Craig Murray: Condemnation

The political class internationally, with one voice, put out statements supporting “Israel’s right to self-defence,” a right they grant to the oppressor but deny to the oppressed.

A Palestinian boy and Israeli soldier in front of the Israeli West Bank Barrier. August, 2004. (Justin McIntosh, Wikipedia, CC BY 2.0)

By Craig Murray

There have been decades of photos of dead Palestinian women and children, and kids being beaten, humiliated and imprisoned by Israeli soldiers. The historic killing rate in this “conflict” has been fairly consistent at about 40:1. 

None of this ever caused more than a raised eyebrow and a mild tut-tut from the western “liberal” Establishment. I can’t recall camera crews ever pursuing any Zionist politicians down the street demanding that they use the word “condemn” of the latest Israeli atrocity.

The paroxysm of hatred in the political and media class, unleashed by a single day of the boot being on the other foot is instructive. It is particularly instructive in their near complete unanimity — what percentage of the discussion on broadcast TV or radio have you heard this last 48 hours given over to Palestinian or pro-Palestinian voices?

Yet it is very plain from social media that the public is by no means as unanimous in their support of Israel as are the political and media class. 

But then the public are not bought and paid for.

Asymmetric warfare tends to be vile. Oppressed and colonised peoples don’t have the luxury of lining up soldiers in neatly pressed uniforms and polished boots, to face off against the opposing army in an equality of arms.

Demonstration in support of Palestinian resistance, Great Barrington, Massachusetts, Oct. 10. (Corinna Barnard)

A colonised and oppressed people tends, given the chance, to mirror the atrocities perpetrated on them by their oppressor.

This of course feeds in, always, to the propaganda of the Imperialist. A paroxysm of resistance by the oppressed always ends up portrayed by the Imperialist as evidence of the bestiality of the colonised people and in itself justifying the “civilising mission” of the coloniser.

Thus the “Indian Mutiny” became a Victorian tale of rape and murder of British women and of the Black Hole of Calcutta. Thus the Mau Mau were evil butchers and the IRA were terrorists, which is the modern term of art for those resisting evil and foreign rule.

The Israeli ambassador to the U.N. on Monday described the Hamas fighters as “animal like.” This of course is not true. They are people, but people who have been crazed by unbearable levels of injustice and oppression.

I am extremely sorry for all those who die, as in all wars. I am sorry even for the deaths of individual Israeli soldiers, and more so for all the innocents who died and are now dying. 

But I will not condemn Hamas. [Ed: Hamas attacked military bases and soldiers, both legitimate targets, but also targeted civilians, which is against international humanitarian law.]

For this I do not even need to delve into the backstory of Hamas’ initial sponsoring by Israel to split Fatah. They have grown well past that. I do not condemn Hamas because the resistance of the Palestinian people is a reflex response to their slow genocide.

Yes it is an inchoate and violent response. Of course I wish it did not harm innocent victims.

The people I do condemn are the political class internationally who, with one voice, put out statements supporting “Israel’s right to self-defence,” a right they grant to the oppressor but deny to the oppressed. 

Those are the people who need to be condemned.

Craig Murray is an author, broadcaster and human rights activist. He was British ambassador to Uzbekistan from August 2002 to October 2004 and rector of the University of Dundee from 2007 to 2010. His coverage is entirely dependent on reader support. Subscriptions to keep this blog going are gratefully received.

This article is from

The views expressed are solely those of the author and may or may not reflect those of Consortium News.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Hamas cannot be condemned in isolation. Israel’s  ongoing, far-reaching targeting of civilians must at the same time be condemned. Hamas’ attacks, though illegal in that they targeted civilians, must be seen in the context of more than 50 years of internationally recognized occupation and routine murder of Palestinian civilians.  Armed resistance is legal under occupation. Intentionally killing civilians is not. 

Human Rights Watch and U.N. reports, which have been harsh on Israel’s attacks on Gaza in the past, have also correctly condemned Hamas firing rockets towards populated areas, but made it clear these infractions were fewer in number and scope than Israel’s. Though Hamas’ attacks on civilians this time were substantially greater than in the past, so too it appears is Israel’s response.  

In this video released on X, Hamas spokesmen deny intentionally targeting  civilians, saying those who died were caught in crossfire.

Donate to CN’s
Fund Drive


14 comments for “Craig Murray: Condemnation

  1. Piotr Berman
    October 12, 2023 at 13:58

    As an export product, “Stand with Israel” is a failure. The West, in spite of experience, is crazy. The response that supports Israel with no equivocations, plus instant money and weapon supplies guarantees that we will see largest Gaza carnage ever, and harder to stop than ever. Even countries traditionally influenced by the West want no part in this madness.

    Blog Post by Joshua Kurlantzick (Council of Foreign Relations), October 9, 2023 4:57 pm (EST)
    Nation Thailand reported, Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister Jakkapong Sangmanee stated, “Thailand’s stance towards the deadly Hamas-led attack against Israel is one of neutrality, and the Kingdom promotes a solution that would allow Palestine and Israel to coexist.”

