends, I suspect you admire the courage of Israeli people in living at the butt end of hegemony, I further suspect you know your words will be distorted by the Murdoch machine. Make it very clear what it is that you think is wrong and don’t be distracted or goaded.

    I wish you well.


    • martin

      I agree
      Sky News, part of the disgusting organisation owned and run by archetypal zionist Rupert Murdoch.

  • Old Mark

    You’ll need to draw strength from the messages of goodwill posted here, and to have your political antennae finely tuned to escape the upcoming interview unscathed.

    I really hope you can avoid (to borrow a Kinnockism) getting ‘kebabbed’ on Sky later today; the very best of luck.

  • John Balsom

    Good morning Craig,

    Please correct “in an witch-hunt”, lest it should be seized upon by your panicking, pedantic, anal, flustered enemies.


  • kathy

    i applaud your courage Craig. The real problem in the UK is actually Islamophobia but that is encouraged by the media. Best of luck to you.

  • Paul Barbara

    Give em’ hell, Craig, but in an easy-going, laid-back fashion. Make fun of any shenanigans they try to pull; don’t lose your cool, because that’s what they will try to induce.
    Remember, you are a damn site smarter than those who interview you, and you have right on your side in your support for Palestinians.
    One suspects they have bitten off more than they can chew; pity they haven’t also invited Cynthia McKinney alongside you.

  • giyane

    Please remember Craig the difference between sky-larks and SKY-liars.
    The first is sweet and clear; the second’s statements need to be reversed to get anywhere near the truth.

    If Mann says Livingstone is a disgrace, reverse it. The truth is Livingstone is not a disgrace. He was making a very fair point that Israel like Hitler started off sane and proceeded to go mad and genocidal.

    Just add a ‘not’ to whatever the SKY-liars are saying.

  • Peter wright

    Do not do it craig if you have a bad gut feeling, the whole world knows that a dual state solution is the only answer just bloody Israel

  • Medieval fwl

    There is essentially a war between Israel and the Palestinians. It seems to me that this country supports Israel and those who support the Palestinians are targeted as racists.

    If I support Tibetans against China am I racist against Chinese?

    • Medieval fwl

      Why is it that if people query a pro Israel bias in the media they are accused if racism?

      • Medieval fwl

        I still have empathy for Israel. A new born state in a hostile environment, which didn’t always have the allies it now has. It has had to be tough and clever to survive, which it has done. Now it’s on its feet, tough,independent and strong. Its intelligence and security service were outstanding but its politicians failed to do the deal at the right time. It’s time for irs allies to take it to task for some of its overreaching. It’s time for the pro Israel lobby to accept some criticism and begin to change.

        • Andy

          ”A new born state in a hostile environment”

          The environment wasn’t hostile until the British and then the UN decided to give Zionists land in Palestine, without asking the Palestinians of course.

    • Andy

      ”There is essentially a war between Israel and the Palestinians.”

      There isn’t a war. Israel occupies the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza. They are called the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

      The Palestinians living in these territories live under a brutal military occupation. They are jailed, beaten, tortured and terrorised and cleared from their land to make way for illegal settlers. It’s been happening every day for decades.

      If Palestinians resist, they have every legal right to resist, they are called terrorists.

  • Njegos

    Give them hell Craig. Don’t pull any punches – whatever you say they are going to scream “Anti-semite!”

  • ali

    Thankyou for your courage work and knowledge. i wish you articulate-ness humour, clarity, generous problem solving vision. Im weeping at the news this morning – everything is so twisted. Haavara Agreement is there on wiikipedia. Thankyou

  • deepgreenpuddock

    Man described Livingstone as ‘a disgusting Hitler apologist’
    I am not sure how that comes over to anyone else but that seems manifestly and probably demonstrably untrue. Whatever KL is he is not that. I have pretty sure memories that he was active in ant-fascist /nazi movements and has expressed himself forcefully and publicly on this.
    The point I wonder about-and I don’t suppose it is likely to be followed up on, is that it may be quite simply defamatory.
    I certainly would have been very angry to have been labelled in that way by someone who, as far as I know has been much less active in seeking changes for the better in issues such as Palestine.
    One senses that he is deeply and self interestedly selective of the issues he adopts.

  • Anon1

    George Galloway is on Sky now in his silly hat. He is being given an easy ride, plenty of time to make his points and even to get into some of the historical arguments, all by himself and virtually unchallenged by the clearly not very bright newsreader.

    Some of the commenters here are plainly exaggerating the scale of what Craig faces. Perhaps they fear a balanced debate, as opposed to one in which anti-Zionists are given a free run (which is their definition of balanced)? Or perhaps they just fear Craig will stick his foot in it.

    • Node

      George Galloway is on Sky now in his silly hat. He is being given an easy ride, plenty of time to make his points and even to get into some of the historical arguments …..

      Absolutely disgraceful. He should be constantly interrupted and forced to answer the same loaded questions repeatedly, and have words put in his mouth, and have “anti-semite” screamed at him until his face is covered with flecks of the interviewer’s spittle. Then he should be hanged. And even that’s too good for him.

      • Tony_0pmoc

        Galloway has a lot more experience in a hostile environment. I remember when he was summoned by the US Congress. He not only turned up…he verbally destroyed them and left them speechless. Even the US Media was aghast. “Can we have a politician like that?” The fact that they didn’t agree with him wasn’t the point. He gained their respect.

      • Njegos

        You and Anon1 are typical bullies. You clearly believe that Craig Murray and George Galloway should be shouted down because they refuse to toe the Zionist line.

        I know your type. You are the sort that crush free speech in the name of free speech.

        To hell with you both.

          • John Spencer-Davis

            Njegos, you are misunderstanding Node. He does not mean a word he says – he is being sarcastic about Anon1’s contribution.

            Node feels just the same as you do.

  • Highlander

    I’m proud for you Craig, you know yourself, your a man of honour, could you really do anything other?

  • glenn_uk

    Final thought for the interview if you’re discussing anti-Semitism.

    So the new trope is that Labour (and lefties in general) are all a bit anti-Semitic on the sly, to various degrees. Funny, then, how so many of us are hoping that Bernie Sanders will somehow make it to the US Presidency. Rather strange for all these die-hard non-Blairites in the Labour party to be earnestly backing a Jewish politician, if there really is such a lot of anti-Semitism out there.

  • Je

    For some perspective google Israeli cabinet racist quotes.

    I’d lke just one British journalist once — to go through some of those quotes asking the anti-semitism-howlers whether the Israeli cabinet members should resign for their overtly racist remarks.

  • Dave

    To further the Zionist aim of encouraging Jews to go to Israel they promote “anti-Semitism”. I mean all this contrived fuss about an almost unknown “anti-Semitic” tweet is hardly intended to improve community relations. Hence “Zionist anti-Semitism” is both anti-Arab and anti-Jew.

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