    Most other mainland Southeast Asian states have said little. Manila is working to protect its citizens in Israel while denouncing the violence in abstract terms. Singapore has built a close relationship with Israel over the years and issued statements that harshly condemn Hamas’ brutal tactics and call for a cessation of violence.

    On the other hand, Indonesia and Malaysia, the two Southeast Asian states with Muslim majorities (other than Brunei), and in Indonesia’s case, a long-time donor to Gaza, made tough statements that leaned toward condemnation of Israel.

  2. michael888
    October 12, 2023 at 06:20

    There are likely a fair percentage of fair-minded Israelis that are appalled by their government’s actions, as in Peace Movements throughout the world. But non-violent marches and real protests are no longer tolerated, even in the US– “the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”– will land you in jail and your assets frozen. “It is better to live one day as a lion, than a thousand days as a lamb.” – Roman Proverb

    It is reprehensible that the descendants of people who survived the Holocaust would inflict concentration camps on the Palestinians. Just as abused women and children internalize their abuse and perpetuate it on others. Which works to the benefit of the psychopaths who control society with warped justifications and rationalizations appealing to emotions rather than critical thinking.

  3. Paula
    October 11, 2023 at 21:24

    What is happening is no different than what happened in Germany. Same question to the EUs who came to America and claimed and took, and killed and claimed and took. HELLO! We have real reason to ID with Israel on the “Palestinian issue” because its so close to what USA has done to our indigenous. Of course we should not talk about USA and other countries around the world and their use backed coups or any of that lot because then we are absolutely on notice that the end is near and I would not like to survive it with a US and Israel in charge.

  4. Carolyn L Zaremba
    October 11, 2023 at 17:57

    “A slave-owner who through cunning and violence shackles a slave in chains, and a slave who through cunning or violence breaks the chains–let not the contemptible eunuchs tell us that they are equals before a court of morality!”—Leon Trotsky, 1938

  5. October 11, 2023 at 16:54

    Succinct and level-headed, compassionate and powerful, thank you Craig for this article that echoes exactly how I feel about this conflict and its causes.

  6. ingamarie
    October 11, 2023 at 16:30

    Me and my partner are with you…what more is there to say??

    We too believe that this latest massacre in Gaza will actually turn more of the world’s people against Israel. It may not be enough, but our sympathies are with the people of Gaza….as they were with the Warsaw Ghetto.

    One of the biggest tragedies of this history of establishing a Jewish state on other people’s land, is that in less than half a century, the survivors of the holocaust became passive supporters of the genocidal war on Palestinians.

    But western colonization knows no limits………and the people of the world are learning just that in a most graphic way.

  7. Cara
    October 11, 2023 at 16:05

    Thank you, Craig Murray! You gave voice to my innermost thoughts. I have wondered if my own refusal to condemn Hamas was an indication I was losing my humanity. Imperialism, colonialism, apartheid, and war are evils that diminish all of our humanity. There are times I am so numb my own heart feels cold and hardened. I’m Buddhist and atheist, but I have done a lot of praying these past few days, for all those who are suffering and dying of course, but also, in part, out of concern for the state of my own heart/soul.

    My thanks to CN for your excellent coverage of, and commentary on, this unfolding situation.

  8. October 11, 2023 at 15:15

    Could not agree more. It is always the political classes at fault and the soldiers, on every side, the fodder. Now I would also add the corporate media, propagandist who have nothing to do with the “press” the 1st amendment was designed to protect.

  9. Lois Gagnon
    October 11, 2023 at 14:59

    This colonial project has been going on for centuries. We can see where it has led us. To the brink of global annihilation. The corporate class is at the center of this madness. It is they and their gatekeepers in government and the bought off press that need to be sent to prison for their vast crimes against not only humanity, but life itself. It will be a great day if we can make this happen. Free Palestine! Free the world!

  10. Rudy Haugeneder
    October 11, 2023 at 13:15

    Money talks. People don’t matter.

  11. Middy
    October 11, 2023 at 12:58

    It is more accurate to refer to this as a ‘prison break’ than anything else.
    A prison where starvation, denial of health care and other basics, and being treated as ‘sub-human’ by the guards is normality.
    A prison from which there is no release, no parole, only life sentences by agreement of the entire ‘civilized world’.
    A prison where your children and grandchildren will be imprisoned after you.

    Americans may want to look up the Attica Prison Massacre.
    Its a reminder of how exceptional America is.

    • Rafael
      October 11, 2023 at 20:56

      A very apt comparison.

    • Share
      October 12, 2023 at 00:43

      I knew the author in high school. Her book won a Pulitzer. You can guess who started the shooting. hxxps://

    • Arthur Kuntsler
      October 12, 2023 at 02:32

      Most guys who break out of prison do not then go on a psychotic killing spree. They usually get drunk or high and try to get laid. They generally do not have automatic weapons.

      Nonetheless, this was entirely predictable. Who knows how it will play out? All depends on what Hizbullah, Syria and Iran make of things.

Comments are closed.